This health spam outbreak our engineers recently found features one of the most talked about disease today – the Ebola Virus. Exactly the same day when Texas Governor Rick Perry announced the formation of a 17-member task force in charge of the state’s readiness in dealing with the pandemic disease, spammers began to carry out spam campaigns alerting everyone about people being quarantined in Texas and how to stay safe including if Martial Law will be declared. This is a typical approach brought about by social engineering, with this particular instance capitalizing on people's fears of the deadly disease.
The spam mail, predictably, directs recipients to click on an embedded link - which then leads the reader to a newly-created website that showcases a survival guide video. The video itself is harmless, but those watching it may be persuaded to purchase an offered ‘Family Survival Course’ kit advertised below the video, along with a convenient purchase button.
Supporting the narrator’s claim about the kit’s effectiveness is a comment page below the video. It uses a familiar Facebook-type comment layout complete with the commenter’s photo and location. Looking further at this comment section will let you realize that it’s just a template and won’t even allow you to post your own comment.
Through analyzing the spammed mail, spammers make use of a combination of salad words –copied from Googled search pages – and microfonts to pass off spam filters and hide whatever salad words are there from the recipients.
While this type of spam mail may not be as harmful as those that carry malicious attachments, this can lead to possible phishing of recipient’s account details should they decide to purchase the said survival kit. Once again, users are advised to be wary against these types of threats.