D'oh! Spammers Exploiting New Simpsons Movie - InformationWeek

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D'oh! Spammers Exploiting New Simpsons Movie

The spammed e-mails try to lure unsuspecting users to a Web site, where their e-mail addresses will be harvested for later spamming attacks, according to researchers at Sophos.

Security researchers reported spotting a spam campaign that is preying on interest in the upcoming Simpsons movie.

The spammed e-mails try to lure unsuspecting users to a Web site, where their e-mail addresses will be harvested for later spamming attacks, according to researchers at Sophos. To get users to visit the site, the spam claims recipients will be given a $500 Visa gift card if they click on a link and participate in an online survey about the movie.

Each e-mail contains a graphic of Homer Simpson sitting on his sofa wearing a Superman crop-top and tighty-whities. A message in the image asks: "Will you go see the movie The Simpsons? Take our short survey now."

"You would be as crazy as Krusty the Clown to enter an e-mail address on that page," said Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant for Sophos, in a statement. "Not only are your chances of receiving a gift less than zero, but you are delivering a valid e-mail address to a spammer on a platter. Lists of living, breathing e-mail addresses are what keep the spam industry afloat. By confirming your contact address, you are helping the spammers and increasing your chances of being deluged by junk e-mail."

The movie focusing on the antics of the animated Simpson family is due to be released later this month.

Spammers frequently are quick to take advantage of society's interest in celebrities, Hollywood movies, and even tragedies.

Spammers launched waves of e-mails in April, promising users nude pictures of Britney Spears in an attempt to lure them to malicious Web sites. And just this week, spammers began luring unsuspecting users to a malicious Web site by sending out e-mails promising information about Tuesday's Brazilian plane crash and the victims onboard.

"Last month, Sophos discovered a worm that infected USB drives claiming that in 'Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows' the eponymous teen wizard would die, and in May, we saw a threat spammed out that pretended to be a trailer for the latest 'Pirates of the Caribbean' movie," added Cluley. "The public's hunger for new blockbuster movies coming out of Hollywood gives cybercriminals an endless stream of riches with which to tempt the unwary. Too many people click on links in an unsolicited e-mail without thinking of the possible consequences."

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