Spam was the most prevalent type of email received in June 2009 according to the Symantec June 2009 State of Spam report. Spammers used current events to lure email users in order to spread their message or files that can destroy a computer hard drive.
Spammers will use any event they can to distribute their messages. In June, spammers used the death of Michael Jackson, the Fourth of July and other events that held the public's interest as a cover for their mass mailings.
In June, 90 per cent of all email consisted of spam. According to the latest Symantec report, the following were the biggest trends for June:
• Different Faces of Michael Jackson Spam and Malware
• 4th of July Holiday Brings Fireworks and More Spam Campaigns
• Image Spam Update
• Mass-Mailing Worm in Fake Twitter Account Invite
While only less than one per cent of all spam messages have a reference to Michael Jackson, it is expected this trend to grow. As the report indicates:
Symantec has discovered a mass-mailing worm using Michael Jackson's death as bait. The worm sends out spam emails with the subject “Remembering Michael Jackson” and an attach-ment named “Michael songs and pictures.zip.” The .zip file contains another file called “MichaelJacksonsongsandpictures.doc.exe,” which is a copy of the worm that is executed on the user’s machine when the file is opened.
Email recipients need to be vigilant about messages that contain such trends when email is received from an unknown or unexpected source.
Some recent emails with the Jackson trend contain worms that damage your computer system.
To view the most common examples of email spam message please see this PDF.
Much of the current spam can be traced to the United States; the U.S. was the origin of 23 per cent of spam in June 2009.