Sophos, a world leader in IT security and control, has reminded
computer users of the importance of not responding to unsolicited
email surveys following the discovery of a spam campaign exploiting
interest in "The Simpsons Movie", due to be released in cinemas
The spammed emails claim that recipients will receive a $500
Visa Gift card for participating in an online survey. Each email
contains a graphic of Homer Simpson sitting on his sofa wearing a
Superman crop-top and tighty-whities. The image asks:
Will you go see the movie The Simpsons?
Take our short survey now
Clicking on the image takes surfers to a web page branded with
similar graphics of The Simpsons, which asks for a valid email
The spam pretends to be related to The Simpsons
"You would be as crazy as Krusty the Clown to enter an email
address on that page," said Graham Cluley, senior
technology consultant for Sophos. "Not only are your chances of
receiving a gift less than zero, but you are delivering a valid
email address to a spammer on a platter. Lists of living breathing
email addresses are what keeps the spam industry afloat - by
confirming your contact address you are helping the spammers and
increasing your chances of being deluged by junk email."
Sophos experts note that this is far from the first time that
cybercriminals have exploited Hollywood movie characters.
"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," continued 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 email without thinking of the
Sophos recommends companies protect their desktops, servers and
gateways with a consolidated solution to
thwart the threats of viruses, spyware, hacking, phishing and
Sophos is headquartered in Boston, US and Oxford, UK. More information is available at www.sophos.com.