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BizReport : Research archives : August 27, 2009

Health: A new spam concern?

Now the elderly and/or ill have another concern: spam. According to the latest information from Symantec's MessageLabs, health information websites have been targeted by short URL spam. Short URL spam is one of the new, and now leading, concerns for spam. The fact that short URL spammers are targeting health sites is a double edged sword: not only are those concerned with health at risk of being tricked but legitimate health sites' reputations could be harmed.

by Kristina Knight

Short URL spam is created through short URL programs such as tinyURL or other short programs. Spammers use shortened URLs to point consumers to seemingly legitimate websites and in point of fact are sending them to a spam or phishing site. Many legitimate URL-shortening businesses have closed their doors in the wake of this epidemic.

MessageLabs suggests that spammers trying to sell drugs online are using shortened health URLs to sell product; the most targeted keywords include swine flu and President Obama's health reform plans.

Another spam trend which marketers should be aware of is DDos attacks through social networks. Several social networks have become victims of DDos attacks. Tata Communications recently launched a DDoS detection service for marketers.

Tags: email, email marketing, email trends, MessageLabs, spam, spam threats, spam trends, Tata Communications

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