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Security Response

Iceland Volcano Eruption Triggers Blue Pill Cloud

Created: 22 Apr 2010 20:15:28 GMT • Updated: 23 Jan 2014 18:28:03 GMT
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A series of volcanic eruptions in Iceland has affected thousands of people worldwide. Poor visibility due to a plume of ash and smoke impelled several European countries to completely close their airspace. Because of this, large numbers of travelers willing to travel to or from Europe have been stuck in airports.

Now, without mercy, spammers are utilizing this catastrophe to push health-related spam. In the Symantec Probe Network we have monitored thousands of spam messages linked to the Icelandic volcanic eruption.

The subject line samples are as follows:

Subject: Fears volcano chaos will continue airstream
Subject: Sport left grounded by volcano affreight
Subject: Volcano ash affects air travel adjuror
Subject: Sport left grounded by volcano acid
Subject: Fears volcano chaos will continue albumoses
Subject: Fears volcano chaos will continue achtel

The spam message looks like a legitimate news alert. The top section of the message contains a spam URL; however, all other links in the message (such as “Unsubscribe” and “Privacy”) directs users to the same Canadian pharmacy spam site.

The cancellation of several European flights has caused thousands of travelers to explore alternative ways to reach their destination. Spammers are also aware of this fact and we expect to see spammers come up with offers promoting fake air travel tickets. Users are advised to remain very wary of any such offers. We are closely monitoring this spam trend and we will keep our readers updated.