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Security Response

As Russians Ready for Fatherland Day, Spammers Take Advantage

Created: 27 Feb 2013 05:20:56 GMT • Updated: 23 Jan 2014 18:09:13 GMT • Translations available: 日本語
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Major events and holidays have always been a time for celebrations. Unfortunately, it also attracts unscrupulous spammers searching to make a quick offer. Symantec observes that spam email usually spikes in conjunction with these holidays.

One such occasion is Defender of the Fatherland Day observed on February 23, which is a Russian holiday in countries of the former Soviet Union, such as Belarus and Tajikistan. Aside from parades and processions in honor of veterans, it is also customary for women to give small presents to men in their lives, such as fathers, husbands, and co-workers. Consequently, the holiday is often referred to as Men's Day.

As such, most spam emails revolve around souvenirs, small gifts, and even men’s medicine such as Viagra. Below is an example of some of these emails:

Subject: Волшебные подарки на 23 февраля
Translation: Magical gifts for February 23

Symantec observes that Valentine’s Day, Defender of the Fatherland Day, and International Women’s Day (March 8) share similar characteristics of sharing appreciation between sexes, thus are subjected to the same types of abuse from spammers sending out bogus offers and promotions.

Symantec advises our users to be cautious with unsolicited or unexpected emails, and to not purchase gifts and products from these offers. Many spammers will sell financial and personal data gathered from such sales to other spammers or hackers, resulting in malware, and phishing and spam attacks from third party sources. Users should keep their security software up to date in order to be protected from such risks.