In the United States, Presidents' Day is celebrated on the third Monday of February to honor two of America’s greatest presidents, Abraham Lincoln and George Washington. This year, Presidents' Day will be celebrated on February 21. Recently, Symantec has observed spam attacks leveraging Presidents' Day and has seen attempts to exploit the "groups" function of a social networking site.
The samples shown below are screenshots of one such group from a social networking website. The group is quite obviously trying to exploit the Presidents' Day event:
The group description “MEGA SPAM!... Spam YOUR A TOOL! on your messages” [sic] is an attempt to inspire group members to start flooding spam messages at a specific time ("FEB 15 AT 11 AM”). Inexperienced users may be unaware of the risks involved with joining untrustworthy groups such as this. Please be wary of the types of groups or users that you associate with on social networking sites.
Simultaneously, spammers have yet again begun providing fake offers by promoting products at discounted prices. The sample shown below is the screenshot of a spam Web page targeting Presidents' Day:
Basic tips for avoiding spam messages and online scams:
- Avoid submitting any personal information to unknown websites.
- Do not click on suspicious links in email messages.
- Most social networking websites now allow applications, groups, etc. to be blocked and/or reported. Use these options to deny any other requests from unwanted applications.
- Frequently update your security software, which protects you from potential online scams.
Note: Thanks to Anand Muralidharan for contributing this blog.