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Sophos: Spammers capitalise on Manchester UTD win to trick unwary fans

May 2008 by Sophos

Sophos is warning Manchester United fans keen to bask in their team’s glory to be wary of unsolicited emails following the discovery of a spam campaign that contains the URL mnchesterunited dot com in the emails. Sophos experts note that by missing out just one letter of the club’s name, the chances of unsuspecting victims not noticing and clicking on the link are heightened.

However, samples intercepted by SophosLabs, Sophos’s global network of virus, spyware and spam analysis centres, did not make reference to the UEFA cup in the subject line - a tactic often used by cybercriminals to entice computer users into opening the message. Subject lines included:

’Change your small trout into a great white shark’
’She will remove her loin-cloth’
’Get a greater kangaroo pounder’

Email users who click on the link are not taken to the website of the multi-award-winning football club, but are instead taken to a store selling products to enhance male body parts.

"The spammers are clearly trying to take advantage of tired and hungover Man Utd fans who won’t be paying too much attention to which emails they open today," said Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant at Sophos. "But, it seems the spammers are also a little tired today as they have missed a trick with the subject line. Hungover or not, most computer users now know not to open emails with such eyebrow-raising subject lines as these - which will hopefully mean fewer fans getting caught out."

Sophos customers were automatically protected from reaching the website, before any samples of the messages were received by customers.

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