by Dave Michmerhuizen & Luis Chapetti – Security Researchers
Happy Birthday, Steve!
As expected Steve Jobs’ birthday did not go unnoticed by spammers. Nigerian 419 spammers are using his name to troll for victims with this email.
While this may not seem like an appropriate way to celebrate, it is fairly rare for a western personality to be a factor in classic 419 spam. Celebrity references are much more likely to be found and mentioned in social network scams. Recently, only Ben Bernanke and Osama Bin Laden have been mentioned by spammers hoping to differentiate themselves from the usual subjects of dead princes and oil executives.
Of course there is no inheritance, there is no money at all. 419 spam (named after the Nigerian criminal code it violates) promises a large amount of money but then asks for a series of smaller ‘fees’ before that money can be delivered.
The Barracuda Networks spam traps have detected thousands of these messages relayed from a mail server in Chile and we are actively blocking them.