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Scammers, Spammers Embrace Swine Flu News

There's something vaguely diabolical about a form of unwanted communication named after a brand of canned, chopped pork that piggybacks on a public health scare involving a flu strain derived from swine.

Yes, you guessed it: Spammers have seized upon public awareness around the Swine Flu epidemic to hawk knockoff prescription drugs. And we're not talking about flu vaccines, either.

According to McAfee Avert Labs, over the weekend spammers began pumping out junk e-mail with various Swine Flu subject lines to trick people into opening the missives. McAfee says the first of those spam campaigns amounted to about 2 percent of global spam volume.

Meanwhile, it appears that dozens of new Web site names with the term "swineflu" included in them were registered during the last few days. Researchers at security software maker F-Secure Corp. warn that if similar activity surrounding previous national emergencies is any indicator, scam artists may be preparing to use them in a variety of online con schemes.

F-Secure on its blog notes that at least one of the sites - - tries to spoof readers into purchasing a PDF called "Swine Flu Survival Guide" for $19.95.

I'm sure it won't be long before purveyors of rogue anti-virus products begin using search engine optimization techniques around the term "swine flu" to drive people to sites that try to scare people into buying the worthless software.

Update, Apr. 28, 1:51 p.m. ET: The U.S. Computer Emergency Readiness Team (US-CERT) now has an advisory out about swine flu-related scams.

By Brian Krebs  |  April 27, 2009; 5:05 PM ET
Categories:  Fraud , Latest Warnings  | Tags: f-secure, mcafee, swine flu  
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Business Continuity Guidance for Swine Flu

“Business continuity and disaster recovery are crucial parts of sound corporate governance - for industries like the financial sector and the nation’s critical infrastructure, they are mandates. Organizations that fail to plan and prepare for events like public health emergencies, natural disasters, and man-made disruptions face loss of business, and potential corporate exposure if they fail in these obligations. It is time to get serious about earlier and better handling of risk issues.”

Posted by: anthonymfreed | April 28, 2009 10:25 AM | Report abuse

I own, and I can guarantee you that I am not trying to "spoof" readers into buying my swine flu prevention guide. The site is a legitimate direct response selling website with a real, useful, guaranteed product.

You using the word "spoof" insinuates that I am somehow a scammer trying to "trick" people. Nothing could be further from the truth -- people either want to buy or don't, there is no trickery involved.

Perhaps you should have purchased my product before pronouncing me a "spoofer."

Please remove any reference to my site from your poorly researched and poorly written article.

Thanks for your attention to this serious matter,

Posted by: support4 | April 28, 2009 9:38 PM | Report abuse

Spoofer may not be the correct word to describe someone who plagar, er, copies a bunch of information from WHO and the CDC, and tries to sell it to people with spam and fearmongering.

For FREE, accurate, and honest information, go to or

Posted by: goaway41 | May 3, 2009 10:49 PM | Report abuse

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