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Beware of the Words ‘Swine’ and ‘Flu’ in Your Email Inbox

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Filed under: Fraud and Deception

Swine Flu Spam and Phishing Attacks
By Tony Bradley, CISSP-ISSAP
April, 27 2009

Attackers May Prey on Fears of Swine Flu Pandemic

phishing-1-200You may have seen the ‘Breaking News’ throughout the weekend regarding the deaths in Mexico from the swine flu and the announcement by Janet Napolitano, the Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, that the United States has declared a public health emergency after confirmed cases of the swine flu in New York, Texas, and California among other states.

Fears of a pandemic are nothing new. In 2003 we had SARS. In 2006 the world was afraid that the H5N1 strain of the bird flu could become a pandemic.

It may seem a little extreme to stoke fears of pandemic every time someone gets a flu. However, we do expect organizations like the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), World Health Organization (WHO), Department of Homeland Security, and others to be aware of the possibilities and take proactive action to both contain what outbreaks there are and to properly prepare for the potential spread of the virus.

I will exercise an appropriate amount of caution and keep my fingers crossed that this too shall pass. I’ll leave it to the medical experts to decide whether swine flu is a pandemic, or even an epidemic, and how we should respond. But, where I will intercede is to tell you to beware of the words ‘swine’ and ‘flu’ in your email inbox. (more…)