Inbox Insider: Spammers attack search engines through e-mail

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Search engines are the new targets in a spam attack, according to MessageLabs Intelligence, but this time it is coming through e-mail messages. In this situation, spammers send spam messages with links to search engine results. A consumer who clicks on these links will see a legitimate search engine exposing results for a fraudulent company.

This is dangerous, because the e-mail itself may come from a legitimate sender and often is undetected by a spam filter.

This is the first time in more than a year that spam attacks are occurring in popular search engines. This kind of spam happened back in January 2008, but instead of using search engines, the spam message would just redirect to the spam site. Last year, search engine spam reached levels as high as 17% of all spam.

According to MessageLabs, spammers are doing this by taking advantage of the global financial crisis and targeting users this month with offers of cheap products and money. The messages contain text such as “Money is tight, times are hard,” “Get 15% off these” and “Cheaper than you could imagine.”

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