McAfee Labs

You Name It–Spammers Have Faked It

By on Jul 07, 2010

Name any famous or popular website, they all seem to have become the prime targets on spammers lists. Researchers at McAfee Labs have seen an increasing trend wherein famous websites like Amazon, Ebay, Youtube, WordPress, Wikipedia, Godaddy,, and many more are abused by spammers to provide a legitimate appearance for the email and ultimately have them delivered to the user’s inbox.

These spam messages are drafted in such a manner that they appear to be legitimate on first view. All these emails have a look and feel as that of a legitimate message from one of these popular sites. A novice user could have easily fallen prey to these emails if the user would have judged the message by its appearance. Appearances can be deceptive and so the spammers have taken advantage by faking messages of well-reputed websites.

Let’s examine a couple of common spam messages of these types. 




These types of spam have one important thing in common. All links in the email–Help, Product Info, Copyright Tips, Terms of Use, Legal Agreement, Customer Support–have the same URLs associated with them, with an html or htm extension. This looks quite odd; generally these links have a different URL.

Clicking on any of the links redirects to pharmacy websites, but before that we see a web page displaying “WAIT 4 SECOND”¦”Â  or  “PLEASE WAITING 4 SECONDS”¦”


Play it safe by typing the domain name directly into the browser rather than clicking URLs in mails that might be forged.