Vote Spam for President in 2008

Dennis Faas's picture

According to some security companies, a spam campaign launched under the name of presidential hopeful Ron Paul glutted inboxes across the country last week. As if we needed one more reason to heavily scrutinize the 2008 candidates.

For those who like Paul, you can be reassured that his campaign team is not behind the spam emails, which use the same tactics employed by male enhancement products and those pump-and-dump penny stock systems. Regardless of Paul's stance on the scheme, many of his supporters worry that the spam campaign has been designed to hurt his own. That could in fact be true.

Still, email security expert Sam Masiello, director of threat management for MX Logic, says this is nothing new. "It's a tactic that we've seen many times in the past...We just didn't expect to see it start happening so early this year." (Source:

What this means is that email users can expect to be hammered with spam using the presidential race as a front for more sinister intentions. Why? Because most political experts are also tech-savvy, meaning if you know something about Washington, you know something about spam.

Although that's pushing it a bit, there's no denying that interest in the presidential race will continue to climb over the next year. That will make any email associated with a candidate a tempting click.

So, what about this Ron Paul scheme?

If you haven't already received one, be wary of any email message that proclaims, "Ron Paul Eliminates the IRS!" or "Ron Paul Wins GOP Debate!" Like the less-than-stellar spelling traditionally associated with spam, these rather ridiculous statements should be enough to tip off vigilant web users. (Source:

Although the Ron Paul spam barrage does use a botnet, it makes no attempt to lure a clicker into downloading a file or viewing a malware-laced website. It has Ron Paul campaign leaders suspecting that the entire parade of emails were crafted by an "overzealous and well-intentioned Ron Paul supporter".

Of course, that's assuming Ron Paul has supporters.

Regardless, Masiello believes the foundation is there for more sinister acts in the future. My advice? Keep your political rah-rahing to parades and blogs.

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