What do Jay Leno, Madonna and Cameron Diaz have in common, besides celebrity? According to new research, they are the most frequently spammed-about personalities.
Analysis of 25 million spam messages by Internet security solutions provider BitDefender revealed that cyber crooks most commonly use Jay Leno, Madonna and Cameron Diaz to spread spam. Barack Obama and Stephen King also make the dubious honor of placing in the top 10.
Other celebrities mentioned, but ranking outside the top 10, include David Beckham, Tiger Woods, Miley Cyrus, Meryl Streep and Kanye West. Personalities such as Oprah Winfrey, Justin Bieber and Angelina Jolie, who were previously used in spamming attacks, are absent from current criminal campaigns, Bitdefender noted.
Cyber crooks also exploited the news announcing the death of terrorist leader Osama bin Laden to send spam and phishing emails purporting from federal agencies. Recipients were asked to disclose their home address, banking information and other sensitive data that would allegedly clear them of accusations of terrorism.
Research conducted by Cisco earlier this month indicated that cyber crime had become less fruitful compared to previous years. Security researcher Pat Peterson said spam had decreased from about 300 billion messages daily a year ago to nearly 40 billion per day over the past few months.