Springfield's favourite family are being used by cyber-criminals trying to confirm email addresses are "live".
Security vendor Sophos has reminded computer users of the importance of not responding to unsolicited email surveys following the discovery of a spam campaign exploiting interest in ‘The Simpsons Movie’, due to be released in local cinemas this month.
The spam emails claim that recipients will receive a $500 Visa gift card for participating in an online survey. Each email contains a graphic of Homer Simpson sitting on his sofa wearing a Superman crop-top and tighty-whities.
The image asks; ‘Will you go see the movie The Simpsons? Take our short survey now’
Clicking on the image takes surfers to a web page branded with similar graphics of The Simpsons, which asks for a valid email address.
"You would be as crazy as Krusty the Clown to enter an email address on that page," said Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant for Sophos said. "Not only are your chances of receiving a gift less than zero, but you are delivering a valid email address to a spammer on a platter. By confirming your contact address you are helping the spammers and increasing your chances of being deluged by junk email."
According to Cluley, this is far from the first time that cyber-criminals have exploited Hollywood movie characters.
"Last month Sophos discovered a worm that infected USB drives claiming that in ‘Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows’ the eponymous teen wizard would die, and in May, we saw a threat spammed out that pretended to be a trailer for the latest ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’ movie," said Cluley.
"The public's hunger for new blockbuster movies coming out of Hollywood gives cybercriminals an endless stream of riches with which to tempt the unwary. Too many people click on links in an unsolicited email without thinking of the possible consequences."
Sophos recommends companies protect their desktops, servers and gateways with a consolidated solution to thwart the threats of viruses, spyware, hacking, phishing and spam.
D'OH! Spammers exploit Simpsons movie
By Lilia Guan on Jul 20, 2007 10:57AM