By COLlive reporter
The Judaic content website of the Chabad-Lubavitch movement is being used by internet spammers to sell various types of pills, a report claims.
The October 2009 Spam Report by the McAfee antivirus software and computer security company names the chabad.org brand as a source for email junk.
Authors of the report, Adam Wosotowsky and Elan Winkler, discuss key spam trends and how spammers have become more sophisticated in mimicking banks and cash services such as Western Union.
A spam ad using Chabad.org’s blue-colored logo, promises a “Hugh 80% Discount” from a “Canadian Pharmacy” on various adult drugs with an option to pay online via Visa or MasterCard.
“Nearly everything in an email message can be forged,” the report says. “Spammers often will fake the “from” address in their spam mails, which can result in an inbox filled with undeliverable-message bounces.
“The other portions of an email are just as easily faked; spammers can quickly make any message look like eBay or a bank asking for your password. It doesn’t stop there; corporate brand abuse is rampant throughout the world of spam messages.”
About Chabad.org’s exploitation, Wosotowsky and Winkler say that while it did not reach the volume that some other examples of brand abuse have achieved, “this example certainly expands the list of target audiences that the spammers are trying to reach for black-market pharmaceuticals.”
“We wouldn’t expect a religious organization to support such products, but those familiar with Chabad.org are likely to take the time to read farther into the email. For the spammers who generate 150 billion pharmacy spams a day sent from zombie computers, it’s probably worth a shot.”
And why does so much spam come from Canadian pharmacies?
The report says the spammers know that many users will trust, or at least not immediately distrust, email that appears to come from Canadian-labeled health care services.
In response, Chabad.org told COLlive.com: “This is all in past tense, as the issue was dealt with before Rosh Hashana – almost a month ago. The only thing that is new, is the report.”