Heartbreak Hackers

Love is in the air this week and cybercriminals are trying to take advantage of that “loving feeling” by sending out millions of spam e-mails. IBM Security just published details showing a massive spike in e-mail dating spam, beginning in mid-January and leading up to Valentine’s Day. A worldwide network of computers has sent more than 230 million spam emails in just two weeks.

Dating spam hikes

According to IBM Security, the messages are being sent out in excess of 30 million e-mails a day and contain short email blurbs from supposed Russian women living in the US. While typical spam email is notorious for bad spelling and grammar, these dating spam samples are rather well-worded.

Here are some tips for dealing with e-mail spam:

  • Tainted Love – with 99.999% certainty, researchers say any unsolicited e-mail looking for a love connection is nefarious. Don’t respond, hackers are just looking to infect you with malware or capture you in a catfishing scam.
  • Stay Subscribed – don’t unsubscribe from spam. Instead, mark it as spam or junk and keep your email address private. Spam operators look for unsubscribers to reply so they can verify that the address is active.
  • Punctual Patching – always update your operating system as soon as new updates and patches are available. Most malware takes advantage of old versions of software to infect you.
  • Trusted Connections – treat unsolicited text messages and emails as spam and never open them. Never follow links, open attachments or follow instructions contained in these messages.
Countries of spam origin


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