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Michael Jackson still a popular spam lure


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King of Pop still popular as bait for scammers

One year after his death, pop star Michael Jackson is still being used as a target for spammers.

An anti-spam researcher at Symantec is reporting a series of new spam emails which push products related to the death of the man known as the 'King of Pop'.

Symantec researcher Dermot Harnett said that the messages are titled "The Official Michael Jackson Commemorative Anniversary Coin In Loving Memory of Michael Jackson," and advertise a collectable coin featuring Jackson's image for a cost of $19.95.

The user is then presented with an order form to 'purchase' the coin. The form requires personal information including a home address, phone number and credit card data.

Spam and malware campaigns centring on Jackson's death are nothing new. When the singer died in June of last year, his name immediately became one of the most popular topics for spam messages.

Further complicating matters was a run of web searches by users seeking information on Jackson's death. The rush of traffic set off Google security controls and temporarily knocked the Google News service offline.

High profile news events such as celebrity deaths have for several years been a favourite lure both for spam campaigns and for web-based malware attacks which fine-tune pages to appear high on search result rankings.

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