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    Sporting events are arguably one of the best crowd drawers in modern history. And with the ongoing 2008 European Soccer Championships in Switzerland and Austria, the Alps is sure to be flooding with endless chanting, colors, and cash from all over Europe.

    Trend Micro recently got hold of a spam email message that banks on the popularity of soccer and its hordes of European fans in a bid to extort money illegally. The email, written in German with an English translation right after it, purportedly offers to buy the recipient’s ticket to the games at a profit. All a user needs to do is place a call to any of certain Austria-based phone numbers listed in the email message.

    Although the real intent of scammers is unclear, a successful extortion can lead to the disclosure of the victim’s bank account information. Alternatively, it could be that the scammers would simply resell the purchased tickets to yet other fans at a much higher price.

    Sample spam enticing users to sell Euro 2008 Soccer tickets
    Figure 1. Sample spam enticing users to sell their tickets for a profit

    Global sporting events are as common a subject of spam attacks as any other world event in the Internet age. A fan site of popular English soccer team Arsenal was reportedly compromised in February this year. Some malware actually and specifically targeted sports fans during gaming events. Such is the case for WORM_BAGLE.EV that sent email messages that sell tickets to the Torino Winter Olympic Games in 2006.

    And this early, Trojanized .DOC and .XLS files have been seen that capitalizes on the upcoming 2008 Summer Olympics. As the Olympic torch finds its way to Beijing this August, a plethora of security issues are sure to be not running far behind.

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