The top 10 spam e-mails from the past month have been revealed--as has the fact that the online population is still gullible enough to be targeted with scams and phony promotions, which range from the downright implausible to the outright illegal.
The list, compiled by anti-virus firm Sophos, also reveals that the gullible are still perpetuating one of the more ridiculous e-mail hoaxes ever seen.
Top spot goes to a spam e-mail which goes by the catchy title of JDBGMR. That relates to the .exe file of the same name -- the Microsoft Debugger Registrar for Java. The e-mail urges recipients to delete the file, claiming that doing so will offer protection against the Bugbear virus. Needless to say, it doesn't, but will damage your PC.
Another virus hoax doing the rounds warns users of a non-existent 'World Trade Center Survivor' virus. While viruses clearly pose a threat to a system, virus hoaxes have the potential to be just as damaging. A well-crafted and convincing virus hoax can put unprecedented strain on companies' e-mail servers if enough staff are fooled into forwarding it to everybody in their address book.
Fancy a share of Bill Gates money? Well one e-mail promises that he'll give you $245 for every person you forward it to. Of course it's a hoax but enough people were duped into forwarding it to everybody they know during November to ensure it remains in the top 10 for yet another month.
Other scams preying upon the gullible includes one e-mail sent to Hotmail users asking them to forward it to 10 other Hotmail users, or lose their account.
The full top ten for November looks like this (percentages shown reveal total number of reports accounted for by each e-mail).
- JDBGMR (22 percent)
- Budweiser frogs (11.5)
- Meninas da Playboy (7.9)
- Hotmail hoax (5.5)
- A virtual card for you (5.0)
- Bonsai kitten (3.5)
- Mobile phone hoax (3.2)
- Frog in a blender (2.8)
- Bill Gates fortune (2.5)
- World Trade Center survivors (2.1)