To be sure, don't click that St Paddy's spam

Examples lurking in Australian and US cyberspace now

People having a few pints of Guinness while checking emails today should be on the look out for St Patrick's Day-related spam which may include an advertisement for a bogus car website and promising e-cards celebrating the day.

While the volume of spam is not near the level of that targeting the earthquake in Japan, Symantec security spokesman ,Robert Pregnell, said spammers will use all they can to get people's details.

He said the emails have the potential to take users to a legitimate looking site that will infect devices and PCs with malicious code.

"Now you become a contributor to the next one which may start spamming people on April Fools Day," he said. "Botnets are most often the method that spammers are using."

He said spam related specifically to St Patrick's Day spam could originated from PCs infected with the Conficker worm, which reactivates computers once they are turned off.

"It might send 10,000 spam messages using that person's email account."

He said attackers are "very savvy" and take the time to craft messages which get attention.

"The luck of the Irish won't save you this time so it's the old basics- keep your systems up to date," he said.

He also advised people to have an online buying plan to avoid the lure of potentially malicious ads.

"Go to the site and do what you need to do whether it's eBay and online banking. People do get distracted and responding to something like dodgy advertisements will get you into trouble," he said.

Follow Hamish Barwick on Twitter: @HamishBarwick

Follow Computerworld Australia on Twitter: @ComputerworldAU

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