Some spammers like us to enjoy a good laugh while they flood our inboxes with billions of unsolicited messages daily. They scour web sites of funny and trending pictures in the hopes of finding the right image to make us read their grammatically-challenged e-mails.
Bitdefender Labs has stumbled upon an increasing number of funny and weird images spreading through spam e-mails worldwide lately. Though posing as harmless, they actually cost billions of dollars a year in lost productivity – a very costly chuckle.
Many of these spam images are demotivational, black frame photos with a mocking caption. Spammers use them either for commercial purposes or to deceive users into clicking embedded links to phishing or malware traps.
Cyber-crooks don’t use funny images to amuse us. One reason spammers use pictures is to avoid antispam detection. Certain spam detection engines can’t read the text included in the images.
The images were extracted from spam emails collected by the Bitdefender Labs. Here’s a brief look at the trending topics:
1. One image spammer has procreation dilemmas, and wonders about humanity’s chances of being perpetuated through the wonders of technology.
2. Other laughter-loving spammers seem to have a constant urge to crack senior citizen acid jokes. Meet Aunty Acid, an English character with its own Facebook account.
3. Senior ladies are not alone in this spam. Gentlemen of a certain age also get their share of attention, especially one in Turkey. An innocent picture of the world’s biggest eared man is being spread both in spam e-mails and on websites that infect users with malware.
4. Cyber-crooks also show interest in nuns, as they pulled out an image from a top-selling calendar and put it to their own annoying and unsolicited use. “Nuns Having Fun” is a retro photo mashup with cheerful nuns square-dancing, gliding on ice or on water-slides.
5. Spammers also dig up funny computer cartoons to use for commercial purposes or just to distract people into clicking on suspicious links.
6. What would our top have been without this guy featured in the funny-weird spam invasion while also reigning on UK fishkeeping websites’ list of ridiculous fish tanks.
7. In our daily slice of image spam we even have the Chuck Norris meme pastiche featuring Ninja Cat Norris, another funny image circulating in popular online communities.
8. Spammers also show their pet interest with cute images promoting love and affection between different animals.
9. We couldn’t let out of our top this apocalyptic scenario encouraging celibacy.
10. Last, but not least we have another computer & pet demotivational pastiche, this time featuring a modern cat.
Image spammers are also pumping up adult content, and gigantic women smashing buildings and men. Several cartoons make users fantasize about a giant urban Xena fighting for she-knows-what in her bathing suite.
When you get this type of image in your inbox from people you don’t know, remember that spammers aren’t here to amuse you, but to pull out money out of your pockets, even if only indirectly. Don’t forget to use enhanced antivirus software that helps you stay away from e-threats, including deceptive e-mails.
All product and company names mentioned herein are for identification purposes only and are the property of, and may be trademarks of, their respective owners.
This article is based on the technical information provided courtesy of Daniel Ichim, Bitdefender Spam Researcher.