Report: Palin, Obama lead in election-related spam

The spam study doesn't mean much in terms of who actually wins the election, but it does show spammers are staying on top of what names are hot among Net users.

Sen. Barack Obama and Gov. Sarah Palin are both winners when it comes to spam.

Does her name inspire you to download spyware? State of Alaska

The amount of spam that mentioned Obama beat out that of his rival, Sen. John McCain, by a ratio of 6 to 1 during the month of September, according to a study released by Secure Computing. Likewise, Palin outranked her opponent, Sen. Joe Biden, by a ratio of 6 to 1. The results were published Friday in a PC Magazine report.

The numbers don't mean much in terms of who actually wins the election, but they do show that spammers are staying on top of what names are hot among Internet users. A "surge" of Obama spam apparently occurred around September 3, about the time of the Republican National Convention, according to PC Magazine.

"Though the spam message content itself is nonsensical, the basic themes of the Obama e-mail content does tend to revolve around the shallow factors that are espoused in the mainstream media as central campaign issues: race, disputes with Clinton, messianic oratory, and Fox news smears," Secure Computing said in its study. "The McCain spam subjects are equally driven by shallow media propaganda, revolving around age and wealth."

Also last month, security firm Sophos warned that a malicious e-mail was making the rounds which claimed to have a link to a sex video of Obama but which was instead spyware. Clicking on the link downloaded an executable file that played an amateur porn video, but Obama obviously wasn't in it.

About the author

Desiree Everts DeNunzio is a freelance editor and writer. She's dabbled in digital media and technology for the past decade, including stints at CNET News and Wired magazine. When she's not fiddling with various gadgets, she spends her time running after chickens and her own brood.


Join the discussion

Conversation powered by Livefyre

Show Comments Hide Comments
Latest Galleries from CNET
The best tech products of 2014
Does this Wi-Fi-enabled doorbell Ring true? (pictures)
Seven tips for securing your Facebook account
The best 3D-printing projects of 2014 (pictures)
15 crazy old phones from a Korean museum (pictures)
10 gloriously geeky highlights from 2014 (pictures)