The #Pope hashtag is leveraged to trick users into clicking on links
Today, Pope Benedict XVI has announced his resignation. Shortly after the announcement, spammers started flooding Twitter with bogus messages containing the #Pope hashtag in an effort to lure users to certain websites.According to Sophos experts, most of the spam tweets advertise adult services.
Here are some examples:
“#Pope how to get any woman to be interested in having [expletive] with you. Seriously, check this out [link]”
“#Pope [link] How to get any woman interested in you. In can’t believe how right they are about us.”
For the time being, most of them point to affiliate advertising websites that generate a profit for the spammers each time someone clicks on the links. However, some appear to take users to websites which claim to host adult videos.
In addition, major stories such as the Pope’s resignation can easily be exploited by cybercriminals to lure internauts to malware-serving or phishing websites.
That’s why all users are advised to avoid clicking on shady-looking links. Also beware of unsolicited emails that promise any content related to Pope Benedict XVI’s resignation.