John McCain suffers fatal heart attack, claim drugstore spammers

Graham Cluley
Graham Cluley
@[email protected]

There seem to be no depths too low for spammers trying to peddle their goods to the public.

Today we are seeing a spate of new spam campaigns promoting an online Canadian pharmacy, using sensationalist subject lines about John McCain and Barack Obama.


Examples of subject lines used include:

  • McCane’s wife private video
  • McCane caught nude in public
  • McCane private secret
  • McCane died of heart stroke
  • Barak and McCane killed
  • Baraks tiny secret

What the spammers are trying to do here is get internet users to open their email. The subject line is the first thing that you see in your email inbox – if it’s not of interest to you, you probably won’t open it. So emails which pretend to be breaking news in the subject line are perhaps more likely to be opened than emails which are honest about being adverts for an online drug store.

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It’s curious that the spammers don’t spell the names of the two presidential rivals correctly – perhaps this is the spammers’ half-hearted attempts to sneak past spam filters? If that’s the case then they have failed.

But claiming that Barack Obama and John McCain have died, or that Cindy McCain has been exposed on video, takes a truly sick mind. Would you really want to buy anything from the kind of pond-life behind these emails?

Graham Cluley is an award-winning keynote speaker who has given presentations around the world about cybersecurity, hackers, and online privacy. A veteran of the computer security industry since the early 1990s, he wrote the first ever version of Dr Solomon's Anti-Virus Toolkit for Windows, makes regular media appearances, and is the co-host of the popular "Smashing Security" podcast. Follow him on Twitter, Mastodon, Threads, Bluesky, or drop him an email.

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