Spammers have wasted no time in piggy-backing on the swine flu scare in an attempt to peddle pharmaceuticals, and spam campaigns around the illness are already doing the rounds.
Researchers at McAfee Avert Labs over the weekend saw the first spam run that seeks to trick people into opening the e-mail messages by mentioning the swine flu.
This first spam campaign amounted to about 2% of global spam volume, according to McAfee Avert Labs.
So far the spammers have been advertising drugs and sending links to online pharmacies, using a network of compromised PCs to distribute their messages. However, McAfee Avert Labs predicts more nefarious scams are coming, including links malware laden Web sites.
In addition, the researchers have seen an increase in the registration of domain names that mention swine flu, which could indicate a rise in malicious sites that take advantage of the scare.
Subject lines for the swine flu messages include: First US swine flu victims; US swine flu statistics; Salma Hayek caught swine flu; Swine flu worldwide; Swine flu in Hollywood; Swine flu in USA; and Madonna caught swine flu.
Users are urged not to open the spam messages and not to click on the links embedded in the e-mails.