Because of my long-time use of email — same email address for more than fifteen years — I get a lot of spam. One type that has surged in recent days is a peculiar Facebook/LinkedIn scam. The email purports to be from Facebook, informing you that “<Islamic/Arabic name> wants to be friends.” While it’s identified as “Facebook” the return email address involves em.LinkedIn.com.
But it goes somewhere else, of course, and installs a password-sniffing virus enabling the bad guys to drain your bank account or any other credit account you use.
In the last week, I’ve received several hundred of these. Every single name fit a familiar pattern — except for one. I actually do have Islamic/Arabic-named friends, including folks in Egypt affected by the Arab Spring there — but I don’t use a Facebook account associated with the email addresses these came in on. (I’m not using Facebook at all, really.) Here’s a sample: Continue reading