Application security

High volumes of Trump, Macron-themed spam emails may have forecast their victories

A new study indicates that the number of spam emails hitting inboxes may indicate who will win an election.

The Proofpoint study that tracked spam emails that used candidate names in recent U.S., French and the on-going U.K. parliamentary elections showed they are not only very well thought out and planned by the spammers, but also serve as an indicator of who might win. In the U.S. and French elections candidates Donald Trump and Emmanuel Macron not only one, but were the names most often used as a lure in spam emails.

The study found that it did not matter if the spam's subject lines were pro or con regarding the candidate, but if that person's “brand” was strong enough people would click. This indicates that the spammers pay a great deal of attention to polls, debate schedules and party conventions.

The best example was Trump whose polarizing campaign garnered much more interest than Hillary Clinton in the run up to Election Day. A similar trend happened in France as Macron began to separate himself in the polls from his competitor more spam using his name was sent.

 “The end result is that, at least in the US and French elections, relative volumes of both spam and combined spam and ham emails associated with each candidate provided advance insight into the election outcomes and public opinion. Higher spam volumes for both Trump and Macron were followed by victories by both candidates,” the study said.

The UK currently shows spam volumes between the Labour and Conservative parties almost even indicating a very close election.

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