Application security, Threat Management

Report: ‘Trump’ most common spam term during run-up to elections

The president himself may not be up for election in 2018, yet "Trump" is the most common term used in election-themed spam campaigns, according to a new report from Proofpoint

Starting Sept. 27, Proofpoint researchers searched its spam filters for subject lines and email bodies containing various political terms, candidates and power players. In a corporate blog post yesterday, the company reported that in all political party-related searches, the term "trump" "appeared 4.6 times as often as the next nearest term, 'democrat', and 10 percent more often than all other search terms combined."

The terms "election", "republican" and "obama" were the next three most commonly used terms in spam emails. Cruz and Pelosi were the two most commonly referenced high-profile candidates, the report continued.

"Midterm elections are frequently regarded as a referendum on the sitting President, regardless of the other candidates on the ballot," the report said. "...The centrality of 'trump' as a brand and driver is reflected in the volume of spam emails. As our previous studies have shown, spam campaigners understand the value of brands, and for spam as for ballots, and whether for or against, the election is all about Trump."

Proofpoint also noted social media spam volumes increasing by more than 200 percent from August through September, with approximately five percent of messages featuring political topics or leveraging political accounts and pages.

Bradley Barth

As director of multimedia content strategy at CyberRisk Alliance, Bradley Barth develops content for online conferences, webcasts, podcasts video/multimedia projects — often serving as moderator or host. For nearly six years, he wrote and reported for SC Media as deputy editor and, before that, senior reporter. He was previously a program executive with the tech-focused PR firm Voxus. Past journalistic experience includes stints as business editor at Executive Technology, a staff writer at New York Sportscene and a freelance journalist covering travel and entertainment. In his spare time, Bradley also writes screenplays.

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