Spammers Hijack Google Brand to Push Online Pharmacy

    February 17, 2011
    Chris Crum

Google Accredited Spam

Symantec’s MessageLabs Intelligence recently tracked a new pharmaceutical spam campaign that promotes an online pharmacy, claiming that it is "Google-accredited". 

"This is obvious brand hijacking: Google does not host or approve any pharmacy sites," a representative for the security firm tells WebProNews. 

"The spam message contains text promoting a drug for preventing hair loss and links to a blog set up on a popular free blogging site," she explains. "Anyone following the link will be directed to the spammer’s blog, which contains spam-related content and links to the spammer’s pharmaceutical site. An image contains the Google logo with the two ‘o’ letters replaced by differently-shaped tablets – a realistic technique given Google’s famous ‘doodles’."

"In the last two days alone, has automatically blocked over 250 similar spam-created blogs," the rep says. "Spammers clearly want to capitalize on Google’s universally known name and increasingly diverse product range to add legitimacy to their products. This type brand hijacking is a serious problem for well-known brands which can be potentially damaging to their reputation."

I don’t know how often people do their pharmaceutical shopping based on unsolicited email, but it’s certainly something to be aware of.


Chris Crum
Chris Crum has been a part of the WebProNews team and the iEntry Network of B2B Publications since 2003. Follow Chris on Twitter, on StumbleUpon, on Pinterest and/or on Google: +Chris Crum.