Donald Trump is well known for his claims to be the biggest and best and now he can make a new claim, having been named by Proofpoint as the most commonly used keyword in election-related spam.
The name Trump featuring in 53% of election-related spam email subject lines, beating the nearest rival “Obama” who had a paltry 6%. The closest keyword term to Trump was “democrat” with 11% of spam volume, followed by “election” on 10% and “republican” on 7%.
A search for the names of all candidates running for Congress produced negligible results for all but two candidates. Even though there were many popular, nationally-recognized names up for election, only Cruz and Pelosi had notable spam email volumes, albeit at a low level. The name Cruz was present in 4% of subject lines and Pelosi was in 2%.
Proofpoint notes that in the run up to the elections, higher spam volumes corresponded with positive results for the candidates in the United States, France, UK, and Germany. In the run up to the 2016 U.S. election, Trump spam was nine times as common as Clinton spam.
For the mid-terms, the results are not so clear although the higher number of “democrat” spam emails compared to “republican” spam emails did corresponded with the results for the House of Representatives with the Democrats securing a majority.
The analysis of the election-related spam landscape highlighted a common trend in spamming and phishing. The use of strong brand names to generate clicks on hyperlinks embedded in emails. The strongest brands are usually used by spammers to generate more clicks.
“Whether these brands are popular or polarizing, spammers include them in subject lines, email bodies, URL landing pages, social media comments, and more to drive clicks and eyeballs, even if the actual spam or affiliate pages are completely unrelated to politics,” notes Proofpoint.