As Election Day approaches, scammers are capitalizing on the controversial 2016 race to increase malicious election-themed emails. Subject lines, such as “Donald Trump’s Secret Letter” and “Hillary Clinton meeting with an ISIS leader,” are luring individuals to click on links that lead to malicious JavaScripts (62 percent), or generic Trojans and the Dridex banking malware (15 percent) downloads.

On Wednesday, Symantec reported that they blocked nearly 8 million spam emails containing election-related content, subject lines or attachments between mid-September and mid-October. During that one month period, the number of election-themed spam “steadily increased, with large spikes in activity on Sept. 27 (almost 500K blocked emails) and again Oct. 10 (just over 400K), the day after the second presidential debate.”

These scams also go beyond emails. Botnets can also pollute the victim’s social media accounts with unwanted content. Professor Philip Howard of Oxford University, Professor Bence Kolanyi of Budapest’s Cornivus University and amuel Woolley of University Washington concluded their research on this topic in a published research paper last Friday. Of the 20 percent of approximately 9 million election-related Twitter comments posted from September 26-29, 1/3 have been pro-Trump/anti-Hillary Twitter traffic and 1/5 were pro-Clinton/Anti-Trump Twitter traffic generated by bots.

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