Saudi prince becomes spam subject

Message claims Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Bin Abdulaziz Alsaud is seeking new business ventures

Tags: Cyber crimeIdentity theftSaudi ArabiaTrend Micro Middle East
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Saudi prince becomes spam subject Prince Al-Waleed bin Talal bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud. (Getty Images)
By  Vineetha Menon Published  April 27, 2010

A new spam campaign doing the rounds claims that billionaire Prince Al Waleed Bin Talal Al-Saud is exploring new international business ventures in his role as the chairman of the Kingdom Holding Company in Saudi Arabia.

The spam e-mail comes from a Yahoo! mail account with the Prince's name and includes accurate contact details of Kingdom Holdings.

A copy of the message, which itp.net received, reads:

In line with the recent international foray for profitable investment having across the globe, I seek this medium to increase my global and domestic alliances via various services Including Mortgage Banking, Micro Financing, Real Estate Business and a host of other profitable ventures.

If you think you are good in any of the mentioned business sector. Kindly contact me for possible business co-operation.

Nick Black, technical manager at internet security firm Trend Micro, believes the message reflects a higher level of detail and accuracy that's seen in today's spam.

"What we're seeing is a little bit more intelligence from what we saw three to five years ago. Moving forward it (spam) will become more and more smart. There's a hell of a lot of money involved in this industry and, as a result, they are attracting more talented people unfortunately," he explains.

Israel, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates have the highest levels of spam in the entire Middle East and Africa region, according to Trend Micro's worldwide spam assessment tool.

Black believes the region is more susceptible to such attacks because of a general lack of IT skills and awareness.

"Arabic spam will become more prevalent - as in messages in the Arabic language related to Arabic events targeted to Arabic speakers. The reason being perhaps the guys are less aware of trends, threats and vulnerabilities in this market. As a result, it becomes low-hanging fruit for cybercriminals," added Black.

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