The Marshal Trace security team says the latest Storm spam campaign has been timed to coincide with the start of the NFL season. The message lures recipients to a fake NFL website with the enticement of a "free NFL game tracker" - a utility that supposedly updates fans on game results.
The so-called tracker is, however, a variant of the widely distributed Storm Trojan. Users are lured to download the tracker and by doing so download the Trojan, which is used to steal data on their machines and create other backdoors for hackers.
"This new campaign featuring the NFL tracker is not just designed to target ardent NFL fans but also to exploit the emerging popularity of web-based Fantasy leagues," said Bradley Anstis, director of product management at Marshal.
"The Storm Gang are experts at manipulating the latest trends in internet usage to lure unsuspecting web users into their traps, so their move to target the NFL and Fantasy leagues is not unexpected," he said.
The Storm Gang is now responsible for up to 20% of all spam traffic worldwide. The same gang recently launched a YouTube spamming campaign to distribute the Storm Trojan.