Halloween is less than a month away and vendors have already set up their stores to sell plenty of candies, pumpkins, decorations, costumes. Halloween represents big business for U.S. retailers.
Spammers are clearly not going to miss this opportunity to make some extra money. Several university websites, including byu.edu and bowdoin.edu, have been used to host spam about Halloween costumes. If accessed from Google, the spam pages redirect to buycostumes.com. The URL to buycostumes.com contains an affiliate ID which allows the spammer to get a commission (10% to 30% of the total purchase) from the store should a redirected user ultimately make a purchase.
|Spam blog about Halloween costumes|
A Wordpress blog with thousand of spam pages around variations of "Halloween" costumes has been installed on each site. On October 2nd, spammers managed to get their pages in the top results for a search of the term "Halloween express". The first link in Google pointed to bowdoin.edu, while the 10th link pointed to byu.edu. I've contacted both universities and the spam should be shutdown soon.
This is very similar to the spam for Mother's day that I reported in May 2010.