Disappointing Spam

Amused this morning when two adjacent spam emails were 1) a phishing spam for a bank, and 2) a purported anti-phishing security report. Imagine my disappointment when I opened the second and realized the Subject: line was bogus, and it was really some religious spam. Not as funny.

Brutally honest phising spam

I got a refreshingly direct and honest phishing spam email today; in fact the only real complaint I have about it is how confusingly it’s written. It simply asks you to send them your username and password. No tricks, no fancy hidden links or disguised graphics. Just a plain old request for your password via email.

Dear Webmail User,
This message was sent automatically by a program on Webmail …
Your mailbox has exceeded the storage limit set by your administrator. …

To help us re-set your SPACE on our database prior to maintain your INBOX,you must contact your system administrator by replying this e-mail and enter your: Current Username: { } and PW: { } to increase your storage limit.

Thank you for your cooperation.

The best thing is: what username and password? They don’t even know what email system you think you use! I suppose I’d have to guess they’re targeting hotmail users for storing dictionaries of user/password word frequencies, since the only two links are to hotmail and live.com.

The mail came from Rubinoc@arcadia.edu apparently at BISHOP.arcadia.edu for those curious.

Calling Akismet/WordPress Gurus: fight evil trackbacks

Apologies if I’m overreacting – it’s been a long day.

Has anyone else seen wierd trackbacks from elliottback dot com show up on their blogs, esp. WordPress ones?  I just got an odd one, which simply led to a WordPress blog with zero original content – just trackback’d entries, which are all posted to that blog as if they were the other person’s blog post.  Oh, sorry, they’re all credited as:

“Original post by blah blah and software by Eliott the Google Adwords shyster”

Of course, this guy apparently runs a bunch of other no-original-content blogs (from my admittedly 5 minute searching) which all include only targeted trackback posts from other blogs – and of course, a huge Google AdWords install.

Is it just me, or do I have some backing in being a mite pissed off?  I mean, really, I’m totally small potatoes in the blogosphere, so I really don’t expect to be the target of leeches.  (And Akismet makes spammers work invisible, which is perfect – thanks, Akismet-folk!)

Spammers Untie! Save those millions!

Wait, that’s not right – it should be Spammers Unite!  Reading too much spam makes splelleing hard.

Actually, no more spam here thanks to Akismet.  Oddly enough I get a fair amount at my work at &BigCo;, one of which is quite funny so I’ll share.  (edited to prevent errant google hits)

“This is greeting from China-type Automation Corp!
We like to introduce our new developed product — XXYY Large-capacity Super Safe ty Suitcase… which is designed for schleping or transferring big amount of cash and valuables. …
The dimensions of XXYY Safe ty Suitcase is 18×13.6×7.2 inches, it big enough to put USD 1.5 million of cash in it. … most remarkable character of product is function of high voltage shock spread all over the surface!  makes suitcase effective in protection and counter-attack. “

And on it goes.  There – that’s how spammers can transport their millions, safe in the knowledge that while “electric pulse voltage is over 30KV”, it is “…very small, it doesn’t hurt one’s health.”

Oh, but there’s less to do with Akismet!

Along with switching to the K2 theme, I took CJD’s advice and installed Akismet.  Now I get a nice little page telling me how many spams were caught each day.  It’s a beautiful thing.

It was easy to install, and I like how they set it up.  The only drawback is that they re-post each incoming comment across the web to match with their database.  The privacy advocate in me is a little questioning of that, but really, since this is a public web site, it doesn’t much matter.  I mean, people are going to read the (successful, non-spam) comments on the web anyway, so why do I care if someone else’s database might possibly be keeping a copy.

No! Wait! Don’t read that!  (Sorry – stupid Sci-Fi movie where the linguistics expert is going into the newly discovered egyptian tomb and reading – aloud – the inscriptions on the wall.  She’s not bad – she’s just scripted that way.  The mummy’s not actually moving yet, but is now awake.  If you can just remember some simple rules, then you will have little problem surviving if you suddenly find yourself in the middle of a horror movie… like never reading inscriptions aloud.)

Linked-In spam – the fun and friendly kind

A new form of friendly spam. Searching for old friends and co-workers/cow-workers on professional networking sites like linkedin, and then sending them invites to join your network.

It’s kind of fun, reminiscing over people you worked with ages ago you wanted to have an excuse to get in contact with again. Especially when you take the boilerplate “introduction” email the systems give you and re-write it to be funny.

Well, I thought it was funny anyway. Will pimp my “linkedinlisting” later, once I have a big enough score on my list.