ColdFusion Muse

Clever and Deceptive Spamming Technique

Mark Kruger October 26, 2006 11:46 AM Humor and Life Comments (2)

In the past few weeks I've seen some spam that is cleverly disguised. It usually arrives addressed to someone else and CC'ed to a list of people (with me among the CCs). The intended recipient is usually someone with a corporate email address, often in the financial industry. The CC addresses are similar – perhaps all from that same investment company. In short, the message looks like an internal company memo. There is even a privacy and confidentiality statement at the bottom. The message I received this morning said "Good morning Cathy! The following LL commentaries are finalized. Thanks.". There were 2 word docs attached. After a bit of research and file scanning I opened them using a text reader. Each of them was a formatted press release touting analysis (internal company analysis) of a particular fund or stock.

The spammer wants me to think that somehow, my email got accidentally put into the CC address of an important internal company memo with insider information on an investment. That's definitely clever. There's no "buy now" sales pitch (which makes 90% of email readers yawn) and there's no flashy graphics.

The Spam Index

Someday I'm going to create a new kind of online index for spam. It could show the current and historical trends of spam messages. It could be broken down by sector and individual product. Of course the historical graph for Viagra and Cialis spam would have a sharply upward trend. I wonder if anyone would ever advertise canned meat using spam? The paradox just might alter the universe as we know it.

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  • TJ Downes's Gravatar
    Posted By
    TJ Downes | 10/26/06 12:55 PM
    This is the same concept they have been using for years with their phone call spamming to pump stocks.

    I am actually surprised to see this take so long to reach mainstream email spamming!
  • Michael Dinowitz's Gravatar
    Posted By
    Michael Dinowitz | 10/27/06 2:53 AM
    If you want to build the index of spam practices, I can give you the data. House of Fusion blocks a TON of spam while still recording it for review.