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November 26, 2003
Odd Spam

I have, over the past couple days, received the oddest spam.

There is no HTML or other code in the mail - just ordinary plain old text. (I read my mail, both personal and work, with mutt, which is a plain-text mail reader for Unix/Linux - hidden or obfuscated code in mail is readily apparent, and harmless to me.) (Yes, HTML mail is evil. Stop using it.)

There is no actual advertising in the mail. There's not a sales pitch of any sort whatsoever in it. Here is a verbatim copy of the latest:

Page 39
again. But there are other things besides burglars that are discovered in empty houses where lights are seen moving."

"You mean coiners," said Oswald at once. "I wonder what the reward is for setting the police on their track?"

Dicky thought it ought to be something fat, because coiners are always a desperate gang; and the machinery they make the coins with is so heavy and handy for knocking down detectives.

Then it was tea-time, and we went in; and Dora and H.O. had clubbed their money together and bought a melon; quite a big one, and only a little bit squashy at one end. It was very good, and then we washed the seeds and made things with them and with pins and cotton. And nobody said any more about watching the house next door.

Like I said, rather odd. I'm guessing that the body of the mail is an attempt to get past Bayesian filters. But no sales pitch? Weird.

The strangest bit, though, is that the "Subject" line of the mail contains my last name and one of my previous mailing addresses, followed by the only thing that indicates a spammish nature, the phrase "Preemptive Loan Statement."

I did a whois lookup on the sender's domain. Yep -- big-time spammers.

These spammers are getting to be pretty bizarre. I wonder if I'm paranoid enough. What I'd really like to know is: who sold them my e-mail and snail-mail addresses?

Death's too good for them all... but I'll settle for dismemberment if I have to.

Posted by Russ at 08:24 AM, November 26, 2003 in Geekery

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My favorite is the HTML spam with weird random dictionary words as HTML comments (I use KMail with HTML rendering turned off). Some of the word combinations are occasionally quite entertaining, and I'm not sure of the point since SpamBayes is doing just fine filing them in my "Spam" folder.

Posted by: Ian S. at December 10, 2003 11:12 AM