Archive for the ‘spam’ Category

Any email function is a target

December 8, 2007

I regularly post in the Joel on Software forums. The JoS forums have a very simplistic interface, but they do have allow you to send an email to a poster who has provided their email address.

The thing is, there’s nothing stopping spammers from making use of that. The forum’s presumably-quite-effective Bayesian filters (there is usually very little spam) don’t seem to check emails out, and there’s not even a CAPTCHA.

I received my first spam email through JoS about 2 months ago, but none since. Until this week.

Spam from the Joel on Software forums

I use Gmail for my email, which is usually quite good at picking out spam, but, presumably thanks to the JoS connection, these spam messages are getting through just fine.

If you are offering users an option to send emails to third parties, you should take steps to try and prevent spam. Otherwise, spammers will take advantage of your name, your service, and your bandwidth to send emails – potentially even result in you ending up being blacklisted. And not entirely unfairly.


Of memes and mobiles: Part 2

August 16, 2007

A little over a year ago, I mentioned a noxious company called DC Marketing with a mobile phone scam. I’m afraid I’m a little late to this party, but the Australian Communications Media Authority fined them almost $150,000 a couple of weeks ago.

The system works!

Link: Article in the Sydney Morning Herald

Yeah, thanks for helping me trust you

July 30, 2007

Text message from my mobile phone provider (Optus) – emphasis is mine:

To get a free ringtone, call 966 and select 9 after the greeting. Call costs 30c/30secs, standard data charges apply, expires 30/08/07.

I’m not entirely sure which definition of free costs 30c/30secs and then some. I very much doubt that they’re going to be granting every caller enough intellectual property to describe it as libre.

Also, what sort of person would want to pay to get an unspecified ringtone?

Spam is boring.

July 28, 2007

Really? Couldn’t one of them mix in just a little of the stuff from their image spam brethren?

Hello, Mr Website. Would you like my password?

April 30, 2007

Over the last few days I’ve been “tagged” a few times from “”.

I hid the names to protect the guilty, though I’m not actually sure why I would want to do such a thing.

Anyway, a Google search revealed some people posting unbelievable things about it. One person even suggested that it required users to give it their email account’s password – and that they do it!

This had to be verified. I set up a Yahoo mail account, and signed up for Tagged. Turns out it didn’t ask you to give your email password. It requires you to give your email account’s password. It actually checks, as you’re doing this, that it is the right password.


People really are idiots.

After this, you get to click through – I kid you not – 10, count ’em, 10, offers, at after which you get to do whatever, I guess.

Meanwhile, having gained access to your email account, it logs and sends emails to spams everyone in your address book. Presumably it will then sell every address it finds to spammers.

The really shocking thing is, some of the people “tagging” me with this work in IT. They seem reasonably intelligent people, even. Yet they’re still giving the password for their primary (yes, their primary) email account to some site they just found on the internet, presumably because it spammed them!

Social engineering will never be solved. How can it be, if even so-called-professionals will surrender their passwords that easily?

Good JavaScript code takes advantage of its dynamic, functional nature.

December 6, 2006

The New Jersey State Federation of Sportsmen’s Clubs, Safari Club International and other hunting groups want the high court to overturn that decision.
Solve these problems once so you can get on to the interesting task of building the application.
That in itself is HUGE. It offers a replacement for the native browser XMLHttpRequest object that is slower, less fully-featured and does a bunch of crazy extra work behind the scenes. the Iraqi army, sharing separate ends of a heavily fortified former health club. Colin, our expert road tester, drove a. the best thing since sliced bread, but some hunters and Big Game Study Committee . property owners and homeowners associations should encourage deer hunting on their .
district of Nazaal and two US companies went house-to-house, hunting for guns .
Likewise, good documentation is invaluable.
the Kruger Park, and the Mozambican element, an old hunting concession called . the Iraqi army, sharing separate ends of a heavily fortified former health club.
Well, if money is factored into the equation and reliability is important, then.
That’s kind of like Oedipus hunting down the man who killed his father.
seen several mice venture into the main building, attracted to the dog dishes in .
the Iraqi army, sharing separate ends of a heavily fortified former health club. They even do it more responsibly because they use less fuel than SUVs.
According to Mexican law bounty hunting is illegal . It went OK, but I really should have spent more time getting the slides right. seen several mice venture into the main building, attracted to the dog dishes in . I am not sure what that says about my take on traffic accidents and dentists, however.
The park is to straddle three international borders, uniting game areas in South . the Iraqi army, sharing separate ends of a heavily fortified former health club.
Colin, our expert road tester, drove a. or Google Maps and everything breaks. Secondly, I never once shot Paul, the guide or a dog. I am not sure what that says about my take on traffic accidents and dentists, however.
Nissan has announced pricing of their new, full-size truck, the Titan.
You’d be crazy to miss it. While police called out a helicopter and dog tracker teams to comb the Indian . Don’t use libraries as crutches; if you’re not prepared to figure out what the library is doing for you you’ll end up in a world of pain further down the line. They cover the bases effectively and each one offers something interesting that makes it worth studying in its own right. I’ll report back on the experience later.

My spam is just getting weirder and weirder. Actually, it’s image spam, which I’m now receiving each day (and it’s pretty much exclusive these days). Happily, Gmail is successfully filtering the lot of it. I find it rather interesting that they’re going to all the trouble of coming up with a program to generate the text for these things.

Ah, testing… a truly useful thing!

August 15, 2006

From: using
hey, go here and we both get a free &lowercase_product_short_name;
pretty pretty please 🙂

Imagine! A free &lowercase_product_short_name;! Just what I’ve always wanted.

Why spam should be proofread…

August 9, 2006

Hello.It is a lovely day today, I am a lovely lady:)) and if you are a nice guy – just “Mister Right” for the right Lady please, find me at
Maybe we are living for together but we don’t know it yet?:)
How can we understand it? let’s start corresponding and we will see how good we are for each other!
a rivederci

Enough said.

Of memes and mobiles

July 12, 2006

Over the last few months, an unscrupulous company “DC Marketing” has been calling Australian mobile numbers at random, then hanging up after one ring. When calling back, you hear a voice message congratulating you on winning $40 “worth” of prizes, all you have to do is call this premium rate number…

I say $40 “worth” of prizes as the “prizes” seem to be ringtones and other such mobile junk. Given the ads for mobile content on TV (i.e. “Great (read: lame) emoticons for your mobile! (in small text) $4 per message sent and received. Minimum cost just $24/week”).

Frankly, I’m quite sick and tired of it all.

But on to the topic. A meme is a bit of cultural information – such as a catchphrase, or a jingle, or a fashion. Good memes include advice like steering in the direction of a skid; bad memes include things like the Crazy Frog ringtone (I had no trouble with the Insanity Test, but the ringtone became annoying very quickly).

Memes can be both created and also destroyed, as people are discouraged from using them. Ringing back on missed calls, even on numbers that you don’t recognise, is a courtesy, a good meme. However, this sort of behaviour is the sort that takes advantage of a meme and uses it to prey on people. I can only hope the meme will be lost before this lot makes too much money off it.

The advice going around these days is don’t return calls unless you recognise the number. At the very least, do a Google search first.

Meanwhile, after two and a half weeks of successfully avoiding doing anything constructive on that front, I finally got around to continuing my hobby project. It doesn’t do anything yet, and there’ll be a long time before it does, but I think I’ve now figured out how to use include files.