Jacob Haller (jwgh) wrote,
Jacob Haller
jwgh

secrets of the spammers revealed

For those of you wondering why the spam you get isn't as cool as the stuff I get, here's a little dissection of the latest Captain Blood spam I got. (mskala suggested that something like this was the case after I made my first post about these spams a while back.)

These spams are sent formatted in HTML. For instance the first line of the spam I just got has the following underlying HTML code:
<DIV><FONT face=Arial>Hello, do <SPAN style="DISPLAY: none">plantations as a slave.</SPAN>you want to spend Iess on your drrugs?</FONT></DIV>
The 'SPAN style="DISPLAY: none"' bit means that everything between that and the </SPAN> tag isn't supposed to be displayed, so in most web browsers and email programs it ends up looking like this:
Hello, do you want to spend Iess on your drrugs?
Which makes it pretty clear that they are selling drugs and also that they don't know how to spell. (Also note that they substitute a capital 'i' for the lowercase 'L' in 'less', since both appear the same in the font they specified [Helvetica]. They probably did this also to throw off spam filters.)

But I use Eudora and have configured it to ignore <font> tags, so I get the whole shebang:
Hello, do plantations as a slave.you want to spend Iess on your drrugs?
So only I (and others with email programs like mine) will know that these people are really selling 'LEngland where a man of your parts would be warmly welcomed. ThereEVlTRA', which is oddly apt.

It's sort of like backwards masking except dumber.

And now you know the rest of the story.
Tags: spam
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