Technical Difficulties from on Top of the Mountain
2004-08-19
  Very clever junk mail
I don't get a whole lot of junk mail in my home email box because I try to be careful about giving out that address (I have yahoo accounts I give out instead), and my ISP does junk filtering. Occasionally some get through, and the vast majority get picked off few a few choice filter words like prescription. Once in a while one gets past even that, and since only six people email me on a regular basis, its pretty obvious that there's something strange. Like the email I got tonight from "Jeanette Ellis".

So, standard operating procedure is to engage a level five containment field, and then "view source". I've already got javascript disabled in email, but viewing source makes sure no images are loaded or any other actions taken. It also shows me all the tricks that spammers try to play with white text and font size=0 nonsense. At least it usually does.

This email was masterfully crafted. Better than a soft pitch, this was an email worded kind of like I would, were I sharing something interesting:

I got this forwarded to me from a friend of mine, thought you might want to see it.
link deleted
You can download [stuff] and there's no restrictions, and there's a helpful section that explains how to transfer it to a CD or your portable device. Drop me a line once you've checked it out, let me know what you think. Its pretty cool...
All text, no HTML tricks, no graphics. Heck I read the whole thing. No way I'm clicking on the link, but it was pretty impressive. There's just no way to filter for this kind of attack because its indistinguishable from normal human correspondence.
 
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