For Gold, Peace, and Freedom


Adventures in Spam: The Hidden URL

May 20th, 2007

While sifting through another batch of spam yesterday, I ran across a tactic that I do not see very often but is still somewhat interesting. I am not sure about its effectiveness, however.

Most of the time, spammers always place at least one active link in each email that is sent. Usually they will either put multiple links in one mail or use only one link per mail but blast us with lots of separate mails, hoping that we will click on at least one of their links. This tactic follows the general theory of “if you keep throwing mud at it, some of it will eventually stick”.

The spammers behind this latest series of mails are trying out a different method, however. Instead of throwing out lots of links, they are burying their whole sales pitch within snippets of seemingly random text. The text fragments are recognizable as English writing but do not really make much sense when read as normal sentences. They are probably designed to fool spam filters into thinking that the email is actually legitimate.

After a few lines of ad copy, rather than simply inserting a normal hyperlink, the spammers place the domain name of their landing page in all caps with a blank space both before and after the period in the .com extension. Apparently, they are hoping that users will see the curiously worded ad copy, somehow become convinced that they are so desperate to lose weight that they need to buy weight loss products from random spammers, and then reconstruct the text of the domain name and type it into the address bar of their browser.

I have received several different versions of these types of mails over the past three days. Each one has a slightly different title and uses varying pieces of text, but the ad copy and domain that is cushioned in the middle is always the same. Here is a good example of what I am describing:

Subject: NEWS regular

designer is an architect then probably a planning a building. There for it’s existence - it can keep an identity distinct from the communications in a different way - an area of communications they had- hey, presto- 200 false definitions! This confusion is

which is utterly lacking of the physical and tangible.This difficult concept are not able to explore a locale with your five senses. It is of desirable clothing. Then, ones appearance will be viewed in a me that computer. He had said that he was going to upgrade to a

Valued customer,

It’s Summertime!

Time to look nice on the sandy beach.

Now You Too Can Lqse 10 To 25 Pounds

Quickly And Safely In Lezs Than 30 Days

Get your free bottles of Hoqdia Maxx, while supplies last

[spammer’s domain] [space] [dot] [space] [COM]

*omit empty spaces

over his/her work with a computer. The process of mixing colour future, I fear to question..? If technology overwhelms the medium being instructed are affected. With basic skills in drafting are still I began working in a sign shop about three years ago. this was a
undefined. This means that I am writing about nothing on a computer monitor accomplishing nothing, to sitting long hours of and applications which enable artists to create a variety of least some artists, I strongly feel that other artists will begin

INTERNET. A Canadian researcher communicating in English may for the better or worse. With the acceptance of the INTERNET in these drawings and designs would have been more artistic and Design/Drafting application. The AutoCad design package is a
trying to set up my own business, I am more aware of the true products, or real estate. They would not find it useful to of writing, I am eager to tap the dynamics of the realm of as well in a computer system as in the real world. He created a

Out of curiosity, I checked the domain and it does resolve to an actual site that is selling a certain infamous weight loss product. At the bottom of each page, they even had a “Manatee Chamber of Commerce” logo for that extra touch of legitimacy. Wow! I do not know how well this little tactic has been working out for our intrepid spammer, but I guess when you’re a really desperate marketer, you do whatever you have to do…

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