June 26, 2007

New Method Embeds Spam in PDF Documents

Here is the good news: the amount of image spam in your mailbox may begin dropping off. The bad news: that's because at least one spammer is switching from... (read more)

Posted by chip at 02:39 AM to: Spam
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March 16, 2006

Spam Sign

Lazyweb: I wonder if there is a tool that would reduce the following collection of text lines to a minimal matching regular expression. $EEK$UALLY E}}{PLICIT $EEXUALY EK$PLICIT $EKK$UALY EK$PLICITT $EK$UAALY... (read more)

Posted by chip at 07:18 PM to: Spam
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February 18, 2006

Bob Gammage, Spammer for Governor

The Bob Gammage for Governor campaign has started spamming me. Sorry, Bob, I vote for politicians that want to end spam, not ones who do it. Political spam is ugly... (read more)

Posted by chip at 09:33 AM to: Current Events, Spam
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February 14, 2005

Gregg Knaupe, Spammer for City Council

Gregg Knaupe is running for a seat on the Austin City Council. Gregg Knaupe is also a spammer. Greg scraped the City of Austin web site, downloaded the list of... (read more)

Posted by chip at 08:24 PM to: Austin, Spam
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January 19, 2005

Tsunami Relief Spammer Caught

In a previous article, I complained about spammers who were pretending to collect funds for tsunami victims. Turns out, the practice became widespread quite quickly. Now comes some good news.... (read more)

Posted by chip at 12:28 PM to: Current Events, Spam
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January 09, 2005

Worst. Spam. Ever.

It's been an awful long time since I've been upset or offended by a spam message. I recently received a spam from one of the Nigerian fraud spam gangs. The... (read more)

Posted by chip at 01:55 PM to: Current Events, Spam
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May 17, 2004

Spam with your Salsa

Recently, I ordered a gift box of salsa from Jardine's Foods (of Buda) for my mom. Jardine gave me an extra little present that is causing me indigestion: they started... (read more)

Posted by chip at 05:16 PM to: Austin, Spam
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May 04, 2004

Spam Assassin versus Movable Type

Spam Assassin and Movable Type got into a little tussle today. I have comment notification enabled, so I can see whenever somebody posts a comment to my blog and I... (read more)

Posted by chip at 03:34 PM to: Blogging 'bout Blogging, Spam
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April 29, 2004

Movable Type "better_spam_protect" Plug-In

Link: Software Archive: better_spam_protect In the Movable Type weblog system, the names of entry and comment authors often are linked to their email address. Movable Type has a spam_protect feature... (read more)

Posted by chip at 10:48 PM to: Blogging 'bout Blogging, Software, Spam
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March 13, 2004

SXSW: Per-Message Email Charges Won't Fly

Last month I wrote about stopping spam by placing a per-message charge on email. I think it's a bad idea. The proposal is getting a lot of serious attention, though,... (read more)

Posted by chip at 02:21 PM to: Spam
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February 06, 2004

Drastic Re-engineering to Stop Spam

Many people advocate solving the spam problem by discarding the current email infrastructure and replacing it with something with something new. This approach is gaining added attention. Bill Gates predicted... (read more)

Posted by chip at 04:53 PM to: Spam
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January 18, 2004

New Email Address Obfuscation Technique

In a recent article I discussed using Javascript to protect email addresses on web pages from harvesting by spammers. Most common techniques use Javascript to synthesize an address and insert... (read more)

Posted by chip at 11:49 PM to: Spam
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December 05, 2003

On Javascript Email Obfuscation

In a recent entry I discussed the "entity encoding obfuscation" technique to protect email addresses posted to web pages from spammers, and I demonstrated it is ineffective. So, the obvious... (read more)

Posted by chip at 02:42 PM to: Spam
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November 30, 2003

And So It Begins

I knew once Congress passed the CAN-SPAM act it would only be a matter of time before the spammers responded. The response I expected would be for them to start... (read more)

Posted by chip at 10:10 PM to: Spam
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November 26, 2003

Popular Spam Protection Technique Doesn't Work

Spammers obtain their list of victims primarily by harvesting web pages. They use special address extraction software that will spider a site and extract all of the email addresses off... (read more)

Posted by chip at 05:03 PM to: Spam
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November 21, 2003

Reviewing S.877

Link: Substitute Version of S.877 (CAN-SPAM) (110KB PDF document) C-Net is reporting that the U.S. House and Senate have reached a compromise on the CAN-SPAM act. The bill has passed... (read more)

Posted by chip at 06:38 PM to: Spam
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Bye Bye, Ma Bell

I just phoned SBC and asked them to terminate my phone service. Come Monday, I will be without wired phone service. Between cable Internet and cellular phone, it just wasn't... (read more)

Posted by chip at 03:16 PM to: My Happy Life, Spam, Technology
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November 19, 2003

Searching for a Domain Registrar

Google Keywords: domain registrar, Dotster, spam, stupid gits. Although not the cheapest, I've been satisfied with Dotster as a domain registrar. Then, they decided to spam the tech contact of... (read more)

Posted by chip at 01:13 PM to: Spam, The Net
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October 07, 2003

Apology to my Spam Victims

Last Friday was not a good day. 72,996 AOL users were spammed from my mail server. I'm not talking about one of those incidents where my domain was forged into... (read more)

Posted by chip at 04:22 PM to: Spam
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September 17, 2003

Verisign Greed Breaks the Internet

Link: Verisign redirects error pages. Verisign, the operator of the largest databases for Internet domains, has taken greed to a new level. This week, they implemented a new service to... (read more)

Posted by chip at 12:49 AM to: Spam, The Net
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August 25, 2003

Texas AG Weighs in on Spam

Link: Can Texas Lasso Spam? The linked article, from the Foat Wurth Startlegram, discusses the pending Texas spam law and quotes me being skeptical. It says the Texas Attorney General... (read more)

Posted by chip at 11:13 PM to: Spam
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August 12, 2003

Microsoft Issues Patch for Buggy Lawsuit

Link: Microsoft says sorry to 'spammer' This is a followup to an article I posted in June. Microsoft had just unleashed a torrent of lawsuits against spammers. It appeared, however,... (read more)

Posted by chip at 12:53 AM to: Spam
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August 07, 2003

News on the Texas Spam Law

Link: Legislation signals round one in the battle of spam. (News 8 Austin) In the linked story, I talked to News 8 Austin about the impending Texas spam law. Regular... (read more)

Posted by chip at 10:23 PM to: Austin, Spam
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August 06, 2003

Spam of the Month: Aug 2003

We are less than a week into the month, and I'm pretty sure I've got this month's winner already. This spam comes from Hong Kong, with a subject of: Subject:... (read more)

Posted by chip at 04:29 PM to: Spam
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August 03, 2003

Ain't no Apricot Seeds in the Pokey

Link: Bellerose Man Convicted Of Selling Apricot Pits As Remedy Jason Vale was never one of the most significant spammers, but he was one of the more persistent and... (read more)

Posted by chip at 09:00 PM to: Spam
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July 09, 2003

How to Cover Your Spamming Ass, Correctly

Link: Dean for Texas (spam sample). This is a case study in spam: how to handle a bad incident so that it doesn't damage your organization. Over the weekend, an... (read more)

Posted by chip at 01:23 AM to: Spam
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July 02, 2003

Who Killed SB 12?

Link: . . . And On The 1st Day Of July, Assembly Committee Proclaims: “Let There Be Spam!” More bad news for California spam victims. SB 12 promised to be... (read more)

Posted by chip at 11:53 AM to: Spam
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Filtering No Silver Bullet

Link: Fooling Bayes (Joho the Blog) David Weinburger is surprised a spam message got through his Bayesian filter and into his mailbox. I'm not. New anti-spam methods can be very... (read more)

Posted by chip at 11:39 AM to: Spam
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June 30, 2003

CA Supremes: Spam not Trespass

Link: State's high court upholds right of ex-Intel mass mailer. One of the arguments against spam is that it represents a trespass of private property. Today, the California Supreme Court... (read more)

Posted by chip at 05:25 PM to: Spam
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June 29, 2003

Proposed Spam Solution Proved a Failure

Last week, registration was opened for the national "Do Not Call" list. The list has been flooded with requests, with nearly three-quarters of a million phone numbers registered in the... (read more)

Posted by chip at 06:29 PM to: Spam
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June 26, 2003

Microsoft Takes Aim in Spam War, Shoots Foot

Link: "Spammer" Protests Innocence. Houston....errr, London...we have a problem. You know all those lawsuits Microsoft has been filing against spammers? Well, it looks like Microsoft may have snared an innocent... (read more)

Posted by chip at 05:31 PM to: Spam
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Earthlink Sez: It is not Spam

This is an Administrative Message from EarthLink. It is not spam. From time to time EarthLink will send you such messages in order to communicate important information about your... (read more)

Posted by chip at 01:54 PM to: Spam
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June 25, 2003

Snpajtev This, Spammer

Do not adjust your set. The wobbly letters you see in the graphic are part of the new Microsoft Hotmail/Passport registration procedure. When you try to register for an account,... (read more)

Posted by chip at 01:42 PM to: Spam
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June 24, 2003

Microsoft Responds to Spam

Link: Toward a Spam-Free Future Microsoft has launched if not an all-out war, then at least a significant publicity blitz against spam. Last week, Microsoft announced a number of lawsuits... (read more)

Posted by chip at 04:09 PM to: Spam
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June 21, 2003

UT, Spammer Tussle in Court

Link: UT Singles Out Site that Seeks Single Longhorns. White Buffalo spammed 57,000 email users at the University of Texas. UT responded by blocking them. White Buffalo sued, but lost.... (read more)

Posted by chip at 10:09 PM to: Austin, Spam
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June 14, 2003

Hi, Jerkwad

I recently discussed a Hotmail vulnerability that is being exploited by spammers. I've been seeing spam from this source for about three months. Two days after the article was posted... (read more)

Posted by chip at 11:04 PM to: Spam
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June 11, 2003

Hotmail DAV Spam: Worse than I Thought

I recently blogged an article pointing out a problem that is allowing spammers to relay junk email through Hotmail. Like so many Microsoft problems, it's caused by bad system design:... (read more)

Posted by chip at 04:17 PM to: Spam
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June 10, 2003

News of Hotmail Vulnerability Circulating

On Saturday night I blogged an article discussing a Hotmail vulnerability that is being exploited by spammers. The problem has been getting progressively worse over the past three months, without... (read more)

Posted by chip at 02:03 AM to: Spam
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June 07, 2003

Finally! The Argument Against E-Postage

Link: An Overview of E-Postage. (826KB PDF) I recently blogged a pointer to John Levine's critique of challenge-response anti-spam systems. There is another bad anti-spam technology people have been talking... (read more)

Posted by chip at 11:54 PM to: Spam
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Hotmail Vulnerability Being Exploited by Spammers

A new--but not well known--Microsoft vulnerability is being exploited by spammers, creating even more junk mail in your inbox.... (read more)

Posted by chip at 09:10 PM to: Spam
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May 27, 2003

Open Letters to Spammers

My friend Mark is satisfied with the endowment bestowed on him by his creator. He has had enough. Larry Lessig, on the other hand, would like more.... (read more)

Posted by chip at 08:38 PM to: Spam
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May 25, 2003

Freelotto can go to Hell

My mail server is under attack by freelotto.com. Over the past week, Freelotto has spammed the non-existent user ldjones@unicom.com 368 times. And it didn't start last week, they've been at... (read more)

Posted by chip at 04:05 PM to: Spam
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May 21, 2003

HB 1282: Rolling Again

The Bad Texas Spam Bill passed out of committee last night. It's now on its way to the Senate floor, where it's certain to be approved. It is, however, a... (read more)

Posted by chip at 11:11 AM to: Austin, Spam
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May 19, 2003

HB 1282: Weighing In

The hearing on the Bad Texas Spam Bill is scheduled for tomorrow. I've spent the last week amassing a packet that I will be delivering as part of my testimony.... (read more)

Posted by chip at 09:42 PM to: Spam
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Felten on Challenge-Response

Link: A Challenging Response to Challenge-Response. Prof. Ed Felten has added his voice to those concerned about challenge-response anti-spam systems. He makes the excellent point that the early adopters... (read more)

Posted by chip at 10:20 AM to: Spam
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May 17, 2003

Challenge-Response Harmful to Mailing Lists

Link: TidBITS Policy on Challenge-Response I recently blogged an argument against challenge-response anti-spam systems. I was glad to see it, but concerned it may be a tad inscrutable to the... (read more)

Posted by chip at 07:32 PM to: Spam
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May 13, 2003

HB 1282: Article on the Bad Spam Bill

Link: Texas Spam Bill: Who We Trying To Help Here? I wrote an article on HB 1282 for Kuro5hin, a web site with community written news and commentary. The article... (read more)

Posted by chip at 09:17 PM to: Spam
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Finally! The Argument Against Challenge-Response

Link: John Levine: Challenge-response systems are as harmful as spam A new--and rather evil--wave is sweeping the net. More people are using challenge-response (C-R) systems to protect their email inboxes... (read more)

Posted by chip at 09:04 PM to: Spam
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HB 1282: No News is ... No News

The Senate Committee on Business and Commerce recessed this morning without calling up HB 1282, the Bad Texas Spam Bill. The next meeting hasn't been scheduled yet. I'm concerned they... (read more)

Posted by chip at 10:50 AM to: Austin, Spam
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May 09, 2003

Bad Texas Spam Bill: Ball is in Their Court

Over the past few days, more people have discovered the bad Texas spam bill that's been sailing through the legislature. We've made our opening bid, and now we are waiting... (read more)

Posted by chip at 03:19 PM to: Austin, Spam
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May 07, 2003

Bad Texas Spam Bill: Score One for the Good Guys

The bad Texas spam bill I recently discussed was on a bullet train for passage. Tonight, that train got derailed.... (read more)

Posted by chip at 01:04 AM to: Austin, Spam
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May 05, 2003

Bad Bill or No Bill: The Texas Spam Dilemma

A new anti-spam bill is sailing through the Texas legislature. There's just one problem: it's a really bad bill. Is it better than nothing? I fear not. I think it... (read more)

Posted by chip at 07:38 PM to: Austin, Spam
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March 13, 2003

New Spam Meme

Link: Spam's Cost To Business Escalates. (Washington Post) Oh golly, is it that time again? Seems every 2-3 months, the conventional thinking on email spam changes. The most recent meme... (read more)

Posted by chip at 09:10 PM to: Spam
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February 22, 2003

MSN/Hotmail Closing the Barn Doors

Links: Microsoft Going after Hotmail Spammers (News.com, Feb 18), Microsoft Planning more Spam Suits (News.com, Feb 19) In a previous article, I discussed the magnitude of the dictionary attack problem... (read more)

Posted by chip at 04:57 PM to: Spam
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February 13, 2003

Austin City Boosters Get Desperate, Sleazy

Thing are getting so desperate in Austin that the city boosters are resorting to spam. To: chris sherman <chris@greateraustin.com> From: "chris sherman @ GreaterAustin" <chris@GreaterAustin.com> Subject: Invite: Austin Small Business... (read more)

Posted by chip at 05:46 PM to: Austin, Spam
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February 09, 2003

Yeah, Well You Smell Funny

I've received this terribly obnoxious spam several times over the past week. To: "" <chip@unicom.com> From: "Pavol Viluda" <www.designgalaxy.net@mail.soaustin.net> Subject: STOP UGLY WEBSITES! USE PREMADE WEBDESIGN SERVICES Date: Sun, 9... (read more)

Posted by chip at 11:20 PM to: Spam
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February 04, 2003

Leave No Spammer Behind

Link: Spam Composition It's a delight to see somebody taking on one of the most troubling parts of the spam epidemic: that atrocious grammar! (thanks Justin)... (read more)

Posted by chip at 05:56 PM to: It Amuses Me, Spam
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February 03, 2003

FTC Schedules Spam Workshop

Link: FTC to Hold Three Day Public Spam Workshop The FTC is scheduling a 3-day workshop this spring (April 30 through May 2) to "address the proliferation of unsolicited commercial... (read more)

Posted by chip at 01:54 PM to: Spam
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February 01, 2003

We're from TRUSTe and We're Here to Help

Link: TRUSTe on spam and industry adopting best practices TRUSTe wants to do for the spam problem what they've done for Internet privacy. This concerns me. I'm not concerned they... (read more)

Posted by chip at 08:51 PM to: Spam
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January 31, 2003

Save the Oppressed Telemarketers!

Link: DMA Sues FTC Over "Do Not Call" List "The FTC is singling out this form of advertising now, what will be next?" said H. Robert Wientzen, the [Direct Marketing... (read more)

Posted by chip at 12:44 PM to: Spam
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January 18, 2003

Larry Lessig Bets His Job

Link: Putting my Job Where my Mouth Is I hate to kick a guy when he's down, but if Larry Lessig likes teaching law, he'd better hope Congress doesn't pass... (read more)

Posted by chip at 01:43 PM to: Spam
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January 17, 2003

Guest-the-Spam Contest Winner

Now that I finally got off my ass and posted the year-end spam numbers, I can at long last announce the winner of the First Annual IJTLCSH Guess-the-Spam Contest. The... (read more)

Posted by chip at 11:18 PM to: Spam
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Twelve Minutes

Throughout 2002, on average, some imbecile tried to spam me every 12 minutes. My total spam count for the year was about 45,000 messages. That's about 120 spams a day--one... (read more)

Posted by chip at 10:52 PM to: Spam
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January 05, 2003

Why are MSN and Hotmail Users Flooded with Spam?

Link: Spammers Grab Hotmail and MSN addresses MSN and Hotmail users are awash with spam. Microsoft is so bad, it fails the "Mom Test." My mother pays the Microsoft premium... (read more)

Posted by chip at 03:36 PM to: Spam
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January 01, 2003

An Unhelpful Analysis

Link: The Spam Problem: Moving Beyond RBLs This recently posted article really does not advance the spam discussion in any helpful fashion. It's particularly unfortunate that Slashdot chose to post... (read more)

Posted by chip at 06:04 PM to: Spam
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December Spamcon Newsletter Released

Link: Issue #32: Harming Spammers Fiscally Proves Tricky The December email newsletter from Spamcon has just been published. It talks about why AOL's anti-spam lawsuits are helpful, even though AOL... (read more)

Posted by chip at 04:06 PM to: Spam
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He's Dead, Jim

Here is another update--maybe the final update--on my "invasion of privacy" spammer. (first posted Dec 23 and updated Dec 29) It appears that our spammer is no longer with us.... (read more)

Posted by chip at 03:15 PM to: Spam
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December 30, 2002

Guess-the-Spam Contest

With great fanfare, I'm pleased to announce the First Annual IJTLCSH Guess-the-Spam Contest. It's good clean fun for the whole family, and your chance to win a fabulous prize. The... (read more)

Posted by chip at 12:02 AM to: Spam
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December 29, 2002

Spammer Host Surfaces: Innocent Victim or Spammer Chutzpah?

Last week, I wrote about a horribly rude and invasive spam I received for a web site hosted at www.amazinghealthconcepts.com. (View a copy of the original spam here.) The network... (read more)

Posted by chip at 12:05 PM to: Spam
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December 23, 2002

Spammer Says: We Know Who You Are, We Know Where You Live

When you receive dozens of spams a day, not much shocks you anymore. Yesterday's inbox, however, provided a surprising new low. Here is an excerpt: Click Here: http://www.amazinghealthconcepts.com/mortgage1/ Mark Harper... (read more)

Posted by chip at 02:28 PM to: Spam
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December 21, 2002

Sometimes Everybody's a Loser

In the ongoing spam wars, sometimes everybody loses. We're all victimized by the actions of the spammers, and sometimes we're harmed by those fighting back. A friend wrote to me... (read more)

Posted by chip at 03:13 PM to: Spam
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December 15, 2002

Lowe's: Spamming Home Improvement

Link: Letter from Lowe's (95KB scanned image). Lowe's spammed Dave Lugo with unsolicited email. Dave complained, because he never gave Lowe's permission to email him. Instead, Lowe's probably acquired Dave's... (read more)

Posted by chip at 05:09 PM to: Spam
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