Hot answers tagged

223

They're probing your site. First, whether the comment will be published. Second, note how they use several popular syntaxes for links - it's an attempt to check which of them will result in an actual HTML link. If your site lets those posts through, expect more spam, this time more malicious.


185

This does not seem to be a virus. It is a panic function in some android phones, that allows to send these messages in case you are kidnapped or otherwise in danger by pressing the power button 3 times. She must have activated it accidentally. More info here and here.


162

I think the one thing the others (as of this post) hasn't mentioned: Source of the spam I would say you should differentiate between "Good" spam (Something you signed up for - knowingly, accidentally, "opt-in" purposely, "opt-out" not clicked)... And "Bad"/"Unknown" spam (random garbage that likely uses the click for tracking). I have no issue clicking "...


139

The spammers are automatically generating new comments by taking existing comments and running them through a thesaurus program that replaces words with synonyms or related parts of speech. The result is a sentence which makes sense, but has word choices that no native speaker would ever make: Where else may I am getting ... is clearly not something a ...


122

This is spam -- but possibly the spammer was not very good at spamming. The '=EA' bits are Quoted-Printable, an encoding for bytes into ASCII characters. '=EA=85=9F' thus stands for bytes of values 0xEA, 0x85 and 0x9F, in that order; this is the UTF-8 encoding for 'ꅟ' (that's U+A15F YI SYLLABLE NDEX, one of the symbols of Yi script). Whoever sent that email ...


107

This is an exact description of the panic feature built into phones as Peter Harmann already said. Anecdotally I can tell you on my previous Samsung smartphone, I could trigger this exact feature by pressing the power button 3 times in a quick succession. My phone would then take a couple pictures record a short clip of audio and then text those along with ...


104

They are trying to do Bayesian poisoning. By sending lots of correct words and a few words which are used in spam, like viagra, those words get a lower spam notification (over time). This means that after a while they can get real spam with links through to the filter.


96

There was a psychology experiment where two groups of homeowners went door-to-door and asked, ironically, for people to consent to display a large and ugly sign in their yard that said some form of, "Keep America beautiful." What distinguished how the two experimental groups were treated was that one group was asked beforehand to agree to display an index ...


83

Why? Two explanations: BCC Spam I've often gotten spam where they seem to want to hide to whom it was addressed for some reason. Since I have a catch-all on my domain, it will arrive for me no matter what address they used (unless they used one which I blacklisted). How is this possible? SMTP traffic looks like this: EHLO example.com MAIL FROM:<...


78

To understand this, we must understand how crawlers find the email. While steering away from the technicals, the basic idea is this (today's algorithms are, of course, smarter than that): Find @ in the page. Is there a dot within 255 characters after the @? Grab what's behind the @ until you reach a space or the beginning of the line. Grab the . and what's ...


59

Many spam filters use Bayesian analysis to determine what is spam and what isn't. These work by comparing inbound content with "known good" and/or "known bad" examples and looking for similarities. By slowly increasing the amount of junk in the "good" pile, an attacker can lower the effectiveness of the filter.


58

What I miss in the other answers is that an image may contain extremely useful information about you. A jpg contains blocks like the EXIF metadata (here in IrfanView): and even more interesting, the IPTC or XMP metadata: giving the spammer possibly: - camera type (how expensive and sophisticated) - your full name - under contact possibly your full address !...


57

Your answer is pretty OK, but you could explain the ongoing "game" between spammers and spamfilters a bit more. This makes it understandable why some spam always will find its way to the customer. Spam filters try to catch all mail that is spam. Spammers try to create mails that are trusted not to be spam - both by spam filters and by humans. For ...


57

You should not click on any links. By clicking on the "unsubscribe" link you probably get marked as "Active Reader" which is willing to interact. You also get on the page of the sender, which might could infect you with malware. Remember: With clicking on any link you've confirmed to the sender that your email address is both valid and in active use. Just ...


44

Yes, this email is a scam. Ignore it! I work at a major web hosting firm, and our customers receive these emails on a frequent basis. There are a number of characteristics that are visible from this perspective which confirm that they are a scam: The emails are never sent by a recognizable, reputable domain registrar. Most of them use generic names, such ...


37

The telephone system has been designed so that a caller can replace their phone number with a fake, and some unscrupulous companies use this to change their number to appear to be local to the person they are calling. They aren't using specific numbers of people you know, just something picked at random. The thinking is that a person is more likely to pick ...


36

Posting spam doesn't require hacking in any ways. Regarding the captcha, there is two possibilities: Either the captcha is automatable (I don't know for your website, but I still encounter a lot of websites bearing completely useless captchas). If the captcha is not automatable, then spammers can hire people to solve them for as low as $2 for a thousand ...


31

There are so many potential things that could be happening here. The attacker may try phishing by having you click a malicious link which containing malware such as keyloggers or similar. The attacker could also try social engineering to gather all information he/she can about you before attempting to get into your account. Keep in mind most e-mail servers ...


31

Headers like To, Cc and Bcc are essentially all cosmetic; they don't control the actual receipient of an email according to the SMTP protocol. It's possible to put whatever you like into these fields and still have separate control over who the email goes to at the protocol level. When you send an email on the internet your sending mail server communicates ...


29

The last line performs an eval() of function v78ZFAX() given the two parameters like so: eval(v78ZFAX($vFHLJ89, $vIIJ30Y)); That first parameter is the part that takes up the bulk of the code. It is assigned all that random-looking garbage, with . concatenating all those strings together into one long string: $vFHLJ89 = '...


28

My observations are that this sort of spam has been the first few posts of a newly created user. After a few of this sort, the normal sort with links included start up. My guesses as to the purpose are: Fooling anti-spam software that concentrates on first posts. Getting the first ten posts out of the way so they can post links. Some forum software ...


28

It could also be: 3. HTML page with JavaScript code attempting exploit a vulnerability in your browser. 4. HTML page with an embedded Java applet attempting to exploit a vulnerability in the JVM 5. HTML page with an embedded Flash file attempting to exploit a vulnerability in Flash Player 6. The email itself, before you open the attachment could try to ...


28

The language may have a little to do with a sig like TidalWave was talking about. A little harmless spamdexing. I've been getting a few of the first example on my blog. While it looks harmless, they're actually spamdexing (a little bit of "black hat seo") by trying to associate their user account (and website links by extension) with the keywords in the ...


28

They are trying to confuse any automatic spam filters you might be using. Random strings are unlikely to trigger any blacklist-based filter, and when you are using a self-learning filter, these strings will train it with garbage-data, which can only reduce its efficiency.


27

He may not be trying to get an image, but your confidence. That is why he/she sent his/her (most likely false) picture. Its social engineering at its best. In the future he/she may ask you to click something or maybe will try to impersonate with the information that he/she got along the way. For now, the main goal is to get your attention. As society, in ...


27

When mail is sent via SMTP, there are two separate places this sort of information goes, the Envelope (things that are set with SMTP commands) and the Header (the first block of text under the SMTP Data command, ending with a blank line). So, for example, here is an SMTP transaction where the Envelope disagrees with the Headers. The message will get ...


25

In Gmail, click on the button with the little triangle on the bar above the message, on the right. In the menu that pops up, select "Show Original". Now gmail shows you the raw message with all the headers, in another browser window. The attachment is in the message body, MIME-encoded into harmless text. You can cut and paste the MIME material and decode it ...


25

These logins might be the result of spambots outwitting each other. This scenario doesn't seem that implausible to me: Webmaster sets up a web forum for testing purpose Webmaster forgets that he even did and lets it keep running on some forgotten webspace SpambotA finds the forum, and decides to have some fun with it. It creates tons of accounts with random ...


23

The main function of a SPAM filter is to block anything that looks like a SPAM. The objective of an anti-virus software is to detect and remove anything that possess the signature of a virus (worms included) based on the virus definition installed. Both programs work differently based on different heuristics. An email that doesn't look like a SPAM may ...


23

It would help if you elaborated on if you are defending from a targeted attack or just being cautious, and what vector the potential adversary would be using to eavesdrop. That being said, the method you are referring to is called 'security through obscurity', and is "… discouraged and not recommended by standards bodies." I would say that is putting ...


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