Gathan Beaga


Talking about the contents of one’s junk mail box is the ‘00s equivalent of always going on about what gets trapped under one’s toenails. But I’m strange that way.

One of many spams arriving yesterday was a little different from the others. It had a gratuitously offensive subject line, which I shall not repeat here. But there were no obfuscated URLs, no cheesy calls to action; no screaming caps. There were some reasonable looking company logos and a listing of the company’s products, together with the following words:

This is spam, We occasionally send email to advertise our services. If you don’t like it then just remove yourself. Or call me to be removed:

…giving a presumably real phone number.

It didn’t sound right to me.

So, I checked out the site linked in the text. It turns out that as well as the products listed in the spam, the company also has a free script you can install on your website that traps dumbarse email harvesting robots into an endless series of generated pages containing random fake email addresses. The authors reckon they can poison a spammer’s database quite nicely in the space of a couple hours.

It must be working well to have caused this sort of response.