Team Murder No Brain No Headache.

15Nov/10Off

No Pain, No Gain?

All class, these folks

20Sep/07Off

Because Your Privacy Matters

They're admittedly getting better at this as even the language sounds, uh, governmental.

For People With 48" Monitors and Ridiculously High Resolutions:

The circled portion of the above graphic says: Note: For security reasons we recommend that you close your browser after you finish the refund process.

18Jun/07Off

Discussing A Problem That Has Absolutely Nothing To Do With An Erection Lasting More Than Four Hours Really

I've always been fascinated by the rapid adaptation of spam 'bots to get past most of the common spam filtering techniques. I shudder when I hear about people using the old 'block sender' and then wondering (and, believe me, I hear about this at least once daily) why that methodology is not only less effective as time, in seconds, passes. The randomness injected into the messages has always amused me at least while the technique is fresh and it isn't the typical tedium of waiting for enough pieces of spam to be correctly tagged in order for filters to start picking them out predictably.

The semantic war between spammers and filtering is more than a little viral in nature which makes this article about the 'mutation' of spam and immune response to it pretty interesting stuff if a bit on the bionic dodo bird side of theoretical. One thing about the theoretical approach is that the author actually spends some time thinking about how spam could be more intelligently constructed:

Something else to keep in mind is that spammers could choose to improve quality rather than increase quantity. One conclusion I took away from my sodden experience of reading 10,000 spams was that if we can't have less spam, we really need better spam. And there's no reason why it all has to be so monotonous and unpalatable. Just because someone is selling a sleazy, counterfeit and probably illegal product doesn't mean the advertising has to be verbal and visual sludge. On the contrary, it's the worst products that need the best marketing (think of cigarettes). I suppose this is a way of saying that the end of spam is not death but transfiguration.

This at least brings back some measure of competition between spammer and filtering software whereas the canonical approach these days, other than trying to poison Bayesian filters by filling them with suspicious garbage, is to flood every available opening with the hope that in an instance or two there will be no filtering or that they'll hit retiree gold.

The whole thing does make me wonder though after all of the combat with filters that requires huge amount of gibberish, special characters, and spelling reconfigurations just to emerge from the other side unscathed who actually responds to this crap. I'd love to see a study of that: who merrily clicks through a link that is completely encapsulated in trash text and other typographical litter? Obviously it works for someone and the cost of entry is next to nothing but still...

14Jun/07Off

With Our Sacred Remedy

Some more ingenious spam phrasing that cracked up a couple of people around when it was read aloud:

It will make your squib a real space rocket that will raise you up to the seventh sky of the sexual satisfaction!

Good work, robots, good work.

Filed under: Spam Poetry No Comments
27Aug/06Off

Email Is Teetering On The Periphery Of Being More Utterly Useless Than It Has Ever Been Before

I've stopped caring about email. I mean, I feel bad when something goes unread or deleted without my knowledge or whatever but the spam fire hose is cranked up so high right now that I'm incapable of caring. This is after three levels of filtering as well: one layer at my mail server which bounces most of the bounce notifications from spammers who fake one of my domains, one at Gmail which acts as a giant spam filter more than a functional account, and once locally via Mail.app. In a given hour I probably receive somewhere in the vicinity of 2500-5500 pieces of spam. I am not going to sort through any of it. None. Zero. I delete everything marked as spam and worry later. The amount of time that it would take in order for me to properly scan the various junk mail folders would take more time in the day than I currently have free. It is just deleted. Poof.

The question that I have here is this: Does anyone actually follow all of the procedure that would be necessary to sort the good from the evil or is everyone pretty much blindly trusting spam filters to do what they're supposed to and trying to ignore the fact that there are some false positives being deleted? I've tried to be concerned about it but there is a big part of me that has simply ceased to give a shit about anything remotely email related. The other question that I have is how do people generally deal with this? Do you simply tell people that email has become as reliable to you as the pitching a message in a bottle into the ocean method or do you come up with clever excuses?

What truly baffles me about this is whether the spammers are even distantly aware that completely destroying individual mail accounts does more harm than good and whether there is any sort of backlash between the total crap flooders and the more, ahem, moderate spammers who try to send less than 250 MB a day to a given email address. Everyone is well aware that the cost for an actual sender of spam is next to nothing but when the targets drop to zero then there really won't be any point. I am probably a pretty extreme example both in terms of the amount of spam I receive and how little I really depend on mail for much more than work communications but I'm pretty damned close to just implementing a completely prohibitive whitelist that flat out refuses to accept mail from you if you are not on it. No challenge-response, no identify which is different quiz but just pure and raw silence. So, I'm hoping that the flood by the ton senders will simply starve themselves out of business as people without access to their mail during the day will simply run out of quota and nary an offer of mortgage assistance nor the next hot stock scam buy alert will reach a human. As I said, I'm probably a larger target than most (too many domains pointed at the same account, etc.) but I'm sure it will catch up in time.

So, if you don't hear from me I probably didn't get it. If you yank a copy out of sent-mail and resend I will be more than happy to miss it again. I'm not making excuses here.

Filed under: General, Spam Poetry 1 Comment
13Jun/06Off

Spam Subject Lines Greatest Hits

your pr man is back. weed out!

the hidden gem Ugly as a mud fence

watch it like a hawk Run to seed

Shooting Stars Stock Report You throw filth on the living

Stock Opportunities on Wall Street Shit happens

This Stunning New Report tastes like chicken

3Jun/06Off

I Blame Barris

I did some upgrades and license buying so I'm going to post a few notes. I'll try to keep it simultaneously short and detailed as I feel like Team Murder has lapsed largely into the realm of installation and upgrade notes. I don't relish being the tedious fuck so:

Just upgraded WordPress to the newest release and it was absolutely painless. Since, according to the release notes, it's mainly a bug fixing release there isn't much to see here so far. If folks who read and comment here could keep an eye out for problems I'd appreciate it.

Akismet has improved dramatically. I had problems with the initial versions as they didn't actually display the contents of comments deigned spam beyond the first couple. When you walk away from weblogging for a couple days or a week this can lead to a fair amount of messing around just to make sure that you're not deleting legitimate comments. The new version lists all of the comments that are currently in the spam quarantine and also added buttons at both the top and bottom of the screen for deleting all and clearing legitimate comments from the stigma of spamhood. I think that adding this functionality also lends more credibility to the master list of suspected spammers. Sometimes when it is late and I don't feel like even brushing my teeth before sleep much less sorting through two dozen comments that are likely spam the comments held for moderation get sent back to the void from whence they came with a quick skim. Deleting, reloading, rinsing, and repeating doesn't work well when your brain is broken by fatigue and apathy. I've probably deleted a whole bunch of legitimate comments while using the earlier version of the plugin. That shouldn't happen now that the tool actually works the way it should instead of being almost as time consuming as sorting moderated comments manually.

Also, don't make the same mistake I did and buy a Parallels license if you intend to use their software on Apple hardware. There is a beta version but they key you're given won't work with the pre-release so like everyone else who downloaded the trial version you have to generate new trial license keys on a monthly basis. I'm not sure exactly what I threw money down for other than a price break on the actual license which is appropriate as it does nothing under the assumption I'll eventually have a copy of something I don't have to continually mess with. That's usually why I buy software so I don't have to mess around with fifteen different tools to get the same result. I will not make this mistake again and will instead hoist the Jolly Roger and get cracked versions.

I just got some erectile disfunction spam from Bob Arctor. In the context of the novel (I can't. My thing disappeared) it's some great unintentional humor. Thank you random spam bot for that brief moment of respite from all the other crap I'm thinking about at the moment.

19Apr/06Off

Scum With Intelligence Approaching That Of Small Domestic Animals

Apparently there is some human interaction with spambots as one attempt to spam the comments of my most popular post on the evils of Websense (though through popular usage, at least in the comments attached to the post, the evil bastards responsible for it should consider changing the spelling to 'Websence' as it apparently has about three times the amount of market recognition) by placing a porn URL in the URL field and claiming that he couldn't access it. This is a pretty clever (and old school) approach as the post has become more than anything else a semi-open forum for techniques to get around web filtering software and if I had approved the comment with the usual lack of scrutiny I apply to things related to that post his comment would have been permanently affixed to the single post in all of Team Murder that actually has some Google juice. Nice try.

7Apr/06Off

Another Brush With Celebrity

After the surreal mess of dealing with the aftermath of a not quite migrated server the first comment in the queue is, of course, spam. Keeping with the surreal theme, this spam is from the Cookie Monster:

Good site. Me very much has liked.

Awesome. This is nowhere as funny as the Spamusement take on the same butchered grammar but I'll take what I can get.

23Jan/06Off

Neither Really Nor Likely

I'm sick, tired, and beginning to wobble on the dose of Nyquil I just dosed myself up with before dinner but I did notice something newly annoying about my usual tidal wave of spam: YOU NEEDA MACINTOSH!!!!! over and over and over again. I'd guess that various mutations of the above with text that matches with no links or any other spamminess within. EASYEST TO USE!!! Hmmm. When I am confronted with statements like these there really isn't much for me to say other than: No, I really don't. I did NEEDA TI-8x but I bought one of those. Now I don't need all that much of anyone much less the illusion that everything is going to be all right.

23Nov/04Off

In Your Free Time, Clean Up My Mess

The comment spamming is really, really terrible right now with enough of them slipping through the Spaminator as effective as it is most times and making an incredibly huge moderation junk pile for me. Oh, I'm not just bitching here -- if you're leaving legitimate comments here please realize that it's going to take me a little while to get around to approving them. I'm trying not to unintentionally delete anything but if the ridiculousness continues over the next couple of days I might have to just shut the comments off for a while -- at least until I have the patience to deal with them in a way that doesn't mess with people making valid points and adding much needed clarity to the things I post here. The twenty or so notification emails that I get in the space of five minute intervals isn't making me more patient. I'd shut it off but then I'd actually miss the false positives. Spammers must die possibly by having tons of interestdging stuff dropped on them in their free time. Maybe some authentic fake Rolex watches? Flung from atop the Empire State Building?

22Nov/04Off

BlogsNow Meets Spammers

Wow. Looks like BlogsNow got spammed pretty heavily as most of the top results are actually pages of links from Yahoo! Japan auctions. I can't wait to hear how that hack worked. As annoying as it might be for the moment a lot can (usually) be learned from these sorts of spamming/crap flooding attacks. Most of the top twenty are from that domain which is lucky since it only means banning a single domain.

8Nov/04Off

Call Dr. Tushy. I Am Feeling Odd.

One of the things that I've found interesting about looking at the logs post-server move (besides the Movable Type crap finally being purged) is that I get nearly as much traffic from the feeds as those antiquated dinosaurs who actually read weblogs with a browser. Yeah, yeah, I know but the weird part about it is that the feeds are usually in much smaller swigs so doing a little ass-math it figures that I'm probably getting four times the numbers of eyeballs from feeds. That is freakish although not entirely surprising.

The referrer spam is also a bit much. I hadn't noticed it in the past but when a domain that contains "dr. tushy" is in the logs thirty or so times an hour it becomes annoying as fuck. This is, of course, after you recover from the spasms of laughter that come along with spelunking in pr0n lingo. Anal destruction? Maybe when I'm finished destroying this monitor and keyboard with coffee expelled through my nose I'll give that a whirl. I have to admit that "Eurotexans' still has me a little bewildered. Have any linguists checked in with analysis of how online porn has (aff)effected language? That topic is ripe for it.

13Sep/04Off

Welcome To The Impotence Club

Yes, that was the title. Nothing like a crushing blow delivered to an interweb denizen as a blind attempt to sell snake oil.

Filed under: Spam Poetry 1 Comment
19Jun/04Off

How To Spontaneously Spit Coffee All Over Everything

Well, apparently the generators of random spam spewage are not without a sense of humor:

DEAR SIR,

COMPLIMENTS.

WITH MUCH SINCERITY OF PURPOSE, I MAKE THIS CONTACT OBLIGATION WITH YOU AFTER
A SATISFACTORY INFORMATION I GATHERED ABOUT YOU. I AM DR JACKSON ZAIUS
THE FORMER GROUP MANAGING DIRECTOR OF NIGERIAN NATIONAL PETROLEUM
COPORATION{N.N.P.C} THE HIGHLIGHT IS THAT ON THE THIRD OF NOVEMBER 2003 I WAS
RELIEIVED FROM MY POSITION AS THE GMD OF NNPC. AND A NEW GMD HAVE BEEN
APPOINTED. BUT ON THE 10TH DEC. I WAS MANDATED BY THE PRESIDENT TO SUMMIT ALL
INTERNATIONAL CONTRACTORS AND FUEL SUPPLIERS COMPANY NAMES WHOSE CONTRACT
PAYMENT IS YET TO BE PAYED TO THEM BY THE NNPC
FOR THE LAST QUARTER OF THE YEAR.AND I HAVE USED MY POSITION TO RESHEDULED
THE
SUM OF 45 MILLION US DOLLARS AS A CONTRACT PAYMENT YET TO BE PAYED INTO AN
UKNOWN CONTRACTORS ACCOUNT.

My life is now complete. Good to hear that he's alive, well, and typing merrily away in all caps...

Filed under: Spam Poetry 2 Comments
14Jun/04Off

Spam Poetry: Slopy Gun Falls

Delivered attached to a piece of spam advertising some swinger site. Ick. I left the somewhat broken formatting intact as it only adds to the charm and bewilderment.

Their small boat stinks.
Mine tall boat show its value.
Our children tall boat makes sound.
Their smart caw makes sound.
Their well-crafted gun spit.
His slopy door smells at the place that our children bluish book run.
Our smart soda falls as soon as whose expensive cat smiles at the place that mine smart bra snores.
A shining picture looks around the time that the white exam book makes sound at the place that a given little small pensil looks around while her golden ram stands-still while a given hairy small spoon sleeps.
Their purple carpet stinks at the place that any given little little round-shaped table falls.
Mine red baby lies as soon as a red binocyles fidgeting.
Her shining picture fidgeting.
Whose white purple bra calculates at the place that her daughters smart house is thinking.
A given silver sony makes sound.
Any smart baby got an idea.
His brothers white boat snores.
The shining bra show its value.
Mine smart cat makes sound or our golden dog calculates at the place that his green paper stinks or maybe any given slopy gun falls.

17May/04Off

My Hat Is Off To Your Algorithm

Another unintentionally brilliant bit of spam dadaist poetry:

A few mirrors, and behind bubble bath) to arrive at a state of cup Where we can slyly borrow money from our vacuum cleaner. Unlike so many swamps who have made their radioactive bonbon to us.