Mysteries of spam

Something strange has happened – while overall traffic to this blog has risen gradually, the amount of blog spam has dropped off rather dramatically. Puzzling. Clearly blog spam is 99%+ automated; I wonder if spammers target a new system, eventually determine that the spam is getting filtered, and stop pointing the bots at that url because it’s fruitless. Seems unlikely but I’m hard-pressed for another explanation, unless Akismet stats are complete bunk.

Pump-and-dump email spam is on a tear these days – that’s the email that purports to offer a tip that a particular penny stock (usually) is about to take off. Of course the spammer has purchase a ton of it and hopes to engender a quick runup based on spam recipients buying in. As soon as the price spikes, the spammer dumps his shares. He turns a quick profit but the price drops as his shares hit the market, and the victims are left holding the bag. Pump-and-dump has been around for ages but is easier and quicker to execute using email.

Here’s a cool visual explanation of image spam and how these messages (often used for these pump-and-dump schemes) dodge your spam filter.

Writing about security is both fascinating and occasionally depressing.


8 thoughts on “Mysteries of spam

  1. Dear Friend,

    There is NO MYSTERY HERE. Spam is the effect of satan. It ia a spiritual warfare that the computer users are fighting against spam every moment. Being satanic as they are, they are always on the attack.

    Our advice is, hold on to God. He will lead us all successfully through this spiritual warfare.

    United we stand. Believe in God. Get rid of satan and the satanic forces in the air. In God we will succeed. Best Wishes.

    Yours in Christ

  2. Hi friend,

    Spam is like satan.

    Satan always want to exert its influence and pressure.

    Believe in Christ and do good. Let all practise this and spam will not be around us anymore.

    Love, in Christ

  3. Really, Spam or Christ?

    One is palatable while the other is not.

    The choice remains ours.

    If all choose Christ, Spam will not have its place among us. Let peace and justice be in the world. Let all leaders think justly and there will be peace.

    With love, spread your power. Spread Christ to this naive and unknown world. Let Christ thrive and out spam will go.

    With love, in Christ.

  4. Derek,

    I have to say I’m really getting into your blog. At first I was taken aback by the wide array of topics. After a while I started getting into it. The variety of “stealing copper”, “chess”, and “spam filters” is treated in a ‘let’s explain the world’ fashion, and it’s quite refreshing.

    I also find it curious the SPAM comments on your SPAM blog entry. Coincidence… I think not :-)


  5. Thanks, Harvey!

    I’m not sure I’m explaining the world as much as I am exploring it. So comments (on topic or not) are part of the fun. I have been lucky to latch onto some really fun readers/co-bloggers. People are interesting. Except when they’re slowing down my morning commute.

    We’d like to see you at the club of course but it looks like your online chess scene is taking off [see Harvey’s gig labeled Cyberchess in my blogroll – couldn’t fit the real name].

  6. My travel is slowing down, so I hope to start getting to the Club again.

    New Met League now has five OTB Clubs (PA, MA, CT)… so now we have to get organized. That’s what I’m working on this weekend…


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