The Spam Diaries

News and musings about the fight against spam.
 by Edward Falk

Thursday, July 06, 2006

National spam news

Spyware is becoming a problem on MySpace now, courtesy of — you guessed it — 180 Solutions. This time, they're using social engineering to trick users into downloading their spyware. See Gregg Keizer article Spam And Spyware Come To MySpace for details.

Search Engine Watch has an article about a tool which you can use to inspect your web site for spam sign. This with an eye to preventing your site from being rejected by the major search engines.

Speaking of which, Search Engine Journal has a nice little article about the tell-tale signs that a web page is a spam page.

A virus was sent out, apparently targeted at U.S. Soldiers, via spam with a faked Stars and Stripes email address. The email contains the subject line “FY07 Proposed 2.2 Increase Military Pay Chart" and contains a virus-ridden Excel spreadsheet. The article describes the virus in a bit more detail and gives advice on securing your computer.

New email filtering software on the block: OnlyMyMail. Conceptually similar to SpamSift, which I wrote about in April.

Interesting article in the Washington Post. Spammers have been spotted abusing in order to cloak their URLs, presumably to evade spam filters. Luckily, has an excellent anti-spam policy and enforces it vigorously.

More Uncounted Costs of Spam: c|net reports that a glitch in an anti-virus update to Barracuda's firewall appliance caused tens of thousands of customers to be without email for a couple of hours. No email was actually lost in the glitch. (I previously wrote about Barracuda in April.)

Direct Marketing News reports that two spammers pitching an envelope-stuffing fraud have been nailed by the FTC. It's always nice to see CAN-SPAM working.

Barry Schwartz of Search Engine Watch writes that the 'nofollow' attribute has had no effect combating blog spam.

Uncounted costs of spam, The Saga Continues: Information Week reports that Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff has stopped using email because of all the spam. Of course, the article seems to be saying that Chertoff considered all that email about the levee breaches in New Orleans to be spam. Now that's reassuring. Luckily, Chertoff has minions to sift through that stuff for him.

CBS has protested a $3.3 million dollar fine from the FCC, pointing out that all of the complaints that led to the fine were in fact spam from the Parents Television Council and did not come from real people.

Uncounted costs of spam, The Saga Just Keeps On Going: The New Standard reports that in order to cut back on spam, Congress is setting up their web sites with simple math problems that constituents must solve in order to send messages. Of course, this is keeping legitimate constituentant email from getting through; especially that which is relayed through grass-roots organization web pages. claims that 50 million users fell for an average of 1.4 scams each.

Could Iraqi peace be sunk by spam? Globe and Mail has an article about how the prime minister of Iraq published his email address to allow insurgents to contact him and be assured of confidentiality. The gist of the article is that he only mentioned it once, briefly, in order to avoid being flooded by spam. This may mean the address may have been missed by those who needed to hear it.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Many programms include spyware modules. Use anti-spyware for protect your privacy.
As for me, I like professional anti-spy software like Anti-keylogger by Raytown Corporation LLC.
You can download it here: (~4MB)

12:18 AM  

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