Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Turing Spam Test

I got my first targeted comment spam yesterday, from "Theresa" peddling crossbows.  Theresa, if I've been unfair to you, please send me an email.

This is a bit worrying, because the most dangerous malware is served up via targeted spam.  "Phishing" is where the Bad Guys craft a plausible message to send to their intended victim, designed to lure him into doing a clicky-clicky that he otherwise wouldn't.  A spammer that bothered to figure out that this was a place that talked about, say, shooting could leave comments that were plausibly on-topic enough to get past someone 's BS filter.

In this case, Theresa's comment to this post (where I had posted a number of landscape photos) led with a great opening line:
Pretty place.
Yes it is.  And you can actually hunt there, even though it's inside Roswell city limits.  You just have to use a bow, not a gun.  And that's what she was ostensibly selling (I didn't click through the link, and removed the comment because you shouldn't follow spam links any more than I).

It's a crazy 'net out there, and it's plausible that the first place that we'll see the Turing Test in action is in spam.  There's a lot of money to be made on the Black Hat side, and talent follows money.  For sure there's a ton more money than you see in Computer Science departments.

And so a word to the wise, to both bloggers and readers: be wary.  Let's stay safe out there.  Trust, but verify.

And once again to "Theresa" - if I've unfairly traduced your intent, please send me an email so I can verify.


Unknown said...

I received a comment from the same person catered to the post (kinda) and ultimately offering a bow to improve my well being. I deleted it as well.

ZerCool said...

"She" hit Jay's post on Serbus with a different link. Hasn't made it to me yet.

Glenn B said...

She advertises knives too. She left a comment on my blog post showing a pic of a nun with a gun. Her comment was spot on about the content of my post:

"Hot! There is something erotic about a gun toting nun. It makes me think of thighs strapped with a really sharp knife. Well that is just for fantasy, I could however spend hours browsing online to (deleted link for a certain knife).

Now, when you see that comment and look at the pic, I think, one has to imagine that this was not a comment made by a computer program or malware but one that was made specifically to address my post by someone getting paid to do it. I mean, with the pic of a pretty hot looking gal in a nun's habit holding a gun and her commenting specifically in that way, it had to be a person leaving the comment or so I would think. Anyway, it got deleted as i do with 99% of the spam comments I receive.

NotClauswitz said...

I got the comment/knife link to Spyderco that I allowed, and I replied in a comment that Spyderco's just left me cold... And with confirmation now I removed her comment - but GlennB is right, at least she's (or he's) trying...to speak English perhaps?

Borepatch said...

If this is a person and not a bot, I don't believe that they are a native english speaker. The phrasing was just a little off.