Thursday, January 11, 2007

2007 is poised to be the year of spam. Although Bill Gates thought we’d have the problem licked by now, the problem is only getting worse. I’m now getting approximately 50-60 spam emails per day, and although my spam filter catches a lot of it, a new form of spam is regularly beating the filter: image spam. Spammers are now using attached images to replay their spammy messages. They work like a captcha for your filter- since your filter is good at reading text but lousy at reading images, there’s little you can do to stop well-designed image spam.

What really bugs me is when companies that spam claim they don’t. For example, I received the following spam about 10 times over the past few days:

Notice the clever text to the side of the image. They change that each time to keep my filter from figuring out this is spam. Now if you'll visit their website, you’ll see that they have a link that allows you to report spam:
Pharmacy operates a strict anti-spam policy. We do not tolerate unsolicited advertising messages. We will actively pursue anyone engaging in spamming activities! This includes email, icq, instant messengers, chat rooms, message boards, newsgroups or anywhere else where commercial postings are prohibited. We will take appropriate actions against spammers that will result in loss of services and accounts closure.
Sure they will... they ask for your name, email address, and phone number, just so they can spam you some more with unsolicited phone calls while you’re eating dinner!

Once you submit your information, they reply “Thank you for your patience.” I think these guys may be qualified for the ninth ring.