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Spammers are spammers whoever they are

Posted by on September 2, 2016.

Two spammers’ spam samples took my eye today:

  • Kevtownsend, our VIP host has a message for you
  • Kevin, you’ve been chosen to participate in our Desktop Virtualization Research Panel

The first was caught by my spam filter; the second, more subtle sample, was not. The first, obviously a bit OTT, clearly took my name from my email address; the second at least addressed me by name. But both use the same basic lure – an appeal to my curiosity and vanity with the possibility of getting something for nothing. And both are unwanted and unrequested.

It is the second that is the more insidious. Inside, however, it repeats the time-honoured spam/phishing hook: I just have to complete a questionnaire in order to get something for free. The link to the questionnaire is the typical long and confusing one:

https://techtarget.co1.qualtrics.com/SE/?SID= SV_eeZjPrV8DklxhUp& asrc =EM_EDS_63690228& uid =10810948& utm_medium=EM& utm_source=EDS& utm_campaign=20160902__ FIRSTNAME__% 2C +you% 27ve +been+chosen+to+participate+in+our+Desktop+ Virtualization +Research+Panel_

At this point the eagle-eyed might say, hey, wait, that’s not spam – that’s a standard TechTarget email. But I say, no; spam is spam whoever sends it. And anyone foolish enough to sign up to TechTarget can expect a steady flow of this spam. It’s not even as if TechTarget is unaware. The title to its email is pure and blatant social engineering – just like the more obvious criminals do.


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Submitted in: Expert Views, Kevin Townsend's opinions | Tags: