Discussion:
Baffling Spam Conundrum
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Brettster
2017-07-29 18:27:12 UTC
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I'm sure I'm not the only person to receive email alerts from
spammers pretending to represent Apple. Just this morning,
both my friend Nick and I got spam from "Apple" that were
different in content but equally hilarious, in that they contained
numerous typos and grammatical errors. His said, in part:

* * * * * * * * * * * * *
We just wanted to inform you has successful made transaction.
Unfortunately, we've indicated this transaction as fraud due
you made this transaction from taiwan. please confirm your
identity to verify your account. you can confirm on this page:
* * * * * * * * * * * * *

(As Nick observed, "They’re just not even trying to translate
anymore.")

I wanted to share a paragraph from my spam with Nick. Here's
a screen cap of the spam I received:

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The opening paragraph contains a classic run-on sentence:

* * * * * * * * * * * * *
We regularly check the activity of your Apple account. Recently,
we found that some of the activities you are violating your
agreement with us. Therefore, we have locked your account
and can not offer the service for you.
* * * * * * * * * * * * *

But when I tried to copy-and-paste this verbiage for Nick's
amusement, here's how it rendered:

We regularnly chekckj t3he ac0tiivittyu of yaour Appile
apccou5ngt.h Receentyly,k we found4 thazt so2meg o1f
thie actji2v7iktiees you amre vcieolatingl your a7greelment
witah usj. Th5eprcefore0,y wke havep lpo5ckqedy yo6urp
account anhd cxanr n7ot of8fuer tehde servzikce8
for yobu0.z

So....it seems that the paragraph has been spiked with
numerous invisible characters that got captured during
my "copy" and were revealed in my "paste." Why are the
spammers going to all the trouble to hide the characters?
Is it so none of the words in the spam can be flagged by
filters? For the record, Nick's spam had not been imbedded
by invisible characters, so far as I could tell.
Bob
2017-07-29 21:41:01 UTC
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Post by Brettster
So....it seems that the paragraph has been spiked with
numerous invisible characters that got captured during
my "copy" and were revealed in my "paste." Why are the
spammers going to all the trouble to hide the characters?
Is it so none of the words in the spam can be flagged by
filters?
Yes.

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