'Pls open attachment' and other low-tech spam persists

There is a lot of talk today about Advanced Persistent Threats (although that phrase is falling out of favor), blended threats, zero-day exploits and other sophisticated attacks. So it is almost refreshing to see that old school Social Engineering 101 spamming appears to still be alive and well.

Take, for instance, the recent e-mail I got from Coke 2012 Award with the subject line PLS’ OPEN THE ATTACHMENT. Nothing in the body of the e-mail. Just a .doc attachment, presumably about an award I had won. I’m not sure if the award is from the Coca Cola Co., or if it is an award of coke (either drugs or bituminous fuel). I haven’t gotten around to opening the attachment yet. It’s not very high on my list of priorities.

I also recently received several e-mails from Kathy in Hong Kong, offering me “the most professional industrial telephones manufacture in Asia.” If I ever need a really professional Asian industrial phone, I’ll drop her a line.

There are many other examples of low-tech, low imagination spamming, but I can’t say much about them because I can’t read them. Few days go by that I don’t get a half-dozen e-mails in Cyrillic, Chinese, or Arabic script. These e-mails taunt and frustrate me because I’m sure I am missing out on some great offers, but I have no idea what they are. Maybe if I open the attachments and click on all of the links, I’ll get a clue.


About the Author

William Jackson is a Maryland-based freelance writer.

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