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Security Response

Tricky New Spam Tactic

Created: 21 Dec 2006 08:00:00 GMT • Updated: 23 Jan 2014 18:54:19 GMT
Kelly Conley's picture
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We've noticed a tricky new spam tactic occurring recently and thought we'd share it with you. It’s always exciting when a new spamming technique comes along and it’s even more exciting when our filtering capabilities are successful against it. Most users running our product will not have seen this. Spam filtering can still protect you from this “new spam technique,” but, even if you have seen it or even opened it, you probably gave it a one-two glance and wondered “Eh? This isn't what I thought it was.”

The headers are legit – coming from a newsletter or ad that you have signed up for. You should be receiving this mail, right? Nope, it's a spam email. Look closer. There at the top of the page. It's an ad for something entirely different than what you thought was going to be in that email.

It's an online pharmacy ad within a legitimate NFL newsletter. That is really sneaky. It looks legitimate from your Inbox. You did sign up for that NFL newsletter. Not until you open it do you realize that this email isn't at all what you thought it was going to be.

This spammer has found a way to make a legitimate-looking email ad (including headers from reputable companies), embed an image for an ad of their own, and reinsert the legitimate ad below it. When you look at the opened email, you see the spam ad followed by a replica of the real ad. And, those headers? They’re forged. This is all fairly ingenious and rather nasty, but certainly not insurmountable. Hey Spammer! We'll still get you. I’ve already witnessed successful filtration of several of these spam attacks over the past few days.