Thirty years after it was first named, spam is still alive and well. Just as well, medicine spam hasn’t lost its kick for spammers.
A spam alert was recently released by the Trend Micro Content Security team regarding spam offering cheap medicine from what seems to be the same Canadian Pharmacy Web site we observed here.
The message uses various spam techniques to evade being filtered out by antispam software. Such techniques include:
- Using HTML tags to break up the spammy words
- Masking the spam link with a very long URL, using hex codes
- Placing tabs in between characters
Antispam Engineers at TrendLabs believe that though each of the employed techniques are not exactly new by themselves, having them combined and used in this specific spam run is indeed noteworthy. It may mean spammers are figuring out spam filtering techniques and are finding ways to work around them.
Below is a screenshot of the spammed message:
The link displayed in the message is a dummy URL, which connects to a Web site different from what is explicitly shown. Clicking the link connects the user to a Canadian Pharmacy Web site that sells cheap medicine such as Cialis and Viagra. Here’s a screenshot of the offending Web site:
No worries, though, our spam definitions recognize this strain inspite of its strategic combination of filter-evasion technqiues.