Monday, May 15, 2006

Another spam-related quickie

I got a spam today that used a particular technique for disguising itself that has fallen into disfavor lately. Many spams ask you to click on a link, especially when they're trying to convince you that your online bank account is about to be suspended. The link text (the part that shows up as underlined blue text on your screen) looks normal, but the actual underlying code directs you to some completely different website.

Today's PayPal phishing spam appears to direct you to, but it is actually pointing to http://0xde4204f2. Most of you have no idea what that means, but it's a different way of writing, which is in fact a travel agency in Shanghai, China. Supposing that PayPal had a security issue with your account, do you think they would use the web site of a travel agency in China to resolve it?

If you get an e-mail that appears to be from your bank or eBay or PayPal or anything similar, telling you that the sky is falling, NEVER click on the link in the e-mail itself. If you have any doubt at all that it's a fake, just open your web browser and type in the real URL by hand or use your own existing bookmark.

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