Sunday, December 03, 2006

Two weeks of image spam innovation

Since I last blogged about image spam I've received numerous image spams myself, and reports from Nick FitzGerald, Sorin Mustaca and Nicholas Johnston about interesting image spams that I've just got to see.

On November 14, I received a report of image spams where the background noise had been updated from dots or small lines to polygons. Here's a sample:



A day later it was clear that the same spammer was randomizing the image size, the background noise and the color palette used:



Then on November 17 I was shown this interesting pump'n'dump technique:


83622874400056543 047183602660 41478311028418 100278 84807407350 05087016712772
78810870435635016 71651855827222 4725576405300038 84252840 12157351038885 630188325737443
23414 23133 41104 4312 7131 6341874402 48244 02522 1428 3224
55263 16021 42114 6654 7782 6583 2673 53280 03201 8323 6565
65882 58041 62412 6086607534050781 3826 0641 83176 85045 35427866406418
18506 15283 12474 33388136436533 643542 80456 87628 13156 506577110786230
31645 55602 81036 816525232877 301217585451283 01540 76265 0748 3312
06035 63450 43040 5224 1553 5786434504117661 52402 78534 8836 414
58510 75013 38325 3877 04146 76870 2788 34488 42803 77840 2737 5470
11372 62751178216028 2715 7266 17812 3668 10033 28833425366310 360215874450816
31403 486020746152 7723 4552 46471 6721 77207 683820875035 23460162005106

Nice, but that didn't last very long, but on November 22 the innovaters were at it again with smaller images containing polygons, lines, random colors, jagged text:



A day later the noise element changed to pixels:



Two days later spammers were trying a little 'old school' image spam with some fonts that they hoped would be hard to OCR.



Strangely the following image spam appeared on November 27 with a perfectly filterable URL. Oops:



And right before the month ended the noise around the border had turned into something like little fireworks:

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