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TUCoPS :: Wetware Hacking :: Others :: nicescam.txt

Crushlink - both a spam magnet and a wetware hack! SPM:

From: "Death Me0w" <>
To: <>
Subject: Nice scam.  
Date: Sat, 1 Jun 2002 00:31:50 -0700

Your site has no advertising.  It has no fees.  You have no apparent
revenue source.  Yet you manage to stay in business.  No one is naive
enough to think you are doing this out of your own pockets or those of
some philanthropist.

So, you must be getting funding another way.  How could a site with your
software do that?

Well, you could send out millions of phony "someone has a crush on you"
messages based on email addressess from a cheap spammer CD-ROM,
especially around Valentine's day when such things are likely to get a
lot of good response.  After a couple of days, a large number of bounce
messages would have come back, allowing you to remove all the invalid
addresses from your initial list, improving its quality while reducing
its size.  We know you have that technology because your site is able to
screen submitted "crush suspect" addresses for that condition.

Then, the real live humans start responding.  They click the URL in the
email, which of course contains as a parameter their email address, so
you now have a set of confirmed working email addresses.  Your list
quality goes up.  But it gets better, you then encourage them to enter
many email addresses to get "hints" about who has a crush on them.  You
bait them with phony clues but never does a hit emerge.  That is for the
first level of people whom you first contacted from the CD-ROM; your
site may well register crushes for the next level of referrals brought
in by the first wave of crush-seekers.  This goes on and on like a chain
letter, you rapidly build a very large, high-quality list of email
addresses belonging to actual people, complete with names and ages to
further heighten the quality of the list by making possible limited
targeting and personalization of messages to those addresses.

I can only imagine what copies of this list fetch for you on the spammer
market.  Ironcially, I'll bet you've never generated a spam complaint to
your ISP that didn't come from a provable crackpot.

This definitely counts as one of the better Wetware Hacks I have
documented, and I will be giving this scheme full coverage in the next
Hackers Encyclopedia. If you have anything you would like to add to
this, please feel free to do so now.


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