Creative Spam

Spamalot Spam, it’s a fact of life in this digitally connected age. All of us online – in just about any fashion – have to deal with it. It’s in our email and even in our cellphones these days and, if we run blogs, it’s in our comments.

While most of the spam in email and text messages is “mass mailings”  or a phishing / malware attacks, that in our blog comments is normally an attempt at “Black Hat SEO.”

Blog comment spam has gotten a lot more sophisticated recently, with spammers crafting the “comments” to fit keywords on blogs in order to make them actually look relevant and less “spammy.” This has led to some funny results such as the spam comment shown below.

Howdy, i read your blog occasionally and i personal a similar one and i was just wondering should you get a lot of spam comments? If so how do you prevent it, any plugin or anything you can advise? I get so much recently it’s driving me mad so any assistance is very much appreciated.

The irony and/or sarcasm and sheer chutzpah of this particular piece of blog spam was so funny to me that, when I checked my spam filter for false-positives, I almost approved the comment out of appreciation for the laughs it gave me – almost.

XKCD - Constructive - And what about all the people who won't be able to join the community because they're terrible at making helpful and constructive co-- ... oh.
Unexpected Consequences Of Spammer Sophistication Are Possible

I wonder if things will inadvertently come to what XKCD jokes about. Could improved spambot AI’s actually supplant human comments? 😉

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Code Talkers

In the ongoing war against against identity theft, information loss, and digital espionage, sometimes you have to go “old school.”

Aside from the geek humor that I love so dearly, this cartoon by XKCD is very unusual in that it actually uses the correct words instead of gibberish.

  • A’la’ih is the phonetic spelling of Diné bizaad (the Navajo Language) word for the numeral one
  • Do’neh’lini is the Diné bizaad word for neutral, but could be used as zero since the Navajo do not have that numeral in their language

Of both both of the above are rough approximations since the Navajo language, Diné bizaad, maps very poorly onto English orthography. It maps even more poorly than Gaelic (Gaeilge) does.

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Real World Hacking

Well, we all know the fantasy that nerds and Hollywood put forward as truth in regards to Hacking, Information Security, and such like. To listen to them, it’s all about technology skills and crafty, intuitive intellect. Below is a hilarious – to me at least – cartoon that puts paid to that fantasy.

Cartoon courtesy of xkcd

Trust me, in the world of Information Warfare, advanced technology is neither the most effective means of stealing someone’s information nor the most commonly used methodology. Social Engineering has always been more cost effective and “brute force attacks” are more often the use of actual force than one might expect.

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