Spam, Phishing & other Sadistic Joys of the Internet

As of today, all my blogs have been spammed by poker pushers… these include technohappymeal, etc.isthereason, theory.isthereason, and blog on blogs. While I have access to most of them in order to install spam comment blocker plug-ins (except blog on blogs where blacklisting doesn’t seem to be enough), it’s incredible how every “hole” on the fabric of the Internet is being exploited as a result of the dark side of human greed.

Just a few minutes ago, I received what I believe was a phishing email. Phishing is the art of email scamming where the con artist literally “fishes” with mass emails to grab pin numbers and other personal goodies off unwary Internet users. My fear is how convincing phish emails have become since the early days of PayPal scamming. Just look at how realistic this phish is below… wouldn’t you have been scammed?


The HSBC email. Looks legit right? BTW: I do get my statements online now.


The email link to the HSBC site… looks peachy right?


Looking at the source code for the email’s link reveals a strange IP address!


For fun, filling in a fake username and password reveals this scary page! No. 1 rule of online transaction is to never ask for this level of personal information. See the same strange IP address, misspelling of “Step 1”, request for social security and PIN number!?! YEAH RIGHT BUDDY!


Just where does that IP address lead to originally? In the words of Neo… “Whoa.”


Phishing is on the rise! Be wary!

If you want to prevent being phished, check our FTC’s site on phishing. The Internet Anti-Phishing Group has more plus statistics on phishing.

7 thoughts on “Spam, Phishing & other Sadistic Joys of the Internet

  1. Nice job! I’ve heard of phishing, but this is a great and understandable explianation. Much better than NPR’s! and WOW it’s scary.
    My blog’s been hit too. 20 yesterday set the all time high. let’s go play free online poker!

  2. Try following Alex Halavais’ instructions on his blog on blocking spam through blacklisting in WordPress. If you find that ineffective like me, maybe I can convince him to install the spam comment blocker plug-in I use on my own blog server.

  3. i really dislike this kind of stuff, receiving way too many citibank phishing. always ignore & delete but what if i miss something important?!

  4. A good email spam filter will help you determine if it is a phish. This is because most decent spam filters such as ones based on a combination of black/white-listing and bayesian filtering use a word frequencies to determine the probability of an email being spam. That phish I got ended up in spam and I happened to take a closer look at it to know it was indeed fake.

  5. My friend made a very interesting point… he wonders how these spammers know whether you have a HSBC or a CitiBank account in order to spam you accordingly. We believe it’s got to do with how banks sell their mailing lists. That sucks!

  6. That reminds me of a comment I heard today. Random person at the store said HSBC called her to find out if she was pleased with their service. She responded with “How can I be, I’m not a customer!”

  7. Information Overload… more information creates more order, but in this case, is it too much or too little info for HSBC to go by?!?

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