Classic Spam: Equal time for the ladies

Men, apparently, aren't the only folks who feel the need to enlarge critical portions of their physiques. At least not according to this spammer, one of many who have touted "natural" or "herbal" breast enlargement nostrums. So what if you're a man and have no personal need for this product? Maybe you could buy it anyway and give it to your wife or girlfriend (now, wouldn't that be a nice Valentine's Day gift?).

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Subject: rconner,Bigger breasts -- Men Will Look
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=================================

Guaranteed to increase, lift and firm your
breasts in 60 days or your money back!!

100% herbal and natural. Proven formula since
1996. Increase your bust by 1 to 3 sizes within 30-60
days and be all natural.

Click here:
http://202.101.163.34:81/li/linxiao/

Absolutely no side effects!
Be more self confident!
Be more comfortable in bed!
No more need for a lift or support bra!

100% GUARANTEED AND FROM A NAME YOU KNOW AND
TRUST!


**************************************************

You are receiving this email as a double opt-in
subscriber to the Standard Affiliates Mailing
List.

To remove yourself from all related email lists,
just click here:
http://64.123.160.91:81/li/gg/unsubscriber.asp?userid=
<<not-my-address>>

And, while we're on the subject of herbal medicine, why is it that "herbal" and "natural" are always "good?" After all, hemlock, toadstools, and poison ivy are all "herbal" and "natural," yet you don't see anyone scarfing them down to improve his or her health.

A lot of these snake-oil remedies depend upon a sort of placebo effect: if you use them, you're going to want to see positive results (so as not to be proved a fool for taking the bait), so you may actually subtly trick yourself into thinking that you did see them.

In any case, the claims made for the product are a bit problematic: If your breasts get bigger, doesn't that actually increase your need for a support bra? Also, I'd tend to think that larger breasts would make one less comfortable in bed (when you're trying to sleep, that is). And, if the product comes from "a name you know and trust," wouldn't it be good salesmanship to reveal that name?

On the technical side, our spammer has forged the header (natch), trying to fix blame on Yahoo for originating the mail. In fact it came from an address under control of Southwestern Bell, which seems to have shut it down along with the associated removal link (bravo, SBC!). That removal link, by the way, directs you to the webserver on IP port 81, rather than the standard HTTP port 80; this appears to be an attempt at misdirection on the part of the spammer (it allows their web traffic to be somewhat hidden, and also lets them keep private web logs). Also, in a bit of rank incompetence, the removal link contains not my address but the address of one of the other victims of the mail. If I (or anyone else who received this mail) were to click on the link, the spammer would be able to confirm only that one address and not mine.

And, just what is the "Standard Affiliates Mailing List" (Yahoo had no clue). How did I get on it? What do they mean by "double opt-in?" Maybe this is a case of one of those magical mailing list conversions.

The actual product website was hosted by our friends at china-netcom.com, and also used the port-81 trick.

The good news is that the spammer's critical resources (the mail host and the removal link) were shut down within two weeks of this mailing. In the spam-hunting world, that's nearly instantaneous. It's good news, at any rate, unless you are trying to get your money back after the 60-day trial.


(c) 2003-2006, Richard C. Conner ( )

05256 hits since March 27 2009

Updated: Sat, 06 May 2006