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Gibberish/Babbling Emails
Posted: 06 October 2005 03:19 PM   [ Ignore ]
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Hi everyone. 

I found your site while trying to answer some questions I have.

I should say that I’m well aware of the scams & whatnot that are fyling around out there.  I never click on anything, open attachments I’m not expecting, give my info, etc.  So I usually figure I’m pretty safe.

BUT, there are some emails I just don’t get!  They come in with weird titles and senders, and they just babble about weird stuff - very disjointed.  And the text is mixed up with this other stuff (code maybe?).  I’m just wondering what they’re all about.  Are they sent in a format my email system doesn’t support?  I’m just so curious.  Also, obviously, if they can be harmful in any way.  I always just delete them anyway, but it would be good to know.

You guys seem to be pretty educated on the subject so I just thought I’d ask.  Thanks for any info you can provide!

Rebecca

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Posted: 06 October 2005 03:40 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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Never open any of those up…....to be safe….generally, you have to click on a link in the “questionable email” for anything bad to happen though…...Don’t worry about the screwed up “code” looking stuff…....I believe thats a problem from the senders computer HTML program to generate junk mail…...I guess..

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Posted: 06 October 2005 06:54 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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Its the attachment that is dangerous, as it is a virus or a trojan. The mail body is just “filler”. It can be made out of random bits taken from e-mails in the infected person’s mailbox.

Its not completelly true that you need to click the attachment for it to be harmfull. Some virusses and trojans exploit vulnerabilities in Outlook to execute themselves, even if you do not click the link. The solution: don’t use Outlook, but e.g. Eudora or Mozilla Thunderbird. And have an up to date virus scanner operating on your pc.

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The Kruger-Dunning effect is rampant on internet fora.
J. Kruger & D. Dunning (1999), Unskilled and unaware of it: how difficulties in recognizing one’s own incompetence lead to inflated self-assessments. J Pers Soc Psychol. 77, 1121-1134

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Posted: 06 October 2005 07:43 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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The weird text is randomly generated so that the email can get through your spam filters.  They always have a link to some website that wants to sell you something.  Some of the stuff they send can be pretty interesting in a dada/beatnic kind of way.

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Soldier: This is the worst part. The calm before the battle.
Fry: And then the battle is not so bad?
Soldier: Oh, right. I forgot about the battle.

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Posted: 07 October 2005 09:30 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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I didn’t know that!!!.......Im a little smarter now…

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Posted: 07 October 2005 10:59 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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Thanks for all of your replies! 

Actually, that’s the weird part - there’s no link at all in the email, and there aren’t any attachments.  They’re not selling anything.  (Unlike other similar emails selling viagara & cialis knock-offs.)

That’s why they seem so weird.  What’s the point?  Unless there’s a virus of some sort, I just don’t get it.

Thanks for your input!

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Posted: 07 October 2005 11:29 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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greeneyes1700 - 07 October 2005 02:59 PM

Thanks for all of your replies! 

Actually, that’s the weird part - there’s no link at all in the email, and there aren’t any attachments.  They’re not selling anything.  (Unlike other similar emails selling viagara & cialis knock-offs.)

That’s why they seem so weird.  What’s the point?  Unless there’s a virus of some sort, I just don’t get it.

Thanks for your input!

It could be that the virus attachment is removed by your provider.

Or it are probes containing a bit of hidden code, e.g. a transparent GIF that tells the originator of the mail that your machine exists (and what the IP is, hence they can start to probe your ports to see if they can get in and enlist your pc into the legion of zombie servers).

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———
The Kruger-Dunning effect is rampant on internet fora.
J. Kruger & D. Dunning (1999), Unskilled and unaware of it: how difficulties in recognizing one’s own incompetence lead to inflated self-assessments. J Pers Soc Psychol. 77, 1121-1134

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Posted: 07 October 2005 07:52 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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greeneyes1700 - 07 October 2005 02:59 PM

Thanks for all of your replies! 

Actually, that’s the weird part - there’s no link at all in the email, and there aren’t any attachments.  They’re not selling anything.  (Unlike other similar emails selling viagara & cialis knock-offs.)

That’s why they seem so weird.  What’s the point?  Unless there’s a virus of some sort, I just don’t get it.

Thanks for your input!

That is odd.  Would you consider cutting & pasting the text of one here, or a print screen image?

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Soldier: This is the worst part. The calm before the battle.
Fry: And then the battle is not so bad?
Soldier: Oh, right. I forgot about the battle.

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