When I initiated this blog project, as 2009 was turning into 2010, I did not anticipate being targeted with moronic attacks, perpetrated by obviously stupid attackers, proceeding from the obvious assumption I was also an idiot. Yet precisely such a steady stream of such attacks has been one of the more bemusing byproducts of the blog project.
‘Phishing’ is a criminal activity by now familiar to even the most modestly knowledgeable internet users. A phishing scam attempts to separate the victim from his or her money, or collect personal information on the victim, usually with the motivation to subsequently separate the victim from his or her money. In its most unsophisticated form, the criminal sends an email, the unwary victim replies, the crime is perpetrated.
Before I donned my not-so-secret identity as LibertyAtStake, the number of phishing emails aimed at my real identity could be counted on the digits of a single hand, and these emails were always obviously part of a much larger global sweep of the ‘net for fools. This experience makes some sense, as I have never been accused of being stupid, nor suspected of sitting on piles of money. Not a juicy target for the email phisher, that is.
Yet something very interesting – to me, at least – happened almost from the moment I began blogging as LibertyAtStake. Legions of phishers lined up to dip their hooks into the email@example.com pond almost instantly, and the phishers still throw their hooks into the water to this day. Given I’m not being paid for this, and I’m essentially lazy as well, there will be no effort from me to thoroughly catalog, label, and statistically analyze this vitally important historical archive. Of course, it is already archived, the act of archiving itself being entirely trivial. However, you and I, dear reader, can have some fun with a subjective ad-hoc romp through a representative sampling.
The first thing to note is the currency unit referenced by the vast majority of phishers directly mentioning currency is the British Pound. The British Pound? For a while, I thought maybe this meant Great Britain is the phishing capital of the world. The Brits were dumb enough as a population to adopt socialized medicine, after all. But, further reflection on this matter leads me to conclude the phishing community is more an international collection of criminals making the simple assumption English language equals English money.
Then there’s the question of motivation. Why target the anonymous blogger known as LibertyAtStake? I imagine LibertyAtStake’s readers quickly reach two conclusions, in no particular order – LAS is definitely passionately conservative, and maybe even a little bit off his rocker. So these phishers are either internet psychologists in search of a research subject, or ideological Leftists targeting the “enemy.” I think odds favor the latter conclusion.
So, what can we conclude about these international Leftists? Do they worship each evening at the altar of PT Barnum (“there’s a sucker born every minute”)? I don’t know about that … but one thing is absolutely certain … these Leftists firmly believe the rest of us are complete idiots.
How else to explain this representatively weak effort?
Though the attacker does get extra credit for covering the possibility I might be bi-lingual.
Taking the fiendishly clever attack to new levels, a language using a completely different alphabet in combination with a completely empty message body is tried.
Not to be outdone, this phishing master goes with empty subject as well as empty message body, but an attachment with his devilishly disguised payload.
This attacker goes with the old “Neon Sign” approach, in an effort to induce me to click on the ticking attachment.
This one desires the more personal approach of a telephone call. He must fancy himself a smooth talker.
Google isn’t the only evil corporation throwing around British money like a drunken sailor.
Coke over Pepsi for thoroughness.
Finally, something referencing my native currency – from a Nigerian situated in Japan. High marks for a polite note, though.
Occasionally I can’t resist writing a reply note. I was very impressed with the thirteen (13) field “grant validation form” that didn’t make the screen shot.
These international Leftists can make the assumption they have a reasonable expectation of success because, like all Leftists, they assume the rest of us are idiots. Their results are a big fat zero because, like all Leftists, they are engaged in what psychologists label 'projection.'