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Thread: Weird Spam Technique

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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Posts
    42

    Weird Spam Technique

    I recieved a spam email recently that got through my filter even though it had the words "Prozac, Viagra" etc in it. I had a look at the source and it was like this:

    I put a border on to make it clearer - have a look at it in a browser.

    Code:
    <TABLE style="BORDER-WIDTH: 0px;" cellPadding=0 cellSpacing=0 border=1>
    <TR>
    	<TD><FONT face="Courier">P X V C A V</FONT></TD>
    	<TD><FONT face="Courier">r a A I m I</FONT></TD>
    	<TD><FONT face="Courier">o n L A b A</FONT></TD>
    	<TD><FONT face="Courier">z a I L i G</FONT></TD>
    	<TD><FONT face="Courier">a x U I e R</FONT></TD>
    	<TD><FONT face="Courier">c &nbsp;<BR> M S n A</FONT></TD>
    	<TD><FONT face="Courier">&nbsp;<BR> &nbsp;<BR> &nbsp;85,45 &nbsp;99,95 =
    	&nbsp;<BR> &nbsp;69,95</FONT></TD>
    	<TD width=100%></TD>
    </TR>
    </TABLE>
    I can't see how this works, the <TD width=100%></TD> has the effect of flipping the table - can anyone explain why this happens? I thought they were exploiting some kind of browser bug but it looked fine on every browser i tested it on.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Posts
    9

    No magic

    There's really no magic here. The columns are compressed so the elements align one character deep. Try expanding the column widths and you'll see what you would expect to see.

  3. #3

    Not magic (certainly) but "compression"

    I think you already know that the "magic" is because of the last <TD width=100%></TD>. This cell compresses all other cells and since the contents of other cells consist of mainly alphabet separated by a blank space, the browser puts them one after the other. For instance, try changing these blank spaces with the &nbsp; character (which has also been used to format other characters in this email) and you will see that the "magic" ceases.
    On a whole a lovely little trick by the spammer!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Posts
    42
    OK I get it now. Yeah it is a nice trick but would probably be quite easy to detect.
    Last edited by axys; 11-09-2005 at 08:33 AM.

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