Word spam

I am happy to say that I rarely receive spam. But today a message slipped though my defence lines using a tactic I did not see before: they sent me a simple, innocent message with a Word file attached.

In my curiosity I opened the invoice.doc attachment, and was greeted with “Back2School Software”:

Apparently the current generation of spam filters has gotten to the level where the only spam getting through are unreadable V1^Gr^ messages, and they are desperately looking for new ways to get their message across. Though probably many people that otherwise would read the e-mail won’t open the Word document, the possibilities to create a readable message makes this a viable spam method. As far as I know, few spam filters look at the contents of attachments, but that is about to change.

At the moment the spammers are once again one step beyond the filters…

[Update 2006.08.14]: More and more bloggers report the same problem, and several experts discuss on how to scan Office attachments for spammy messages.

Jeroen Sangers @jeroensangers