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4th Oct 2007 | 13:59

Happy new year! Cambridge has 10,000 extra enthusiastic, intelligent, (young, attractive) people again, and internal email volumes are up 50%. Summer's having its last blast, as it usually does in October, making the place look its best for the new intake.

I was interested to hear a news item this morning about SOCA busting a load of 419ers. The odd thing that struck me is that they are calling the crime "mass marketing fraud" instead of "spam". Also, I think that the SOCA web site looks like a Dr Who secret agency web site - for example, compare Geocomtex with SOCA.

One sad/amusing aspect of 419 spam is that it's mostly sent manually, unlike the botnet-driven techno-spam mostly sent by Americans with the help of the Russian mafia. Bruce Schneier and Time Magazine write about the frightening sophistication of the Storm Worm.

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Comments {6}

Simon Tatham

from: simont
date: 4th Oct 2007 15:52 (UTC)

Surely that's a perfectly reasonable description of the crime? The reason you prosecute 419ers is not because of the mailbox-clogging effects of them sending any kind of spam, it's because of the defrauding effects of this spam in particular.

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Tony Finch

from: fanf
date: 4th Oct 2007 16:09 (UTC)

Ignoring the fact that spam is a crime too, the BBC article didn't even mention it!

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Simon Tatham

from: simont
date: 4th Oct 2007 16:13 (UTC)

Is it? Oh good. I lose track of whether spam is actually criminal or not.

But even so, it doesn't surprise me that law enforcers and mainstream media are far more interested in the fraud aspect than the spam aspect...

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from: cartesiandaemon
date: 5th Oct 2007 11:08 (UTC)

I nearly am myself. I mean, I wish spammers got larted properly (though I don't know whether or not we'll ever manage it), but the only reason the fraud aspect doesn't worry me is I always assume no-one is uninformed enough to fall for it (Most spam is a bit fraudulent, misleading at least, I think?).

But people *do*, so the senders deserve to be done properly -- I assume fraud for $large amounts of money is a relatively more serious charge?

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from: sion_a
date: 4th Oct 2007 16:21 (UTC)

I've always wondered if there are SOCA SOCOs.

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from: nwhyte
date: 4th Oct 2007 16:41 (UTC)

Only 50%?

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