the Ron Paul spam scandal

A US presidential candidate called Ron Paul has been advertised in spam. There’s currently a massive shitstorm raging about the true source of the spam — it was delivered via an infected consumer broadband machine, so the source is of course untraceable from the email alone.

Of course, being spam, I received a copy ;) Here’s a spample, if you’re curious.

The unusual “Content-Type” header format (matching the STOX_REPLY_TYPE SpamAssassin rule) has been seen in a lot of pump-and-dump stock spam recently. (It’s also shown up in Storm output, but this isn’t from Storm.) It’s been around for at least 6 months, so it’s probably a built-in behaviour of a downloaded spamware app, rather than a frequently-updated web-hosted spamware site.

My guess — I’d say the spam was sent using the same spamware application that one of the larger, recent pump-and-dump spammers has been using — so a reasonably sophisticated app, and not just an ancient copy of DarkMailer or whatever.

It’ll be interesting to see how this pans out…

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9 Comments

  1. Posted November 1, 2007 at 19:53 | Permalink

    How to Whip This Ron Paul Character and All His Whacky Followers.

    Ron Paul can be defeated by ignorance. Ignore him if you can.
    By lies. Misrepresent his positions whenever possible.
    By word gaming. As Lenin advised, “First, confuse the vocabulary.”
    By contempt. Dismiss him as amusing and pathetic.
    By smearing his supporters. Find the worst and spotlight them. Call them a cult.
    By consensus. Dismiss him with peer-pressure ridicule.
    By false accusations. Spread them quickly and far.
    By never discussing his policies. Change the subject to his person.
    By the polls. Ask the right people the right questions and get the answer you want.
    By reporting his most unpopular votes. But don’t report his reasoning.
    By rudeness. Wreck any debate where his ideas are winning.
    With all these tools, he can be easily defeated. Use them generously.
    

    But Ron Paul cannot be defeated by refuting him in an honest and courteous technical debate. Avoid that.

    - Moderno Machiavelli
    
  2. Posted November 1, 2007 at 20:03 | Permalink

    This has cyber-attack written all over it. The language, the sources, the source of the accusation, who initially started spreading it. RP would signify the end of many billions in easy money, do you really think the more nefarious elements are going to go down without a fight?

  3. FZappa
    Posted November 1, 2007 at 21:53 | Permalink

    I read a lot of news, and “The Ron Paul Scam Scandal” has to be the worst headline I’ve seen in recent memory.

    Every word is inaccurate: there’s no evidence the Ron Paul campaign or supporters had anything to do with it, and circumstantial evidence points toward anti-Paulites; there’s no “scam,” just the allegation that spam e-mail have been sent; and there’s certainly no “scandal,” as much as you’re trying to puff this non-story into one. Why didn’t you just go all the way and call it “The Ron Paul Scam Scandal Brouhaha Melee Controversy”?

    Wait, I take it back — one word in your headline made sense — “The.” Congratulations.

    It’s times like these I know Ron Paul is going to become president; the attacks on him are so pathetically weak.

    Everyone remember to donate on Nov. 5th — http://www.thisnovember5th.com

  4. Tara
    Posted November 1, 2007 at 22:39 | Permalink

    Ron Paul Campaign Under Cyber Attack

    There has been a recent flurry of news articles that have made the conjecture that the Ron Paul campaign or his supporters are in possession of a botnet and are using it to generate spam emails for the candidate. I have been in the business of computer technology for a long time and have good friends in the IT security business and we have discussed this at length. Cui-bono (who benefits)

    I find it far more likely that this botnet spam attack is not the design of the Paul campaign or any of its supporters. It is far more likely that this is the release of a first round of direct cyber attack against the Ron Paul campaign. I base this opinion on the fact that the attack is becoming clearly targeted at the youtube videos of Ron Paul. Youtube links to his videos are beginning to be inserted into the the body of these spam message and as a direct result the video’s are being pulled by youtube for violation of their terms of use policy.

    This attack method can do far more harm than good for the Ron Paul campaign so I will make a guess that this is the work of those in the NSA using cyber war tactics out of loyalty or possibly under orders to use this stealth attack method to derail the Ron Paul campaign by using the campaign’s online strength against them.

    I expect that after these attackers have used this method to remove the best google and youtube videos touting the Ron Paul campaign, that the attack method will change and will then go after other key components of the campaign’s online strength such as the Web 2.0 communities. These utilities will likely be spammed and the organizations using the applications will be banned from their use.

    This is nefarious and demonstrates the kind of tactics that the establishment could use to serve their interest in stopping the advance of Ron Paul and the Revolution for freedom that he is leading as well as his Presidential bid. I can only hope that the Ron Paul online army has some equally talented cyber warriors that can help stop this attack before it is ramped up even further.

    http://www.nolanchart.com/article259.html

  5. MD
    Posted November 1, 2007 at 22:55 | Permalink

    I see we have reached the next stage of election combat. The ignoring and laughing did not work so now it is time to move on to the fighting with any possible weapon. Let the disinformation begin.

    The idea that Ron Paul endorses spamming or white supremacist or any other nonsense is obviously ridiculous. The upside for the spreaders of lies is that it does not even have to have merit to have some effect. Remember when the Bush camp called SC voters to spread lies that McCain had a black baby?

    I suppose one could make an absurd statement using Fox News techniques such as: “Some people say that NAMBLA, the North American Man Boy Lover Association supports Rudy Giuliani.”

    Now would this mean that Rudy Giuliani supports pedophiles? Of course not, that would be absurd. Unfortunately this is just the kind of nonsense that the desperate opponents of Ron Paul will continue to employ. Lies are second nature to some of these people. Quite sad really.

    No matter, the Ron Paul Revolution will not be stopped.

  6. FZappa
    Posted November 2, 2007 at 00:05 | Permalink

    It is pretty interesting — a completely manufactured “scandal” that doesn’t even make sense — Ron Paul’s support isn’t real? Then who sends him all that money?

    I guess the neocon establishment has decided it can’t win the battle of ideas, so their last hope is these odd smear attempts.

    None of them have worked yet, and this one doesn’t seem like a winner either.

  7. Posted November 2, 2007 at 00:12 | Permalink

    Wow, you guys are touchy.

    Regarding the headline — yes, FZappa, it’s a scandal — either a Ron Paul supporter is spamming on his behalf, or someone opposing him is “joe jobbing” him. That’s a scandal, either way. And as for “scam” — try re-reading that word, there’s a “p” where you’re seeing a “c”…

    Also, where does white supremacy come into this? Did I miss something? There’s no mention of that in the spam, as far as I can see.

    Note: for what it’s worth, I don’t believe this is coming from the Ron Paul campaign. But I have no evidence either way.

  8. usernameguy
    Posted November 3, 2007 at 20:31 | Permalink

    For those who don’t know – Justin Mason is the (very modest) author of Spam Assassin, one of the world’s leading anti-spam software packages.

    So you should view this article as a forensic analysis by a spam expert.

  9. Posted May 1, 2009 at 01:19 | Permalink

    whres is the copy of the mail? I couldn’t read it.