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'Empty Spam' feasts on in-boxes

Email in-boxes are under attack from some unlikely menaces: J.R.R. Tolkien, Daniel Defoe, Alexandre Dumas and other authors whose classic works are surfacing in a newly popular spam scam.

Sometimes known as "empty spam," the persistent strain of junk mail has been puzzling millions of consumers in recent weeks. These emails, unlike standard spam, contain no perceptible marketing offers, viruses or requests for personal information. They are just blocks of text, often lifted from classic literature.

In some cases, consumers are seeing a hybrid of techniques. Derek Warren, 23 years old, a systems administrator from Vancouver, British Columbia, received an email containing several hundred words of familiar story with ads for drugs like Xanax and Valium attached earlier this week. He identified the text, which began, "After some time, I came thither dressed in my new habit," with a Google search. It was an excerpt from "Robinson Crusoe."

Such spam has surfaced be...

ยป MoneyWeb - Jessica Vascallero - 10-08-2006

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