I’ll Strip If You Let Me Spam You!

text boxA virtual stripper is helping to defeat anti-spam security checks.  Spammers have created a Windows game which shows a woman in a state of undress when people correctly type in text shown in an accompanying image.Melissa

The scrambled text images come from sites which use them to stop computers automatically signing up for accounts that can be put to illegal use.

By getting people to type in the text the spammers can take over the accounts and use them to send junk mail.

The free e-mail services, so far, have been extremely successful at using Captchas to recognise a human being or an automatic program,” said Raimund Genes, chief technology officer at Trend Micro.

The novel system for getting round Captchas uses images of a woman called “melissa” who invites victims to decipher the scrambled text. Entering the correct text produces another image and another chunk of scrambled text.

Mr Genes said the Captchas seen with the first versions of the malicious program are all taken from the sign-up system for Yahoo webmail.

In the past many viruses have tricked people into opening booby-trapped (ahem) attachments with the false promise of seeing explicit images, said Mr Genes, but this was one of the first to actually show people more images if people respond.

For more (not nudity though) check out The BBC News Site