Spamming Badgers

by Dave Cross

In the first chapter of the Badger book we used form letters as an example of how (and why) you might use templates. We built a simple mail template containing a few variables and showed how you would process that using tpage to expand the variables and create a letter. It's an obvious example to choose. I've used it in introductory Template Toolkit talks for years. We finished that example by saying

Process the same template a few thousand times with different sets of data and you have the entire basis of the junk-mail industry


Those words have come back to haunt me recently as my spam folder has been overrun with messages containing headers like this:

From: [% from_name %]
To: [% to_name %]
Subject: [% subject %]


The unexpanded tags indicate that even if spammers are using better tools, many of them still aren't intelligent enough to use them properly.

But I'm very sorry if whoever wrote this TT-based spamming tool got the idea after reading our book.

4 Comments

Shlomi Fish
2006-04-19 07:30:56
I've seen it reported before. See this:


http://use.perl.org/~jonasbn/journal/29095


I've posted a link there to an earlier report in a comment.

Dave Cross
2006-04-19 07:44:25
Oh yes. I knew it had been around for a month or so. It's just that I re-read the first chapter of the book over the weekend and thought "Oops!..." :-)
Adam Kennedy
2006-04-19 12:04:01
Although at first it might seem a bad thing, personally I'm all for it.


It's good that more people are using Perl, even if we don't always appreciate the uses they put it to.


Wouldn't it be interesting if the entire Nigerian IT industry because based around Perl, because every amateur spam coder learned Perl at birth.


Inclusion is good, even when those we include aren't always.

Adam Kennedy
2006-04-19 12:04:51
errr, "became based around Perl"