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The Age of Spamware
Kelly Pioneer Group, Inc.
(Marvin Colgin, Susan Weber, Marcus Winn)
Glacier Software (GLACIERSOFTWARE-DOM)
PO Box 887
Wilsonville, OR 97070
Kelly Pioneer Group, Inc (ZOOMERANG4-DOM)
2330 Marinship Way
Sausalito, CA 94965
Markettools, Inc. (MARKETTOOLS3-DOM)
Sausalito, CA 94965
We've entered a new era on the net. The era of SPAMWARE. Thought you'd seen everything? Not likely. Bona fide ISVs are now taking to SPAM to sell their trade.
The following letter popped into the Radsoft mailbox, addressed to RIX@radsoft.net:
From - Thu Feb 17 09:10:29 2000
Received: from mailsender.zoomerang.com (mailsender.zoomerang.com
[22.214.171.124]) by nwalme.pair.com (8.9.1/8.6.12) with ESMTP id
WAA24511 for ; Wed, 16 Feb 2000 22:34:54 -0500 (EST)
Date: Wed, 16 Feb 2000 19:35:10 -0800
Subject: Shareware Developer Survey *Free Copy of Hexit/32*
Get a free copy of Hexit/32-the ultimate binary file editor in exchange
for completing this fun 8 question survey. When you have completed the
survey, please enter your e-mail address in the space provided below and
we will send you a registration code for Hexit/32.
Go to: http://www.zoomerang.com/survey.zgi?6F437PLXLMHKVNASQE58XTCL
Please click this link now (or go online and retype it into your Web
If you do not want to take this or other surveys, please click 'reply' and
ask the survey sender to remove you from the email list.
Zoomerang is a survey clearinghouse. We do not censor the questions or
messages in the surveys or the invitations to take surveys that third
parties may propound, nor do we censor the responses you may provide. The
sender of a survey is solely responsible for the subject matter and contents
of the survey invitation and survey in which you participate, and you are
solely responsible for the contents of your response.
Clicking the link will lead you to the Zoomerang site. The survey concerns shareware development. The suspicion is that they will use any email addresses they get to first spam the shareware developers, and then spam the world at large. Finally, when you've finished, you're told you will now receive a very secret registration key in the mail and further told you can navigate on to the Hexit/32 site, where the product was available for free all along. Hexit/32 is available at the Glacier Software site.
Even Glacier Software wants you to fill out a survey form and supply an email. A good email address to give here would perhaps be firstname.lastname@example.org.
Hexit/32 is not a product you'll write home about, despite its wild pubescent claims:
- Repair damaged files (System Crashes)
- Edit a 600 MB ISO Image
- Check out a Binary dump of your BIOS
- Hack Game files and make yourself a God
- Impress your friends
- A Programmer's best friend!
- Only a 100kb executable
The only claim anywhere near being realistic is the last. But alas, Hexit/32 is not a Windows program at all - it's a lowly character mode program, something needed anno 2000 like another hole in the ground. This program is so old and forgotten the dust on it is caked into a thick layer of crud.
Hexit/32 is however a shareware product. It has a price tag. The whole point of Zoomerang's spam exercise is to get you to the Glacier Software site and get your credit card number and expiry date. A free registration code is never sent, this should be painfully obvious, and it is highly doubtful whether Hexit/32 would know what to do with a registration code anyway. Yep, it's all just another come on. But this time the crooks have taken to SMTP to sell their dirty wares.
Welcome to the Age of Spamware.