Theresa O’Connor

Designer spam

My nick, hober, is from Hober Mallow, a character in Isaac Asimov's Foundation. I use hober as my username pretty much everywhere, including in my gmail address ().

I've been noticing some strange spam lately. Specifically, spam whose “random” content appears to be based on my nick. It looks like some spammers are dynamically constructing the bodies of their emails from some kind of corpus — probably Wikipedia or something along those lines. Some examples:

  • before seen Trantor will never to just as you may of a
  • Before them and pointed from Encyclopedia Foundation preparing to Salvor
  • still the basis of Trantor, has grown men lined up are

(If you haven't read Foundation, it's about a bunch of intellectuals who leave Trantor, the capital planet of the decaying galactic empire, to settle on a far-off, isolated world where they can write an encyclopedia of all galactic knowledge — these intellectuals make up the Foundation of the book's name. Salvor Hardin is one of the protagonists, as is Hober Mallow.)

Have you noticed any spam specially-tailored for your email address?