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December 23, 2007

Phishers Are Too Cheap to Hire a Copy Editor

Whenever I see some tortured gobbledygook trying to pass as earnest English, my mind flips to a scene in the 1966 comedy film The Russians Are Coming! The Russians Are Coming! In the film, a Soviet submarine accidentally runs aground off a small New England village, and a crew tries to get help from locals without raising too much of a ruckus. In their efforts to keep bystanders from seeing activity that could spark an international incident, one crew member who knows a little English teaches his shipmates how to warn passersby to stay inside their homes. They master this sentence, which they all repeat with very heavy Russian accents:

Emergency! Everybody to get from street!

That's how I remember it, anyway.

Today's installment of fractured English arrives courtesy of a PayPal phisher:

Important Security Update

Dear PayPal member:

Paypal has the last days updated all user account with better security to avoid unwanted access and to reduce the instance fraud to keep our users information secure, Some user accounts lost there information while new security update was complete, we are realy sorry about this problem.

Can you take 5-10 minutes of your time to make sure your account information is correct so we can continue our service for you.

Press the link below to update your personal paypal account.
http://www.paypal.com/ [hidden link to phony site]

If you have experience any problems with your email or password press this link to report the problem to our support.
Report Login Problem To Support [hidden link to phony site]

PayPal, Inc.
P.O. Box 45950
Omaha, NE 68145



I was going to mark up this message to highlight all the grammatical and punctuation errors. But then I figured that I'm not being paid to be a copy editor for criminals. Screw 'em.

This phisher isn't a complete idiot. He did try to obfuscate the message by encoding its content (thereby trying to keep from being blocked by phishing-aware spam filters). He also managed to hijack his way into the web site of the French Consul General in London to host the bogus PayPal page and user ID/password gathering software. But English skills are definitely not his strong point.

Emergency! Everybody to ignore phishers!

Posted on December 23, 2007 at 10:35 AM