Thursday, August 14, 2008

Can You Pick the Real MSNBC.Com Breaking News?

The top spam on the planet was again today the " - BREAKING NEWS", falling from its peak of nearly 14%, but still remaining in a healthy first place with 6% of all spam received today at the UAB Spam Data Mine.

In order to determine how similar the spam was to the actual emails that would be received by MSNBC Breaking News subscribers, I subscribed to the service. Can you pick the two headlines from the list of spam today that really came from MSNBC? - BREAKING NEWS: "I Ate All The Pies" - Man Confesses - BREAKING NEWS: [video] If Barack Obama Is an Oreo, What Is John McLaughlin? - BREAKING NEWS: [video] New Yorker Cover of John McCain - BREAKING NEWS: [video] Take it from us: People Hate Satire - BREAKING NEWS: 6 Ways Airlines Could Make Some Serious Money of You - BREAKING NEWS: Abortion outlawed in California - BREAKING NEWS: Advertisement feature; Guess Who game now available on Blue-tooth - BREAKING NEWS: Airlines Roll Out New Punch-In-The-Face Fee - BREAKING NEWS: Americans love law suits for breakfast - BREAKING NEWS: Barbra Streisand: "I Don't Want to Talk to the Maid" - BREAKING NEWS: Bins to be collected just once a year - BREAKING NEWS: Black Activists Line Up To Take Swipe At Obama - BREAKING NEWS: Blue Peter to raise standards: competition entries to be criticised on show - BREAKING NEWS: Bomb scare grounds thousands of flights at UK Heathrow airport - BREAKING NEWS: Brett Favre Undergoes ESPN Surgery - BREAKING NEWS: British competitor fails to 'crash out' of Olympics - BREAKING NEWS: Bush Finally Reads Job Description - BREAKING NEWS: Bush, Cheney To Co-Star In "Flip This White House" - BREAKING NEWS: Catapult Program Flings Commuters to Work - BREAKING NEWS: Consumer prices jump 0.8 percent in July; inflation rises at fastest rate in 17 years - BREAKING NEWS: Copycat murderer beheads woman on Greyhound bus - BREAKING NEWS: Councils Powerless to Prevent Surge in Table Morris Dancing - BREAKING NEWS: Couple Plans Breakup in January 2009 - BREAKING NEWS: Cranberries CD Cures Woman's Urinary Tract Infection - BREAKING NEWS: Daily Stir: London Mayor Gets Nipple Caught In Ringer - BREAKING NEWS: Damien Hirst pickles business manager - BREAKING NEWS: Dark Knight establishes dominance with 400 million mark - BREAKING NEWS: Deer Decoy Badly Damaged in Crash That Caused Death of Elderly Couple - BREAKING NEWS: Don Majkowski Demands to be Reinstated as Packers Quarterback - BREAKING NEWS: Early Morning Coffee Conversation Entices Normally Flavorless Office Staff - BREAKING NEWS: Elizabeth Taylor found murdered at home - BREAKING NEWS: Europe's Most Wanted Man Discovered Living With Smurfs - BREAKING NEWS: Even The New Yorker 'Cartoon Dogs' Are Pissed at the 'Obama Cover' - BREAKING NEWS: Exclusive: Barack Obama Can Fly Through The Air Like That Guy On Heroes - BREAKING NEWS: Extreme Home Makeover: Host Ty Pennington's House Inadvertantly Bulldozed - BREAKING NEWS: Fan Rushed to Hospital After Bleeding Team Colors - BREAKING NEWS: Favre gets unconditional reverse deactivation restriction preclusion - BREAKING NEWS: Favre Signs Deal With Gerber - BREAKING NEWS: Find out the disorders in your personality with this test - BREAKING NEWS: Forecasters Predict Hello Dolly Headlines as Storm Hits - BREAKING NEWS: Four Horseman of the Apocalypse Split; Pestilence to go Solo - BREAKING NEWS: Fox News Admits Grievous Error - BREAKING NEWS: Fredie Mac losses mount, loses billions every month - BREAKING NEWS: GOld prices reach 25-year high, buy gold for a safe and reliable investment - BREAKING NEWS: Government admits losing Prime Minister's bucket and spade - BREAKING NEWS: Grinch Turns Attention to Gas Tax Holiday - BREAKING NEWS: History Channel Begins Incorporating Product Placements into History - BREAKING NEWS: Is Gay Bishop Gay Enough? - BREAKING NEWS: Jason Kidd Feels Guilty After Stealing Ball from Chinese Point Guard - BREAKING NEWS: Jihadist Children's Television Workshop Debuts New Characters - BREAKING NEWS: John Edwards Admits Fathering Clay Aiken's Baby - BREAKING NEWS: Laughter of Bullpen Coach Leads to Paranoia Among Texas Ranger Relievers - BREAKING NEWS: Led Zepp's Stairway to Heaven Not Up To Code - BREAKING NEWS: M1 Roadworks Revealed as 'Conceptual Art' - BREAKING NEWS: Man Believes Life Only Validated When Captured on Camera - BREAKING NEWS: Mary-Kate Olsen supplied drugs - BREAKING NEWS: Maybe al-Maliki's Comments Really Were Lost in Translation - BREAKING NEWS: McCain A 'GPS Black Hole' Say Scientists - BREAKING NEWS: McCain Advisor: We're A Nation Of Winos - BREAKING NEWS: McCain Endorses Bush For 3rd Term - BREAKING NEWS: McCain Opposes Gay Adoption of Highways - BREAKING NEWS: McCain Plans Vietnam Campaign Tour - BREAKING NEWS: McCain Serenades Gramm: '50 Ways to Leave Your Hoover' - BREAKING NEWS: McCain to 'Match' Obama With Tour of Epcot's 'World Showcase' - BREAKING NEWS: McCain, Obama: Cosmo Cover Also Tasteless, Offensive - BREAKING NEWS: McCain's Op-Ed on Iraq Rejected by The 'Pennysaver - BREAKING NEWS: Mexican arrested on billion-dollar graft case - BREAKING NEWS: Millions of credit card numbers stolen from bank database, find out if you are affected - BREAKING NEWS: NAACP Protests Hurricane Names - BREAKING NEWS: NASA Claim to Have Achieved First Zero-Gravity Erection - BREAKING NEWS: Nature Did Not Connect the Funny Bone to the Satire Bone - BREAKING NEWS: New Economic Stimulus Package Inlcudes Goat - BREAKING NEWS: No one killed in Bancroft, West Virginia Today - BREAKING NEWS: Nuts! Jackson Backs Neutering Stray Politicians - BREAKING NEWS: NY Times Challenges Al Gore to Make 'Climate Change Campaign' More Dramatic - BREAKING NEWS: Obama 'Airs' His Criticism of John Edwards - BREAKING NEWS: Obama Orders The New Yorker to Go Back to Satirizing Bush - BREAKING NEWS: Obama Proposes Tax Cut Tax - BREAKING NEWS: Obama Satirized as a 'Jew' by Jordanian Magazine, 'The New Ammaner' - BREAKING NEWS: Obama set to win presidency - BREAKING NEWS: Obese, Malodorous Boy Missing - BREAKING NEWS: Pale, Hairless and Would Never Fit In Anyway - BREAKING NEWS: Polar Bears must be taught to Swim - BREAKING NEWS: Police Raid Donut City - BREAKING NEWS: Police to Tackle Bike Crime with New Indifferent Squad - BREAKING NEWS: Poll: Congresss Opinion of Constituents at All-Time Low - BREAKING NEWS: Preliminary US Presidential election polls results here - BREAKING NEWS: Report: Fate of "Ross and Rachel" Used to Torture Iraqi Prisoners - BREAKING NEWS: Royals Become First Sports Team To Sponsor Gay Guy - BREAKING NEWS: Russian troops appear to be preparing to withdraw from Georgia, U.S. says - BREAKING NEWS: Ryanair's O'Leary revealed to be Greenpeace activist - BREAKING NEWS: Satirists Riot Over The New Yorker Obama Cartoon - BREAKING NEWS: Scientist Prepare to Colonize Redneck Area - BREAKING NEWS: Scientists Warn Of New Global Luke Warming Threat - BREAKING NEWS: SJC Loosens Handgun Control To Stimulate Economy - BREAKING NEWS: Software Piracy Leads to Full-Fledged Piracy - BREAKING NEWS: Sony announces replacement to successful PSP gaming system - BREAKING NEWS: South Carolina Sinking - Gov. Implores Obese Citizens to "Exercise For It - BREAKING NEWS: Sports Fans Novelty Wig Marks Him Out as 'a Bit of a Character - BREAKING NEWS: Steve Jobs Names God as Successor - BREAKING NEWS: Stonehenge was Part of Crazy Golf Course for Race of Giant Humans - BREAKING NEWS: Study reveals bass players 'every bit as dull as golfers' - BREAKING NEWS: Stupid Asians lose lawsuits against Americans - BREAKING NEWS: The Evolution of Wal-Mart's Corporate Logo failed - BREAKING NEWS: The Founding Fathers Fought for My Right to be a Stupid Jerk - BREAKING NEWS: The New Yorker Continues its Irony Tour, wish on Rushmore - BREAKING NEWS: The World is on Pace to Run out of Internet by 2010 - BREAKING NEWS: Three Italian College Students Purchase Kansas City Royals for 500 Euros - BREAKING NEWS: Thursday, Al Gore gave yet another speech about the planet or something - BREAKING NEWS: Tiger Woods to take 2-year break from golf - BREAKING NEWS: Too much freedom will destroy America - BREAKING NEWS: Tour Manager Mostly In Charge of Getting Band Drugs - BREAKING NEWS: UK Government Put on 'Special Measures' - Private Managers to be Appointed - BREAKING NEWS: US Dollar hits 6-year high, further gains expected - BREAKING NEWS: Video Game Designer Forces Children to Play Mini-Game for Lunch Money - BREAKING NEWS: Video: Mr. White's List of Demands - Ep. 6 - BREAKING NEWS: What Annoyed Us About The Olympic Opening Ceremony - BREAKING NEWS: What do Somalia, Long John Silver and the U.N. have in common? - BREAKING NEWS: Which Olsen Twin is the Evil Twin? - BREAKING NEWS: White Elephant in the Room Actually Charlie Weis - BREAKING NEWS: Whos going to stop the WNBA?

Here's the big give-away on the spam vs. real. When one subscribes to the MSNBC Breaking News service, the "To:" address for the email won't show up as your address. It will show up as "BREAKINGNEWS@LISTS.MSNBC.COM". If you have MSNBC mail that is showing this in the "To:" address, its probably real.

Of the subjects above, the only headlines delivered by the "real" email were:

Consumer prices jump 0.8 percent in July; inflation rises at fastest rate in 17 years


Russian troops appear to be preparing to withdraw from Georgia, U.S. says

All the rest were fakes.

The sites advertised in the spam are still quite wide-spread. Here is the list of compromised sites used to spread the virus today:


I repeated our Linking All the News Spam together query with MSNBC instead of CNN. 1/7th of the computers from which we had received MSNBC spam had also sent us CNN spam. 1/9th of our MSNBC machines had sent "earlier families" or "unbranded" News Spam prior to the beginning of the CNN campaign.

None of the IP addresses currently sending us MSNBC spam are being seen sending any other type of spam.

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Trying a new setting. After turning on comments, I got about 20-30 comments per day that were all link spam. Sorry to require login, but the spam was too much.