Re: [Fwd: SPAM - sinister spam]

Anders Sandberg (
14 Dec 1997 15:54:32 +0100

Hara Ra <> writes:

> Fringeware sent me this item - any of you Java experts care to comment??

Sounds workable. Not *that* sinister in itself, unless Java has some
serious secrutiy holes. But that it can make your browser at least
briefly run out of your control is disturbing, at least
psychologically (tools should always obey their users, not other
people), and think I can come up with some sneaky uses of cookies to
create targeted marketing for the people who happens to run the applet
(since you get a web connection from the user, you will know he has
seen the mail; that information may be useful for advertising people).

> I am running IE4.0, and I simply
> highlighted the new message in my mailbox, and clicked on the subject to
> read it. It immediately downloaded and initialized a java applet that
> took control of my browser, opened a session to their site as I sat in
> amazement.

I think in general, this is the main problem: many people have become
too dependent on running their mails through their browsers (this is
why we get those irritating HTML tags in our mails sometimes). It
would be a good idea to have a filter that removes applet-tags and
similar stuff, or simply use a normal, text-only mail reader (here
Anders bursts out in a song-and-dance number about Gnus for Emacs :-).

Anders Sandberg                                      Towards Ascension!                  
GCS/M/S/O d++ -p+ c++++ !l u+ e++ m++ s+/+ n--- h+/* f+ g+ w++ t+ r+ !y