From Russia with Love?

Filed Under: Malware

I'm going to document some research I'm doing so that I can use it as evidence to convince my fiancee that what I'm doing is really work.

Let me explain, a few weeks ago, I noticed a spam campaign that got me intrigued. It was simply a plain message, offering "˜photographs' to anyone that replied. There was no link, no call to action other than to reply. My theory at the time was this was simply a method of harvesting email addresses, so I replied (using a disposable account I use for gathering information on spammers). All I said in my reply was was "please send pics". I was expecting it to simply seed my account with more spam (which it did).

However, imagine my surprise, when I got a reply, with pictures (fully clothed I hasten to add) from a nice young lady called Tatyana who is currently in Russia but is planning to "work in your country for three months" and is looking for a "nice man", evidently she has a friend that moved to America and worked very hard having two jobs and she promises to do the same.

t21.jpg

Tatyana goes on to say "I am not so beautiful like Hollywood Princess, but I do hope to meet my Prince and I am sure he will be not be disappoined to meet me in the real life!"

t1.jpeg

As you can see from the picture, she's being a little harsh on herself, although if my fiancee asks she's not my type. The picture of course could be someone completely innocent (let me know if you recognise her).

My theory now is that this is a variation on the Nigerian 419 scam, and sooner or later the lovely Tatyana will want me to send money for a plane ticket. But maybe I'm misjudging her? Should I reply? If so, any suggestions as to what I should say?

Let me know at sophosblog@sophos.com

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