Gone Phishing

I receive a number of spam emails per day (around 7 – 10), thankfully SpamAssasin flags nearly all (96%) of these messages, so I rarely have to see them. As I was expecting an email this morning I took a quick look at my Junk folder in Thunderbird, just to ensure that the email hadn't been marked as spam. There was no sign of it.

I quickly scanned the messages sitting in that isolated folder to see what type of crap was being filtered on a daily basis. Any Phishing attempts that I receive, I tend to attach to an email to the Anti-Phishing working group. But today I'm honoured I find the worst crafted Phishing email that I have seen in a long time.
It read as follows:

[blockquote]Subject: HSBC – WARNING
Date: Fri, 2 Nov 2007 13:20:35 -0400
From: HSBC

Dear valued Halifax® member: Due to concerns, for the safety and integrity of the Halifax
account we have issued this warning message.

It has come to our attention that your Halifax® account information needs to be
updated as part of our continuing commitment to protect your account and to
reduce the instance of fraud on our website.

If you could please take 5-10 minutes out of your online experience and update your personal records you will not run into any future problems with the online service.

However, failure to update your records will result in account suspension.
Please update your records on or before janvier 16, 2007.

Once you have updated your account records your Halifax account service will not be interrupted and will continue as normal.
To update your Halifax® records click on the following link:
Thank You. Halifax® UPDATE TEAM[/blockquote]

First point, as any person of moderate intelligence can see, is the use of 1 company in the title and a different company in body of the message.

Secondly is the 'Dear valued Halifax member', firstly it would be customer and secondly since I'm a great 'member' how have they managed to forget my name? No attempt to butcher my email address for a name to use, very poor.

The hyperlink to update you records wasn't hidden or manipulated to appear like a correct address, nope, it just pointed at some page over at www.swindon-speedway.co.uk.

And in last place is the French word for January that's been so wonderfully added into the template.

We all scream for IMAP

It appears that Google is now offering IMAP on their email accounts. Although POP3 support has been in place since late 2004, the one key element that was missing was the Internet Message Access Protocol.

This has been a missing feature that has been a barrier for many potential users looking to migrate to google mail. With the introduction of this feature users will be able to access and interact with their inbox from multiple devices (PC, Laptop, Mobile, PDA). This provide users with more flexibility on how they manage and manipulate their inbox, no-matter which device they choose logon from.

This sole feature could be the element that opens the door for Google where business customers are concerned. As part of their Google Apps (http://www.google.com/a/) for Businesses, Gmail is thrown in, as part of the bundle.

While POP3 was the only method for retrieving emails from devices unless you used the Ajax-rich online client, the users' experience was somewhat limited.

I doubt if I'd be wrong in saying the targetted/potential audience for this protocol is more within the business sector, moreso than your standard home user.

Source: http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2007/10/free-imap-for-gmail.html