Phishing: Disguising Email as Authentic (on Halloween)

Yesterday, I received an email from Seth Godin.

From: Seth Godin
To: undisclosed-recipients:;
Date: Tue, 30 Oct 2007 13:34:14 +0530

Subject: Seth Godin invite letter to bloggers

Dear blogger,

If you mix and match old and new marketing tactics and channels, without doing your homework, a meatball sundae is the inevitable result or so says, marketing guru, Seth Godin. For Seth, the “hot fudge� of google, blogs, and social networks, adds excitement to everyone’s marketing mix but not knowing how to execute properly in these new channels can lead to a disaster!

That’s why Search Engine Strategies and Seth want to invite you to an exclusive 60 minute closed-circuit webcast on November 1 at 1PM EST in advance of his keynote presentation at this year’s Search Engine Strategies Chicago Conference & Expo.

You can register for this webcast here

The webcast will feature a presentation by Seth and will be hosted by Kevin Ryan, VP and Global Content Director at Search Engine Strategies and Search Engine Watch.

Seth recognizes you as an influential blogger who has written about online marketing and/or have referenced his ideas on your blog.

Here’s your chance to engage Seth with specific marketing questions of your own, post to your blog in advance of Seth’s Chicago appearance, and get an advance preview of his latest book, Meatball Sundae, which is due out in December.

Meatball Sundae explores 14 trends in an era when organizations are still mistakenly slapping “new marketing onto old� and end up with a lackluster Web presence.

Seth made a big splash with his most recent online creation, Squidoo, which enables participants to create “lenses� or personal viewpoints on a topic he or she is passionate about. Squidoo enables the user to create one page mini-sites so you can learn how solid valuable content generation can attract visitors.

We hope you will join Seth for this exclusive November 1 webcast and indulge in a “sundae� that’s right for you!

You can register for this webcast here

Kevin Ryan
VP and Global Content Director
Search Engine Strategies

Seth Godin
Bestselling Author
Entrepreneur and Agent of Change

Matthew McGowan
VP of Marketing
Incisive Media

* I have disabled all links from the email above.

The problem is that the email wasn’t from Seth. He didn’t even know about it. Having received email from Seth in the past, the message immediately triggered suspicion. It was sent to “undisclosed recipients” and, well, it just isn’t his style. But even I forwarded it to a colleague thinking that he would be interested in the event. Today, Seth commented on the spoof email and warned recipients to beware.

Recently, I shared a link to a game designed at Carnegie Mellon University to help Internet users to learn how to identify phishing emails. This type of phishing is cleverly disguised as it’s not attempting to link you to a fictitious bank or eCommerce site. It uses a well known name as the lure to get you to attend their event.

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