Email Security  I was going through a few emails today when one caught my eye. It was a political solicitation for someone in another state. My first thought was, how did I get on this email list. It came in on an old email address that I havn’t used in some time, so obviously they purchased a list from some disreputable source. Past that, I took a closer look at it. It was full of all the catch phrases and name dropping that I would expect in a phishing email. Of course it also has the convenient links to donate money to an organization I never heard of.

The email was designed to play on people’s political beliefs and emotions. It is common for phishing emails to play on emotion to provoke someone to respond without thinking. This may be a lost child, abused animal, danger warning, religious, or political belief. The action is the same in any case, click on the link without investigating. My choice is to investigate. When things arrive from the wild areas of the internet, they should be viewed with suspicion. Interestingly enough, as I was typing this, another email came in for yet another candidate, this time the links went to a page with a mismatched ssl certificate. It is likely they hijacked someone’s web server as the certificate belongs to a company that makes kitchen stoves.

I have an inquiry out to the candidate as to the authenticity of the message, we will see if they reply. It is interesting that often it is hard to tell a scam from marketing. It also may be noticed that I did not say who the candidate was, or even what side they are on. It really doesn’t matter if you are for or against Trump, Clinton, Sanders, Obama, or anybody else. There is not any cause that is not exploited, and it is still wrong no matter who’s banner they are waving.

Don’t click on email links, and don’t support organizations you don’t know. It only takes a little bit of time to create phony profiles on the internet. To paraphrase a famous FBI agent, The truth may be out there, but sometimes it pays to trust no one.

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