Recently, a debate sprouted on MIU (Mauritius Internet Users) mailing list about email « advertising campaigns » … It started with SM receiving unsolicited emails from an advertising agency, konetou. He carried an investigation and published his findings.
The discussion also triggered attention towards Data Protection laws and all. On my end I thought of analyzing the activities of the agency & how it collects email addresses. It was clear that SM didn’t subscribe to any newsletter from the said company.
Naked eye observation
They were links to another page at gss.com.ua. The links appear on several pages of the website. The nature of these links seem spam-like & they might have been inserted by exploiting the CMS (Content Management System). At first glance, the website is built upon Joomla. The latter is notoriously known for often getting compromised due to improper management or negligence.
Viewing the page source displayed the following around the Russian texts:
</div><div style="'position:" absolute;left:="absolute;left:" -3842px;'="-3842px;'">ювелирные изделия</div><div style="'position:" absolute;left:="absolute;left:" -3842px;'="-3842px;'">кредит онлайн заявка</div>
I then thought I’d email someone at the company alerting them about these weird texts but as I clicked on the contact us page, I received another surprise.
Google Chrome showed a « Privacy error » notice since the SSL certificate had expired.
I stopped right there!