Billionth spam received by Project Honey Pot.
Project Honey Pot announced earlier this month a dubious achievement. It had attracted its one billionth spam message. The ejunk purported to be from the U.S. Internal Revenue Service and informed its recipient:
“After the last annual calculation of your fiscal activity we have determined that you are eligible to receive 760,635 tax refund under section 501(c)(26) of the Internal Revenue Code. Please submit the Tax Refund Request form and allow us 3-9 days to process it.
“Sarah Hall Ingram, Commissioner”
Although the spammers forgot to put a dollar sign in front of the refund amount, they were accurate in some other details in the message. There is a section 501(c)(26) of the Internal Revenue Code. It lists non-profit organizations exempt from some federal income taxes, and subsection (26) includes in that category “State-Sponsored Organization Providing Health Coverage for High-Risk Individuals.”
Sarah Hall Ingram is an IRS commissioner, but not the IRS commissioner, as the letter would lead one to believe. However, she is the commissioner of the agency’s Tax Exempt/Government Entities Division, which would be a believable source for the message.
Project Honey Pot is a community of tens of thousands of web and email administrators from more than 170 countries around the world who are working together to track online fraud and abuse.
According to the Project, the IRS spam was sent from bot malware running on a compromised machine in India. It noted that the email address used by the bot was originally harvested on Nov. 4, 2007 by a grim reaper that has sent more than 53 million messages to the address since that time.