Forget Encryption, Encode Secret Messages in Fake Spam

By Jamie Condliffe on at

Send an encrypted email, and whoever sees it whistle past their eyes knows you're trying to hide something. So why not hide your most secret messages in plain sight, hidden in otherwise innocuous looking spam?

Spam Mimmic takes your message and hides it in a stream of spam-style text. It's really just an internet-savvy form of steganography, that you've probably heard of—hell, even used—in the past. So this message:

I love you!

Becomes:

Dear Friend , Especially for you - this red-hot intelligence. If you no longer wish to receive our publications simply reply with a Subject: of "REMOVE" and you will immediately be removed from our mailing list . This mail is being sent in compliance with Senate bill 1623, Title 9 ; Section 308 ! This is a ligitimate business proposal ! Why work for somebody else when you can become rich as few as 62 months ! Have you ever noticed more people than ever are surfing the web plus nobody is getting any younger ! Well, now is your chance to capitalize on this ! We will help you process your orders within seconds plus turn your business into an E-BUSINESS ! The best thing about our system is that it is absolutely risk free for you . But don't believe us . Prof Simpson who resides in Washington tried us and says "I was skeptical but it worked for me" ! We are licensed to operate in all states ! We beseech you - act now . Sign up a friend and your friend will be rich too ! Thank-you for your serious consideration of our offer !

Before you get too fired up, this is largely just for fun. Obviously it's not really a sensible idea to send incredibly important messages in this way. And at any rate it's both incredibly inefficient—just look how much longer that message got!—and it would be easy to spot as not being real spam, given it would be sent from a single real person to another.

Still, it's a fun little concept—and it may make for some entertaining back-and-forth between you and your buddies. [Spam Mimmic]