On Sun, 4 Jul 2010 23:12:22 -0400, Paul M Foster wrote:
> On Sun, Jul 04, 2010 at 11:44:29PM +0100, Ashley Sheridan wrote:
>>    It is nice to be able to format emails nicely, but you have to realise
>>    when to restrain yourself. I've been getting loads of emails from Adobe
>>    lately that haven't been formatted well at all, and appear awfully in my
>>    email client (Evolution, which I consider to be a very good client) until
>>    I download all the images they've used as backgrounds. It's situations
>>    like this that give HTML emails an awful name.
> Isn't this a popular exploit these days? I don't really watch these
> things since I use Linux and view mail as straight text. But isn't there
> some current exploit where images which can be downloaded as part of an
> email actually contain code which can be used to sniff your system or
> somesuch?

If nothing else, it is useful as a tracking tool.  When the request to 
download the images occurs, it tells the spammer mothership that the 
email _was_ received and *actually* read.  
Ergo, it's a 'live' email addy.

The image URIs are usually encoded with unique-by-email-address text.

  Marvin L Jones    | jonz          | W3DHJ  | linux
   38.24N  104.55W  |  @ config.com | Jonesy |  OS/2
    * Killfiling google & XXXXbanter.com: jonz.net/ng.htm

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