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9:19am on Friday, 10th June, 2005:

Automatic Name Generators


So as to try to trick people into believing that email with subjects of Ebay Account Review Department   7 are not phishing attempts, and enhance your anatomy are not spam, bulk emailers try to make it look like the sender of the email is a real person. If they use the same name all the time, however, that makes it easy for Outlook to junk them (that's where the 30 virus-infected emails I received on Wednesday from Arvuti wishing me Merry Christmas wound up). The solution: use a random-name generator!

Now random-name generators aren't all that good even in the hands of professionals. After playing through Championship Manager 4 for a few seasons, I noticed that some of the random names generated for new and international players to replace retirees had female forenames, presumably because they were taken from a pool that included referees' assistants (either that or because some players really do have female names — Football Manager 2005 lists a Stevenage player from Barbados called Claire Drury).

At least CM4 broke names down by country of origin, though: bulk emailers don't. They pluck first names and second names from lists of the top 1,000 first names and second names in the USA, ignoring the fact that many of each are associated with particular sub-communities.

Here are the random names purporting to send me my spam, phishing and virus-infected emails this morning:

Nerio Bateman
Bridgitte Best
Leigh Bird
Samantha Blankenship
Patty C. Carney
Adrienne Chernin
Casper Chestnut
Diann Christian
Maureen Clemons
Jeffery Collins
John Davis
Zachery Duarte
Katie Ervin
Elois Fernandez
Tyree Ferris
Jerri Franco
Jason Gibbons
Concetta Good
Bernardo Graves
Lester Hancock
Payton Harden
Fardoos Huggins
Bugatti Jeanthievent
Lucas Kenney
Fanny Kirkby
Ophelia Lay
Jotham Linton
Lisa McCray
Reynold Moffett
Wapasha Morrell
Seth Ott
David Palmer
Marlin Palmer
Anice Price
Lorene Pruitt
Brad Ransom
Adrasteia Rector
Sidney Reist
Wiktoria Rice
Melissa Robbins
Jaba Rodgers
Elton Romano
Jamar Rucker
Ramiro Sawyer
Samira Tahirovic
Norman Tykler
Riannon Warren
Jordan White

All of these claimed .com, .org or .co.uk addresses, except Bugatti Jeanthievent (who claimed .fr). That included the Nigerian 419 scammers.

Referenced by Frank Reporting.

Referenced by Next of Kin.

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Copyright © 2005 Richard Bartle (richard@mud.co.uk).