A rantbox

The power of linking

Today I got a curious email on my university's address. I have an old and a bit defunct website on my webspace there, which contains among other things a small photo album and a links page. Today I got an email from an Indonesian-sounding person [attached was a picture of a girl, so I guess that's the sender, Ika Mardianti], kindly asking whether I could add a link to my links page. In return, my site would be linked from her and her friends' site. Sounds quite reasonable, if a bit odd. Then I noticed the url she sent: happyalbum.nl. Yeah, that's a Dutch site. She even sent the title and description for me to add, both in Dutch.

So, this is plain spam, hidden in a real custom message. I googled the url, and sure enough, a lot of sites have it in their Links page, so it seems to work.

I just searched on her name, and it appears to belong to a painter, and the tiny picture in the email looks like the one I found online. So, it's either the real Ika getting some money by promoting an photo album service, or someone impersonating her quite thoroughly. Interesting.