Subliminal spam techniques emerge
By computing.co.uk
Sep/14/2006

Spam message that use subliminal advertising techniques have started to be distributed for the first time, according to Pandalabs.

At first glance the messages gives the user the opportunity to buy certain stocks online. However, the user not only sees a static image, but also a sequence of images that are rapidly displayed. These images show the word ‘Buy’ in different positions.

Subliminal advertising techniques have been used for a long time and are based on composing images that users perceive, even though they are not aware of it. In the case of this email message, the word Buy appears on screen for a maximum of 40 milliseconds, and in some cases, for only 10 milliseconds.

By doing this, although the recipient is not consciously aware of the ‘Buy’ message, the subconscious levels of perception receive it and store it, influencing the recipient.

Luis Corrons, director of PandaLabs, said:

‘This is the first time we have detected an Internet threat that uses subliminal techniques. Although in this case the author cannot boast a fine-tuned technique, it is worrying to witness how cyber-criminals are trying to introduce new strategies to increase the effectiveness of their attacks. And, worse still, we can expect new and more sophisticated threats of this kind to appear. Think about the damage that this type of message could cause, especially to young users.’

Almost all worldwide advertising legislation bans the use of subliminal techniques.

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