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Off topic: what are these strange emails I get?



Email gurus:
        Really apologize for the bandwidth, but, being the curious sort,
this is driving me a little batty, so I thought I would turn to the
experts!
         Amidst the usual torrent of Viagra, mail-order meds and porno ads
(and we really need more Internet bandwidth? How about less trash?), I get
the following 3 types of messages and have no clue what they are. But they
are so common, they must be something pretty wacky. First, let me explain
that my email client is Compuserve Classic, which I keep because of the
wonderful property of being completely ignorant of html and incapable of
automatically executing any attached file (or picture). So all I get is
text, including headers and formatting instructions. I don't worry about
viruses or any auto-executable; I'd have to download it and run it myself
to get it. In that case, I would deserve it. Duh.  (Of course, Norton AV,
IP, AdAware and Spybot run all the time, too). So, rather than running the
durn things to find out what they are, I thought I'd ask.
        Anyway, can anybody tell me what the following are all about?

1) Messages that start "Re: (your order, our email, could be most
anything)" that have a comforting "checked for viruses; OK" text then an
attached .pif file (usually, though I have seen .zip and .doc), always
about 29834 bits in length. Could this be a worm or a trojan of some sort?
Sometimes they come from other hams, sometimes from completely random
sources. But always about 29K long. What about those that have the .doc
extension? An executable in a .doc file?? Lord help us.

2) Messages with random strings of real words. No formatting commands, just
words, almost like something designed to be found by a search engine. I
find these especially puzzling. Usually a short, nameless file of some sort
attached, but I can't read it since I would have to download it, name it,
save it, then read it. Nope.  Here is a string I got this evening.

kiss he'd schultz barney 
contort monk reef duncan assumption veal 
atreus ascomycetes prosecutor puppet recession brevet

3) Messages supposedly from eBay, that always have a bunch of formatting
commands in the body and then sentences "How much to ship to Utah (or
anywhere else)." But no large attachment. Interesting since I haven't used
eBay in a couple of years. I forward these to spoof@ebay.com, and they
write back and say, yup, it didn't come from us. When you dig into the
routings in the header, they come from all kinds of strange places, though
ebay is in there someplace, it's obviously not the origination point. I get
similar junk allegedly from paypal. Which I don't use either.

Once again, thanks for reading and many thanks to the person who can tell
me what in the world I am seeing.

Regards and with appreciation:

Ed K9EK

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