Ron Paul Campaign Using Spambots?

    November 1, 2007

Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul is popular online and some of that popularity appears to be originating from spammers who support the candidate.

The University of Alabama-Birmingham’s Spam Data Mining for Law Enforcement Applications project received numerous emails supporting Ron Paul after a televised Republican debate. Subject lines in the email appeared as "Ron Paul Wins GOP Debate! HmzjoqO." The characters at the end of the subject line are put there in an effort to slip past spam filters.

UAB says it received emails from Brazil, El Salvador, Italy, Japan, Korea, the Netherlands and Nigeria. UAB says that in each instance that the computer sending the email did not belong to the person who was listed in the "From" address. For example a Houston resident, whose email was sent from a computer in Italy and a Silicon Valley computer worker, whose email was sent from Korea.

Gary Warner, UAB Director of Research in computer Forensics said, "We’ve seen many previous emails reported as spam from other campaigns or parties, but when we’ve investigated them, they all were sent from the legitimate parties. Messages such as these harm the online eco-system by casting doubt on the veracity of other online communications"

Ron Paul The Ron Paul campaign says it is not involved in sending the spam emails. "This is the first I’ve heard about this situation," Ron Paul spokesman Jesse Benton told Wired. "If it is true, it could be done by a well-intentioned yet misguided supporter or someone with bad intentions trying to embarrass the campaign. Either way, this is independent work, and we have no connection."