Apps & Software

Adobe Acrobat's Unintended Use: Spam & Stock Promotion (ADBE, CHSH)

Today I got confirmation that ADOBE ACROBAT, the free .pdf file from Adobe Systems Inc. (NASDAQ:ADBE), is starting to be used much wider for spam emails as a way around email filters.  I have read recently how some lower quality advertising “agencies” (term used very liberally) are starting to use Acrobat .PDF files again as a method for sending out spam emails since these are read only (sans-links).  Low and behold today had an extra 10% new junk mail, all using the tactic.  This is very annoying that spammers are starting to use this as a tool to proliferate junk emails all over again.  Adobe just recently got into the soup over their printing relationships by a FedEx Kinkos endorsement that the company was doing.  That may have been their fault, but this guile and trickery by outsiders is not Adobe’s fault.  But that doesn’t mean it won’t be a problem. 

The company must be considering more methods about shutting these digital rights down, but it isn’t always exactly a piece of cake nailing a cyber-scammer.  It is even more annoying that they are using a trusted tool such as Acrobat, and further even more MORE annoying that they are using it for penny stock promotion.  If Adobe doesn’t want Acrobat attachments to be associated on the same seedy level with all of the spam “Tribal Chief so and so” who is “entrusted with a bank account in (YOUR) name with no surviving family members” then they better get on this.

11 Emails were sent to me today (AUG. 6) with the same M.O…… are the first four:

PDF file titled “readme” …(open email)….(result)…. China Shoe Holdings (CHSH)
PDF file titled “check” …(open email)….(result)…. China Shoe Holdings Inc. (CHSH)
PDF file titled “warning” …(open email)….(result)…. China Shoe Holdings Inc. (CHSH)
PDF file titled “publication” …(open email)….(result)…. China Shoe Holdings Inc. (CHSH)

If China Shoe Holdings is even a real company, they picked a sleazy promoter.  If they did not hire the promoter then they have a weird stock where someone is out spamming because they are long and wrong and buried in the stock.  Either way, they fit the same M.O. as about 1,000+ other companies fitting the ‘sleazy stock promoter’ profile. 

It is sad to see a person or group of people use such a trusted tool for such a waste of time like this.  China Shoe Holdings may have started out clean and fair, but yours truly now believes they are a scam.  We have decided to try to bring to light when penny stock scam promotions make sleazy promotion tools such as these.  Something like 98% of these have a very short shelf life of a couple days if that and are rarely heard from ever again, so if you ever venture into these ‘penny stock promoter stocks’ please by all means don’t do it with money you care about.

This isn’t new per se, but it hasn’t been seen as much lately.  Adobe has policies and regulations against this practice, and hopefully it can fix this.  The company tries to be one of the greenest and environmentally friendly companies out there.  The real truth is that it may be quite difficult or even impossible without invading privacy standards.  These action are definitely not Adobe’s fault, not even remotely.  But if this proliferates too much (again) it will end up being their problem.  That is something that a relatively expensive software firm can’t afford for their stock, even if the stock is less than 10% above 52-week lows.

Jon C. Ogg
August 6, 2007

Jon Ogg doesn’t hold securities in any of the companies he covers, but he’s not giving his email address out for this article for any spammers.