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Apparently, recruiting spammers are making progress – they now have a perl script that parses github user profiles:

Subject: Data mining project
Date: Thu, 7 Feb 2013 10:44:06 -0000
From: "Tanya Kotwall" <>
To: <>

Hi Richard,

Notice your github online.. (was trying to understand the my_brain_hurts repositories)

A contact of mine founded in Munich, it’s a datamining platform and they partner with businesses like tripadvisor. At the moment they are looking for a front end web applications engineer as well as python backend engineer.. not sure if you are aware of anyone in the community who could be up for a challenge (down in Munich)?

Thanks very much for your thoughts J

Tanya Kotwall

Senior Consultant

NJF Europe Ltd

Here are the entire contents of the repo that they have problems to understand:

from os import*
for c in read(0,9**9):r+='\n'+' '*p+dict(zip("><+-.,[","p+=1|p-=1|s[p]+=1|s[p]-=1|write(1,chr(s[p]))|s[p]=ord(read(0,1))|while s[p]:".split('|'))).get(c,'');p+=c in'[]'and 92-ord(c)
exec r

And who could blame them? It’s not exactly pretty code. It’s also not very interesting – it’s a brainfuck interpreter. It first translates brainfuck into python (in the long line, the result of the dict call is a mapping between brainfuck (first argument to zip) and python (the rest)). The value of p is used for indentation. The last line executes the resulting python program.

So much for the explanation – and since they asked for my thoughts, here are my thoughts:

  • If you’re going to parse github, don’t just take the first repo in $language or you’ll end up writing to people about their dotfile repos.
  • Use a spell checker on your mail template.
  • Don’t put “This e-mail contains proprietary information some or all of which may be legally privileged. It is for the intended recipient only.” into your disclaimer. It won’t help, people will just ignore it. Oops, I think I just did. Sorry.
  • Use a spell checker on your mail template. Seriously.
  • The whole concept of recruiting spam doesn’t make sense to me. You’re basically recruiting people that are stupid enough to reply to spam. Or do you use those mails as a honeypot and blacklist everyone that replies? That would make more sense.
  • Use a spell checker on your mail template. And use one dot at the end of every sentence.
  • Oh, and about the python engineer in Munich? No idea.

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