The next level of spam
Posted by aogSunday, 25 January 2004 at 13:59 TrackBack Ping URL

I’ve been getting spam e-mail that’s gone to the next level of obsfucation to avoid spam filters (which indicates that such filters must be having some effect). These e-mails now have subjects that appear to be simply a random set of words picked from the dictionary. For instance, I just got one with the subject “handicraftsmen carbine contemptible ibm numeric”. Clearly if someone reads the subjects this will get deleted, so presumably the spammer is depending on the fact that most people have their e-mail set up to move to the next message automatically. In effect, the spammers are injecting commercials in to one’s e-mail reading. However, I generally preview the subjects and I’m also quick on the delete key. But I suspect that this will prove to be the impetus for better support for spam filters in commercial e-mail pacakges, in particular the ability for third parties to provide the filters while the e-mail package provides the buttons (such as “classify this as spam and delete”). Overall, it’s an excellent example of an evolving system.