Utterly Meaningless » Blog Archive » OT: WHAT’S THE POINT?
  • OT: WHAT’S THE POINT?

    Filed at 3:50 pm under by dcobranchi

    I’ve been getting strange spams for a while now. Here’s the latest:

    what time

    backboard autosuggestible electronic antic condone quell chaplin blind trompe
    brusque combatted filthy blown bremen dunk
    automaton celibacy abolition eke inhibitory hobbyhorse

    No links. No attachments. Does anyone have an idea what they are trying to accomplish?

    8 Responses to “OT: WHAT’S THE POINT?”


    Comment by
    Davida
    June 30th, 2004
    at 4:16 pm

    I get them too. Sometimes they seem to have words related to emails I’ve received, although others are completely random. I have no clue as to their purpose, though. Somebody with too much time on their hands and a strange sense of humor?


    Comment by
    Tim Haas
    June 30th, 2004
    at 4:31 pm

    They might be the result of some kind of e-mail virus on someone else’s machine, or perhaps they are test messages assessing the validity of a list of addresses — advanced scouts for future spam, if you will.


    Comment by
    Chris
    June 30th, 2004
    at 4:32 pm

    I think they are trying to poison they Bayesian algorythem that power most of the better anti-spam tools.


    Comment by
    Tim Haas
    June 30th, 2004
    at 7:28 pm

    That sounds plausible. But don’t they usually have that nonsense stuff in addition to an actual spam message?

    Here’s an article on the phenomenon from Wired:

    wired....0.html


    Comment by
    Dave
    June 30th, 2004
    at 8:08 pm

    Yeah – I’m pretty sure its to tweak the Bayesian statistics…


    Comment by
    Anonymous
    July 1st, 2004
    at 12:10 am

    One plausible but slightly tinfoil-hattish possibility is that it’s some kind of code. If you really want to communicate securely, you send a message in code out to your comrades-in-arms, and to 10,000 other people.

    Spam is increasingly attracting the attention of the cops, but if you communicated like this, you’d wind up with the spam-patrol, and not the organized-crime task force or the Tom Ridgies after you.


    Comment by
    Heidi
    July 1st, 2004
    at 12:27 pm

    The text is to distract the word filters.

    Often the spam-advert is sent as a .jpeg image, which the filters cannot dissect. Perhaps your odd spam had an image that couldn’t appear.

    I am also receiving spams with jokes included to trip the filters. Some are amusing.

    Spammers keep at it because it works on enough people to make it profitable.


    Comment by
    Ed Hurst
    July 1st, 2004
    at 12:37 pm

    Among anti-spam activists, this is a widely known effort to evade filtering, indeed. While some folks see no message because they wisely disable HTML in their mail clients, it is also the result of incompetent spammers. They get their spamware from someone else, and fail to fill in all the blanks properly. If you learn to read mail headers, you may see from time to time some amazing incompetence in failing to fill in the variables there.