Strange Messages in Spam
Friday, August 3, 2007
As usual, a lot of the spam I've been receiving has the spam "payload" nestled between passages of totally irrelevant words and sentences. For example, the following is a snippet from a Viagra spam:
"yes, god saw her, and¡¡painfully conscious that he was not improving the advantages his alma mater likes if he tries hard enough," he answered, standing very straight and looking "aunt clara says i
"yes, god saw her, and "yes, god saw her, and find them. "now, which will you have?"¡¡in shape again.
in shape again. ¡¡morning, she found the usually orderly room in confusion. some of the girls "now, my dear, make yourself at home," said mrs. many pleasures, except that of charity, and worked so hard that i fear he shortened
Why do spammers include these random passages of text in their messages, you may ask.
Well, spammers include hidden text in their emails in order to try to trick spam filters. A lot of spam filters are configured to detect messages that contain certain words, phrases or ways of structuring sentences that are commonly indicative of spam. If these indicators add up to a significant percentage of the message, the filter will block the message as spam.
The hidden text can effectively dilute the overall "count" of these spam indicators, so that the message can sneak through the filter. Many recipients would not see the hidden text, or even know it existed, but it is easily "seen" by the spam filtering software.
posted by Brett Christensen @ 5:42 PM,