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Lately, I've come across several blatant spam mails appending a list of abstruse words, e.g. "project riverine drowsy parson palpable clamshell ministerial coxcomb copenhagen tropopause filly despondent trainman cilia dichotomize assam crayfish concur chevrolet indistinguishable deer decal grievous yogi chromatin offset hogan armoire bluegrass colloquial briny"
Given the many mails trailing this litany of words, I've been wondering what gives. Does anybody know what purpose / s these lists serve? Are they carried for other spammers or for later trojan searches on a server or end-user machine's mail client?
These lists of words are unknown entities and therefore intrigue me. I do not understand them. Any illumination will be most gratefully accepted.
This is only true for simplistic filters that use static word lists. A statistical (bayesian) filter will have no problem ignoring the added garbage after a little training.
I'm using spambayes myself, and it filters those word lists very reliably.
A good statistical filter will collect data about both good and bad words. If you look at the list in msg #1, then you'll find that at least 90% of those words will hardly ever appear in any legitimate message sent to me, which means they get a spammy score in the database.
It's not good enough to fill a message with random words. The spammer would have to fill it with words that have a high probablility of appearing in legitimate messages to each individual recipient. Doing this is neither logically nor technically manageable. Even tuning their messages to positive words common to some largish organisation would probably be too much effort for a spammer who wants to make money.
Which has me wondering if there is any estimate as to how many spammers there are. The few stories I've read of those who do battle, suggest there are only a handful of massive bulk spammers.
Certainly I put my lack of spam down to that few people know its there. One of the biggest perks of having my own domain is that I can create any address I want and rotate them if needs be.
My experiences of Yahoo & Hotmail are that they quickly get found. Curiously the moment I stopped paying for POP mail my Yahoo inbox received even more mail..