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Listen, I've been duped by "English-speaking" pizza places before.

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Author Topic: Non-food spam-related curiosity  (Read 3987 times)

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Nabubrush

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Non-food spam-related curiosity
« on: February 16, 2004, 05:14:24 pm »

So everybody gets spam, but I have some questions to those of you in the know, and even if you aren't in the know maybe you have theories.

Anyway, I've been getting a bunch of spam that has really tiny text at the very start of it. Can't remember what the actual spam is for, but the tiny text has a little blurb about school buses and their regulation. I also just received some that was for refinancing, I believe, and it concluded with four normal sized paragraphs that were from some story, with lines like "Hi, I said to all the animals. Just tell me your answer, even if it sucks."

Why does this happen? I figure the reason they put viagra in the subject line like this - V|ag-ra - is so it doesn't get filtered, or at least as an attempt. Why would they be doing these other things?
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Ben-San

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Non-food spam-related curiosity
« Reply #1 on: February 16, 2004, 05:59:56 pm »

Presumably there are also spam filters that check the first or last few lines of the e-mail and punt it if they find things like "TEN THOUSAND HOOKERS LOOKING FOR YOU!!!" or "BREAK THINGS WITH YOUR ENORMOUS C*CK", so the spammers try to dodge these with a bit of innocuous text at the beginning and end.
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CortJstr

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Non-food spam-related curiosity
« Reply #2 on: February 16, 2004, 06:11:21 pm »

Some filters use a percentage based filter. Thus an e-mail from a friend that happens to contain a single Viagra refernce in a joke won't get blocked while actual spam with 4 mentions out of 20 total words will.

So some mailers have taken to sticking random text (often in 4 point silver or white font) in there to throw off the percentages. Some will even go every other paragraph. So you can read a chapter of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and get a new wang all in one convenient location.
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Nabubrush

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Non-food spam-related curiosity
« Reply #3 on: February 16, 2004, 06:48:57 pm »

Well that makes perfect sense! I can always depend on you folks.
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V-Adore

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Non-food spam-related curiosity
« Reply #4 on: February 17, 2004, 08:05:49 pm »

I have always been particularly fond of this phenomenon, especially as it resembles a natural evolutionary "arms race." Eventually we're going to have the spam equivalent of the salamanders with enough poison to kill ten men and the snakes who are almost totally immune -- incredibly effective spamfilters and spam so clogged in gibberish (or, god forbid, benign content) that it beats the filters easily.

(Of course, if spam eventually gets to the point that they have to swaddle three sentences about Viagra in an entire reprinting of The Phantom Tollbooth, I will feel vindicated.)
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Nabubrush

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Non-food spam-related curiosity
« Reply #5 on: February 17, 2004, 08:13:34 pm »

Quote from: "V-Adore"
(Of course, if spam eventually gets to the point that they have to swaddle three sentences about Viagra in an entire reprinting of The Phantom Tollbooth, I will feel vindicated.)

Free e-books! Wait, is that redundant?
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CortJstr

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Non-food spam-related curiosity
« Reply #6 on: February 17, 2004, 09:15:58 pm »

Quote from: "Nabubrush drinks (a lot)"
Quote from: "V-Adore"
(Of course, if spam eventually gets to the point that they have to swaddle three sentences about Viagra in an entire reprinting of The Phantom Tollbooth, I will feel vindicated.)

Free e-books! Wait, is that redundant?


Hence Alice's Adventures.... It's public domain.
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andalucia

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Non-food spam-related curiosity
« Reply #7 on: February 17, 2004, 10:00:49 pm »

Oh how I loathed The Phantom Tollbooth!  That floozy of a Dodecahedron!  Bad childhood memories, right there.
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CortJstr

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« Reply #8 on: February 17, 2004, 10:38:00 pm »

Quote from: "andalucia"
Oh how I loathed The Phantom Tollbooth!  That floozy of a Dodecahedron!  Bad childhood memories, right there.


You loathed the Phantom Tollbooth?! Don't make me banish you from my forum.
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andalucia

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Non-food spam-related curiosity
« Reply #9 on: February 17, 2004, 11:10:57 pm »

I'm sorry, Mr. CortJ Sir.  Please exercise mercy.
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St_Zartan

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Non-food spam-related curiosity
« Reply #10 on: February 18, 2004, 04:23:15 am »

Quote from: "CortJstr"
You loathed the Phantom Tollbooth?! Don't make me banish you from my forum.


Maybe she only just saw the 1969 live-action / animated version and never actually read the book.

Which would be a damned shame.
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V-Adore

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Non-food spam-related curiosity
« Reply #11 on: February 18, 2004, 04:08:06 pm »

I'm not sure I can live in a world where a friend of mine loathed The Phantom Tollbooth. However, the phrase "floozy dodecahedron" is comedy gold.
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Bozack

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« Reply #12 on: February 18, 2004, 06:35:29 pm »

I....I loved the Phantom Tollbooth. The Humbug! Those...other guys! The...short cop!
Man, you think you know somebody. Then you find out something like THAT.
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andalucia

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Non-food spam-related curiosity
« Reply #13 on: February 19, 2004, 04:53:28 am »

Quote from: "St_Zartan"
Quote from: "CortJstr"
You loathed the Phantom Tollbooth?! Don't make me banish you from my forum.


Maybe she only just saw the 1969 live-action / animated version and never actually read the book.

Which would be a damned shame.


I resent that!
I was probably seven when I read the book.  This outrage has prompted me to find the book, however, and I'll reevaluate given my 10 extra years of literary awareness.
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