OT - Wondering about spam

Page 1 of 2  
I get these nonsensical email messages a few times a week and was wondering if anyone can fill me in on their purpose:

SNIP

What's with the list of words?
--
Owen Lowe and his Fly-by-Night Copper Company
Offering a shim for the Porter-Cable 557 type 2 fence design.
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
snip

My best guess is that they're just filler words.
With some anti-spam programs and filters, one of the criteria for spam is the number of common "spam" words as compared to the number of "regular" words. The filler words simply lessen the chance the message will be caught by a filter.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

That sounds reasonable. I sometimes wonder about the mentality of some spammers. Do they think that deliberately misspelling V1AGRA to evade your filters will endear you to them and you will buy their wares? Sure!
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Hey, Hey. Not everyone has successfully finished "Hooked on Phonics" (tm) yet.
;-)
--
Think thrice, measure twice and cut once.

Sanding is like paying taxes ... everyone has to do it, but it is
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Owen,
Their purpose is to defeat the Bayesian filters that attempt to detect spam. As of late, most of the messages I've received like that also had a virus/worm/Trojan horse attached which got knocked out either by my ISP or by NAV.
You'll notice that none of those words "sell anything" and those that look like typical sales words have been altered (pr~ice) so they're not picked up by the filters.
Bob S.

hopkinsian
exhaustion
titles?
barstow
automat
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Fri, 21 May 2004 16:14:41 -0700, Fly-by-Night CC

to beat the spam filters. server side filtering is becoming more common and more intelligent. it looks for key words, so the spammers disguise them with random spaces inserted or special characters that resemble standard characters. the intelligent filters may also use the percentage of keywords in a message as a factor, so the spammers pad out the message with random nonsense. frankly I can't imagine buying anything from such an email, but apparently someons does or they wouldn't keep it up.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
The spammers insert those words to make each email unique. In other words, they put a different set of dictionary words in the spam they send to you than the one they send to me. If we both subscribe to an anti-spam service, it will not know the spam is really the same message being sent to us both.
Dave

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Fri, 21 May 2004 16:14:41 -0700, Fly-by-Night CC

I guess they are a list of random words, but every so often, there will be a word in the subject that hooks my attention as it will be a word I've recently been involved with or a name of someone I've mentioned. Perhaps this is just coincidence working on my paranoia :)
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Thanks for the explanation - it makes more sense now and I agree with Sandy:

--
Owen Lowe and his Fly-by-Night Copper Company
Offering a shim for the Porter-Cable 557 type 2 fence design.
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Terrorist coded messages.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Not an unreasonable suggestion, actually. What bettter way to mask who your recipient is than by sending it to millions who can rightfully claim to have no idea why it's on their hard drive?
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

millions
I have been thinking this for quite some time now.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Dave Hinz wrote:

Probably making the cryptography types pull their hair. With the volume and number of spams zooming around, it should be possible to distribute complete cipher tables faster and more frequently than really good analysis software can even get started on the old ones.
And even if spam could be magically eliminated, there'd be nothing to stop an unfriendly community of non-terrorist users from including random word lists in their normal e-mails to provide camouflage so that sympathetic activists (which group /could/ include terrorists) could communicate freely without needing to worry about snoops.
--
Morris Dovey
DeSoto, Iowa USA
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
wrote:

yeah... or it could be some clueless geeks trying to sell viagara and xanax....
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
snipped-for-privacy@thanks.com wrote:

Yuppers - I'm sure that this was how the wordlists (and silly short stories) started. I would hope it's true for /all/ such spam; but the crypto folks can't assume so.
--
Morris Dovey
DeSoto, Iowa USA
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
wrote:

remember that crypto is one of those fields where there are plenty if introverted geeks with immense brainpower and no social skills itching to make a name for themselves... it's not something that starts and ends with the fbi. those cypher kids will probably be the ones to show this up if it's so.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
I think using Usenet groups would be the easiest way to pass coded messages with rousing suspicion.
Make a simple code where phrases or short sentences have a different meaning and post the coded messages to any number of the off-the-wall groups.
wrote:

Mike Patterson Please remove the spamtrap to email me. "I always wanted to be somebody. I should have been more specific..."
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Mike Patterson wrote:

Mike...
I don't know. The server I use (MSN) knows which groups I read (I became aware of that when it asked for a userid and password for each group monitored). There's a greater degree of anonymity if the desired recipients are included in a spam mailing list along with a million "noise" recipients.
It'd even be fairly easy to provide a filter target so that the recipients wouldn't have to dig through a ton of normal spam to find their messages.
This isn't the right forum (and I'm not a crypto expert) for this discussion. Let's go back to making sawdust (-:
--
Morris Dovey
DeSoto, Iowa USA
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

One way that was used was encoding information in images on web pages. See steganography.
--
Sending unsolicited commercial e-mail to this account incurs a fee of
$500 per message, and acknowledges the legality of this contract.
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

millions
trained pigeons.
randy
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Site Timeline

Related Threads

    HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.