| From: jm at jmason.org (Justin Mason)
| Date: Sat, 03 Jan 2004 11:07:08 -0800
| kevin lyda writes:
| > [ ... ] why are they sending total garbage? i've
| > seen mails to ilug and in my pending queue with no readable content.
| > some are empty, some have just random text. are they just trying to
| > poison checksum lists?
| The empty ones/ones with only hash poison are buggy spamware or dumb
| spammers, forgetting to add the actual spam message. Very annoying.
maybe. two other possibilities are the the content
was stripped (removed) someplace along the line; or
the spammers are attempting to overwhelm various
antispam measures. scale is on the spammer's side;
they can generate and send a _lot_ more spam, faster,
then it can be identified and filtered out.
this is a guess, but I would not be surprised if some
spam-engines "idle" by sending random-ish junk for just
that sort of purpose; and/or deliberately send a certain
percentage of garbage along with the rest of the garbage.
worse, the spammer's business model is built around the
scale advantage. something like one response per every
million UCEs is considered a "success" (esp. if the idiot
who is responding buys whatever trash the UCE is selling).
| What a smart spammer would try to do is track the likely subjects
| discussed by a specific target address, and use random words from
| that subject.
maybe. that sounds like it would ruin the spammer's
advantage of scale. and, guessing again here, if a
spammer were to do something like that, it might be
better to forge a From-address similar/identical to
some of the "regulars", as those are likely to be on
however, there is one point on which the spammers do
not have a scale advantage: many more people dislike
spam then there are spammers. hence, attacking the
companies which buy the services of spammers could
be a viable strategy; "attacking" means things like
bans, boycotts, and nuclear weapons. the problem is,
or so it seems, the trash being sold by UCE is being
sold by quick-buck fraudsters, who tend to be immune
to everything except a direct hit by a megaton.
( attacking the spammers also may help, except as long
as there is a market for spam, there will be spammers;
ergo, attacking the market is perhaps more useful. )
what a depressing way to start the new year.
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