Emails made up of random words

John Rudd jrudd at UCSC.EDU
Fri Jan 9 18:23:54 GMT 2004

On Jan 9, 2004, at 3:32 AM, Rick Cooper wrote:

>> -----Original Message-----
>> From: MailScanner mailing list
>> Behalf Of Howard Robinson
>> Sent: Friday, January 09, 2004 4:33 AM
>> Subject: Emails made up of random words
>> Dear List members,
>> We are getting increasing numbers of emails containing
>> what look
>> like a selection of random words. It only started here before
>> Christmas. Is this a new phenomenon or have we just been lucky
>> before?
>> Whilst they are still manageable numbers at the moments & can
>> be quickly deleted there one or two members of staff
>> are getting
>> their knickers in a twist about them.
>> What's the best way to deal with them (the emails not
>> the staff)?
>> Thanks and happy new year to you all.
>> Regards
>> Howard Robinson
> Go here and use these rules
> if you are not already.

Based upon my observation, they miss the point.

> There is much discussion of this topic (bayes poison) on the
> spamassassin list and there are a couple of counter measures
> being developed so you may want to subscribe to spamassassin-talk
> and follow the thread relating to large collections of random
> words.

It's not just a bayes poisoning attack, in my observation.  Most of the
messages I've seen like this have multipart/alternative structure where
the text and html segments don't match (the text segment is gibberish
and the html segment has spam).  Rules that try to identify gibberish
would seem to be rather misguided ... just find a way to check and see
if the two segments don't match in content.

I tried asking about this on the sa-talk list, even re-posting my
question, and have had NO response.  The sa-talk list is rather
annoying in this regard.

Which thread topics are the ones you're talking about?  (there are too
many of them to read each and every one of them to track it down)

More information about the MailScanner mailing list