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Cocoa Replete Bovine Extract

Have you noticed that spammers have started using thesaurii to disguise titles?
This produces lots of malapropisms.
Let's say they want to sell you, oh, say CHOKLIT milk. The titles now look like:

cocoa replete bovine extract fjmdj

Vert, vert eViol IMO.

Edit, 15:20 CST: apropos of the song title, a Shreakspree quiz from mirabehn...

Brutus
You believe in doing the right thing, but aren't
always sure what that is.

What is Your Shakespearian Tragic Flaw?
brought to you by Quizilla

(You've gont to love the juxtaposition of Brutus in mid-stab and "you're too nice"!)

Woe unto my... er, ambitious friends!
*loonks at the CVs of LJ friends and TEUNCs*


Edit, 23 Nov 2003: Thursday, 20 Nov 2003 was the foficious 5th anniversary of the founding of the e-group fro TEUNC. Happy borkingday to the sparkly of sparklies!

--
Banazîr

Comments

( 17 comments — Leave a comment )
andrewwyld
Nov. 20th, 2003 12:30 pm (UTC)
What's the fjmdj about?  I can't see what effect it has on the title from an autofilter perspective (other than that it'll be unrecognized) and only spam has that kind of thing in the title, so it makes it easier for me to delete it.
banazir
Nov. 20th, 2003 07:33 pm (UTC)
What's the fjmdj about? I can't see what effect it has on the title from an autofilter perspective (other than that it'll be unrecognized) and only spam has that kind of thing in the title, so it makes it easier for me to delete it.

That's a good question, Andrew.
jwz theorized in one of violentbloom's recent threads that the random strings are specifically designed to defeat statistical analysis (learning spam filter such as SpamBayes). From what I know of Bayesian mail and news filters and statistical learning from text, I would think this would have minimal effect, and hand-edited procmail rules would have these trimmed off anyway.

On the MacRumors forum, there is a thread about random filler and random strings at the ends of subject lines (message titles) in spam:


Most of the cases, it's an identification code. If you reply and keep the subject, they will know the address worked even if you reply from another account.
Rule #1: Don't reply to Spam at all.



My personal hypotheses are that:
1. spammers would not bother to track via ident codes, though they do record reply sender addresses, or tag them as active
2. random gibberish is, as this poster wrote on the SpamBayes mailing list at Python.org, designed to confound fully-automated filters that use exact string matching

To paraphrase Helen Keller, although the world is full of spam, it is also full of the overcoming of it.

--
Banazir
sui_degeneris
Nov. 21st, 2003 03:15 pm (UTC)
In my more paranoid moments...
...I wonder if it's an encryption key.

For example, this morning I got a message with the subject line:

Join thousands earning huge incomes with eBay! ioeqhirnxw

At the end of the message (yes, I opened it - bad me), after the text (which offered "Software - Videos - Turorials"), there was this line of characters:

sjgtdasnkm qddbizctn qft ic pjz ylchttwcgb yq tjpf h

Coded messages? Or just the stuff that the monkeys produce on their way to duplicating the Bard's works?

banazir
Nov. 22nd, 2003 07:20 am (UTC)
Re: In my more paranoid moments...
...I wonder if it's an encryption key.
Interesting speculation, Denise. Upon reflection, though, I think it's very unlikely because:

1. the keys are so variable in length (and so short overall)
2. if they really were for encryption, they would bother to use numerals and capital letters

Coded messages? Or just the stuff that the monkeys produce on their way to duplicating the Bard's works?
Monkeys, fedinately monkeys. And successful ones, too.
It takes a lot of noise to throw off Bayesian filters.

Spink of the deViol! Loonk wot I just gont:

----- Original Message -----
From: Hammer Rosetta
To: bhsu@bwaha.wouldnt.yew.liek.my.address.spammers.die.trask.brun
Sent: Saturday, November 22, 2003 12:55 AM
Subject: Re: %RND_UC_CHAR[2-8], the fear somewhat


--
Banazir
istari_ala
Nov. 20th, 2003 12:59 pm (UTC)
I agreen
It's eViol to the extreem. There I was expecting to get a great deal of choklit cow's blood, and it turns out to be stoopid milk. Damn spammers!
banazir
Nov. 20th, 2003 07:08 pm (UTC)
Re: I agreen
It's eViol to the extreem.
Indead.

There I was expecting to get a great deal of choklit cow's blood, and it turns out to be stoopid milk. Damn spammers!
LOL, I'm afraid the life expectancy of a cow with CHOKLIT bloond in the presence of TEUNCs is considerably less than that of the Goose Who Laid The Golden Eggs in the presence of Dwarves. Most likely we'd lal become skeetervamps, and that's a fact.

--
Banazir
celandineb
Nov. 20th, 2003 06:33 pm (UTC)
I must not get the right spam...
My spammers are still stuck on trying to persuade me to add three inches to my penis. Or occasionally to change my car insurance. But none of them have ever been able to spell anyhow (they're worse than the worst of my students by a considerable margin, and that's saying something).

Celandine
banazir
Nov. 20th, 2003 07:03 pm (UTC)
Re: I must not get the right spam...
My spammers are still stuck on trying to persuade me to add three inches to my penis.
*brain cannot reconcile the image of Eliza Bennett with this declaration*

I know wot you mean.
It's an artifact of the economics of spam, which I'll write about some time in the coming week.

As this article from The Register explains:

[Canadian telco Telus researcher Andrew] Leung argues that spam makes economic sense, despite miniscule response rates, because spam can be sent at "virtually no cost to spammers". Spam, unlike conventional junk mail, is growing exponentially because it costs virtually nothing to send and all the costs of dealing with spam are dumped on its recipients.

"Electronic email is not at economic equilibrium, primarily because the cost of sending spam is more or less non-existent in the online world. It costs spammers almost nothing to send their material," Leung writes.

Leung reckons response rates to bulk commercial email is less than 0.005 per cent. That means that a typical email message appeals to 50 people and annoys 999,950. Brightmail chief exec Enrique Salem recently told El Reg that scammers only need one in a million respondents to phishing emails to make the con worthwhile.


Hence, men aslo get breast enlargement offers. It is evidently more cost-effective for spammers to completely ignore demographics and content, and abrogate targeted marketing, than to consider whether unsolicited commercial mass e-mail is relevant to any subset of the recipients.

But none of them have ever been able to spell anyhow (they're worse than the worst of my students by a considerable margin, and that's saying something).

They are als0 d3l1b3rately misspell1ng th1ngs n0w, though, just to def33t B@yesian spam f1l7ers. I find it quite heinous, actually.

--
Banazir
celandineb
Nov. 20th, 2003 07:51 pm (UTC)
*grin*
Eliza Bennett is my smiling icon, you see.

Of course some of the misspellings are deliberate, absolutely. They use diacritics to defeat filters too. I got this one today: "Makë It Lâst All Night!........... " The misspellings in the messages, though, are not (no, I don't read them except by accident!).

It's appalling. I call on karma to balance the scales for those who produce spam, ultimately. Perhaps they will all spend their next lives as dungbeetles?
banazir
Nov. 20th, 2003 08:44 pm (UTC)
Re: *grin*
Eliza Bennett is my smiling icon, you see.
Yes, I see - nice!

Of course some of the misspellings are deliberate, absolutely. They use diacritics to defeat filters too. I got this one today: "Makë It Lâst All Night!........... " The misspellings in the messages, though, are not (no, I don't read them except by accident!).
We who are familiar with måny a Scåndinäviän cønspiråcy find this vert amuzzling as well as annozzling.

It's appalling. I call on karma to balance the scales for those who produce spam, ultimately. Perhaps they will all spend their next lives as dungbeetles?
How about the afterlife where everyday they sit at 72 consoles and read:


Make more ¥£€ in Gehennom ثشغمک٨
Spämmer, reâch møre reåders אשױקצ


--
Banazir
banazir
Nov. 20th, 2003 08:50 pm (UTC)
Lest I be trasked by a Borg Fremen princess
every day
every day
every day

grammarwhores, improve your grammar љбезв

--
Banazir
celandineb
Nov. 20th, 2003 09:05 pm (UTC)
Ha!
How about the afterlife where everyday they sit at 72 consoles and read:

Make more ¥£€ in Gehennom ثشغمک٨
Spämmer, reâch møre reåders אשױקצ



Oh, that's an even better idea - Dante would approve!

Celandine
banazir
Nov. 20th, 2003 09:06 pm (UTC)
Re: Ha!
Oh, that's an even better idea - Dante would approve!
Spammers are ataleast dwon in the Malebolge with the pimps.
Personally, I'd make a level 7.5 for "traitors to bandwidth". :-P

--
Banazir
(Anonymous)
Nov. 21st, 2003 01:05 am (UTC)
I don't liek spam!

Unmless it has free tencooos.

Demosthenes
banazir
Nov. 21st, 2003 01:07 am (UTC)
I don't liek spam!
Yeah! Cllo!

Unmless it has free tencooos.
Even so, eww!

--
Banazir
(Anonymous)
Nov. 21st, 2003 01:19 am (UTC)
This, of course, misses the point. The idea should be to find the optimal level of spam that best balances the economic interets advanced by the propogation of spam against the economic side-effects created by over-propogation of spam. The question of whether someone "likes" spam is totally irrelevant. What we actually need is a market for spam.
banazir
Nov. 21st, 2003 01:29 am (UTC)
This, of course, misses the point. The idea should be to find the optimal level of spam that best balances the economic interets advanced by the propogation of spam against the economic side-effects created by over-propogation of spam.
The problem is that the equilibrium p6int is too high: spam does not cost enough. It doesn't cost yew yer soul... or does it?

The question of whether someone "likes" spam is totally irrelevant. What we actually need is a market for spam.
Mmm, pie.
Oh, waut - spam?!
Bha!

--
Banazir
( 17 comments — Leave a comment )

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