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Thread: Spam quirkiness

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    Regular Member wilfredlgf's Avatar
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    Default Spam quirkiness

    Been checking through some of the spam to identify blockable domains for the firewall. Got interested to see what lies beneath the image they used for the phishing email, so I opened up the source and and found this written after what was to be the legitimate message for people who don't accept HTML/Rich mail, HTML tags removed/replaced:

    You all set? backward barrymore uh.

    He slept the whole night through for the first time since coming out of the gray cloud, and his sleep was for the first time utterly without dreams. She still sounded awed. The chiming of the clock woke him each time the hour came around. Whatever else might have happened, her apocalyptic depression had passed. It's you! She didn't hit him; she seized the front of the robe he was wearing and dragged him forward until their faces were nearly touching. Annie Annie oh Annie please please no please don't Annie I swear to you I'll be good I swear to God I'll be good please give me a chance to be good OH ANNIE PLEASE LET ME BE GOOD. Just a little pain. cheeky.
    A quick check on the Internet and here's what I found on a web security forum posted by a user, the part after the legitimate mail:

    They had come with a search warrant.At some point the laughter turned to horrible dry sobs that awoke pain even in what remained of his left thumb, and when that happened he was finally able to stop.I knew you would.He slept the whole night through for the first time since coming out of the gray cloud, and his sleep was for the first time utterly without dreams..
    I thought the phishers would have a better future writing novels instead.

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    That is pretty interesting. Nice to know that spammers have some viable talen t.

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    I think there should be the equivalent of the Booker Prize for spam e-mail writers. I would nominate this one I received at work this morning:-

    His own door was open; he watched her approach down the hall in her old brown cowboy boots and her blue-jeans with the keyring dangling from one of the belt-loops and her man's tee-shirt now spotted with blood. Just stay cool. I'm going to finish this baby the way I started with that Royal. Paul himself was propped on his hands, legs trailing out behind him. She writhed and managed to turn over halfway. He wanted to tell her so much, wanted to tell her even though he knew that a ravening paranoid like Annie would reject what was so obvious. The man who had done that had eyed the drive-up teller with a lively, interested eye tall, blonde, wearing a purple dress that had cupped her curves with a lover's touch. apposite

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    Eh? That's really Odd...

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    They read like phrases that come out of erotic novel writing machines in Oceania circa 1984.

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    Regular Member wilfredlgf's Avatar
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    Didn't know you're into erotica, Quasimodo.

    They do read like that although it could just come out from any novel out there.

    As for the clueless ones - try to look at the source of your email i.e. the HTML code that lies under the spam email you get. Some of it contains stuff like this to try to fool the spam checkers to think that it's a legit piece of mail.

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    Regular Member wilfredlgf's Avatar
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    Here's what BBC has to say about it:

    Poetry is probably not top of the list of things you expect to see in the spam and junk mail messages landing in your inbox everyday.

    But lots of people are starting to find literary value hidden among the porn, penis patches, generic Viagra deals and mortgage offers.

    Some have composed poems using the subject lines of the spam they receive; others are creating verse using the strings of strange words that are often found inside spam messages.

    A lucky few have even found excerpts of novels buried in spam.

    Text message
    Blogger and journalist Clive Thompson found an excerpt from Chapter 20 of The Master Key by Wizard of Oz author L Frank Baum in a message that had as its subject line "the big unit" (no prizes for guessing what the rest of it was hawking).

    This is happening because of the success of spam filters, the best of which can catch 99% of junk mail.

    These filters work by scanning the words in e-mail messages to identify which ones spammers prefer and which ones are favoured by your friends and colleagues.

    For a while now spammers have tried to defeat these filters by breaking up offending words with full stops to produce subject lines like e.hance your attra.ctiveness.

    Unfortunately for the spammer, this just makes spam even easier to spot.

    Some spammers have taken to inserting decidedly non-spammy words in e-mail to try to convince the filters they are not junk mail.

    As a result spam is starting to appear with phrases such as "bernadine rustle lappet" and "arboretum severe acerbity henri" inside them.

    A few words are unlikely to make a lot of difference to the filters so some spammers load their junk mail with huge amounts of random words. One recent message had 780 words of nonsense in it.

    By including random text the spammers hope to fool the filters into thinking that a human, not a spammer, wrote the message.


    Cut-up class
    But as Clive Thompson points out, automatically generating text that reads like it was written by a human hand is difficult. This is perhaps why some spammers are turning to out-of-copyright novels for their text. It is an ideal source of real writing.


    It remains to be seen whether the filters are fooled by classic literature.
    The inclusion of rare words and literary works has spurred some people to create poetry from the spam that lands in their inbox.

    Blogger Kristin Thomas has composed a series of poems using only subject lines from spam.

    Grant Hutchinson specialises in three-line subject line spam poems but others, such as Paulette Adell who contributes to the Nonfamous blog, are happy to use words from inside the message too.

    Of course finding art in random collisions of words is a craft with a long history.

    Beat poets such as Bryon Gysin and William Burroughs were pioneers of the cut-up method in which they chopped up other texts and then arranged the words randomly to try and unleash its hidden creativity, says a spokesman for the Poetry Society.

    Gysin used the cut-up method on Rimbaud's poems to create new works in his own words and many parts of Burroughs' novels were created using the cut-up method.


    The method has reportedly also served pop maestro David Bowie well - the song Moonage Daydream was apparently created using this cut-up method.
    "There is a certain amount of composition that goes into this method," said the spokesman, "it is not completely random."

    Perhaps this will be one of the redeeming virtues of spam, that buried in the filth and lucre are some gems of ingenuity and creativity. But don't count on it.
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/technology/3247200.stm

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