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The following is an archive of a post made to our 'vox-tech mailing list' by one of its subscribers.

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Re: [vox-tech] spam current events
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Re: [vox-tech] spam current events

David Rosenstrauch wrote:
Peter Jay Salzman wrote:
i'm getting hammered with email containing text designed to trick bayesian
filters. unfortunately, it appears to be quite successful in that endeavor.
the email text is nonsensical, however the email has a gif image attachment.

at first, the gif was always named "image001.gif", and i was able to REJECT
such emails when Postfix detected a gif attachment named "image001.gif".
but whoever is sending this got smarter and now the gif file is named all
kinds of things.

i'm not quite sure how to filter these things anymore other than to REJECT
all gif attachments, which I'd prefer not to do if i can help it..

the gif image itself is mostly white with a few colored "threads" here and
there. i certainly don't see any text, so i'm not quite sure what their
purpose is. perhaps it's some kind of virus?

anyone else seeing these things? i'm getting them a few times a day now.

I'm getting loads of these too, and it's similarly brought down the effectiveness of Thunderbird's bayesian filter.

If anyone's got a solution, I'm all ears.

Maybe someone should ask Paul Graham for a solution. :-)

On a more serious note, though, I used to use the Popfile (popfile.sf.net) bayesian filter a while back and it was (at least back then) very up-to-date in terms of updating the filter to deal with new kinds of spam that were coming out. Might want to check the project mailing lists and/or source code and see if they've found any solution for this issue.


I used a program once, oddly enough it seems like a spammers tool, called worldcast. It allowed my to verify that addresses on my list were valid through a multi step check which included hitting the email server and confirming the account existed.

Is there someway to turn this concept into filtering an email based on whether the sender validated as a real email address that exists on a real domain.

It seems like a lot of spam spoofs who it's from or in fact has addresses that really don't exist at all.

I admit I may be a little naive in how this all works, just poking around.

OTish: Why the prevalance of nonesense spam. I'm missing the pyscho analytic perspective on the purpose here. It's obviously they aren't selling anything a lot of the time, and I haven't seen to many spyware or virus laden emails lately, just nonesense.
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