off topic -- spam assassin

Jeff Epler jepler at unpythonic.net
Thu Oct 10 23:05:41 CEST 2002


On Thu, Oct 10, 2002 at 10:26:18PM +0200, Thorsten Kampe wrote:
> They *cannot* change. Spam will be always be spam. There will never be
> such a thing as "sophisticated", "clever" spam, because the spam's
> purpose is not clever. It's intent is to advertise useless and
> valueless things to naive people. "Clever" spam would perhaps go
> through to your inbox with by a higher percentage but it wouldn't sell
> anything.

There may arise other abuses of internet communication that are as
distasteful as spam, but more subtle.

"Astroturfing" (fake praise for a product) is one example that is
happening today.

There was recently a mistaken post to c.l.python about some obscure kind
of bycicle I had never heard of.  Write a program to generate 10,000
unique variants of a similar praise of your product, then post a copy to
ten mailing lists a day.  Make sure that they defeat fuzzy signature
systems like Vipul's Razor.  That's low-key enough that it may go
undetected by a good many readers, but might still convince companies to
pay for the "service".

I can't help but think there are more subtle things to come, if tools
for fighting spam-as-we-know-it become effective (and widespread
enough).

Jeff




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