[Spambayes] OT - broken spam

Skip Montanaro skip at pobox.com
Thu Dec 4 09:46:08 EST 2003

    atom> i've been getting spam with "Re: %RND_UC_CHAR[2-8]," in the
    atom> subject line for a few weeks
    atom> now... http://smasher.suspicious.org/tmp/spam.png

Yup.  There are several similar gaffs floating around.  A quick grep for
RANDOM in some older spam shows these interesting tokens:


and many other variations.  Try grepping a largish spam collection for
'%R[A-Z]*='.  You get a lot of similar stuff which sort of makes their bug

    % find Set4 -type f | xargs egrep '%R[A-Z]*='
    Set4/3797:ORD -->tercou<!-- abscess -->rse pro<!-- inviolate -->ble<!-- %RAN=
    Set4/3797:RANDOM_WORD -->en ob<!-- those -->ta<!-- zen -->i<!-- %RAN=
    Set4/3797:DOM_WORD -->n an<!-- carne -->d mai<!-- caliphate -->nta<!-- %RA=
    Set4/3797:NDOM_WORD -->i<!-- estimable -->n a<!-- dolly -->n ere<!-- %RAND=
    Set4/3797:D -->ble<!-- acrid -->ms rep<!-- fay -->ort th<!-- %RANDOM=
    Set4/3797:_WORD -->at th<!-- adulate -->is dr<!-- filipino -->ug inc<!-- %R=
    Set4/3797:  ma<!-- moneymake -->king ple<!-- accelerate -->asure an<!-- %RANDOM=

substituting for $RANDOM_WORD after encoding as quoted-printable...

    atom> totally off topic, but amusing since someone really screwed up
    atom> their spamming program before letting that one loose.

Not really.  That sort of stuff makes for killer spam clues and might
suggest other tokenizing tricks to try if needed.


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