[Spambayes] More "spam of the future" lately?

Matthew Dixon Cowles matt at mondoinfo.com
Tue Dec 16 16:02:28 EST 2003

> I've been getting a lot more "spam of the future" these last few
> days. Paul Graham predicted that improved filters would eventually
> force spammers into such tactics, near the bottom of his seminal
> article: http://www.paulgraham.com/spam.html.

I've gotten a few of those lately. I've found that Richard Jowsey's
idea of retrieving the URLs in messages that score in the unsure
range and scoring the pages received as a sort of synthesized message
helps a good bit.

That's a somewhat controversial thing to do. People have pointed out
that if everyone did it, it would enable a spammer to engineer a
distributed denial-of-service attack against some site they didn't
like. But I expect that a spammer could engineer an attack like that
more easily just by including a URL that pointed to the innocent
server with a link that said "Free sex here".

The other problem with doing things that way is that web pages don't
look a lot like emails. Web pages sometimes get scored as spammy for
the wrong reasons. I haven't looked at the numbers carefully but
since I get few hams in the unsure range, I could probably do just as
well by setting my spam cutoff to 0.5 or so.


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