[Spambayes] full o' spaces

Tim Stone - Four Stones Expressions tim at fourstonesExpressions.com
Fri Mar 7 12:13:22 EST 2003

3/7/2003 12:14:02 PM, Neil Schemenauer <nas at python.ca> wrote:

>Skip Montanaro wrote:
>> I just received a message (attached) in which every word in the body was
>> space-separated.
>I wouldn't worry about it too much.  It doesn't look like an effective
>spam to me.  I gave up reading it after the first line.  I don't think
>the bozos who respond to spam would make any more of an effort to read

The fallacy here is that you're assuming that spammers will simply give up.  
They won't.  And a set of eyeballs looking at a mail, even if they stop 
reading after the first line, is better than no eyeballs.  So they'll keep 
trying things to defeat the algorithms, especially if their response rates are 

>> I'm working on a tokenizer patch.
>Perhaps we should be careful about adding stuff unless we can show a
>statistically significant improvement in error rates given real test

This strategy, which has been employed by the spambayes team up to this point, 
is very useful for research, but is quite reactive.  We're exiting the 
research phase of this project, and entering a product phase.  Reactive 
strategy is not appropriate for products (e.g. Microsoft security).  We must 
be proactive, and kill ideas before they become widespread in the spammer 

c'est moi - TimS

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