[Spambayes] a clever spammer (or one with a sense of humor)

Seth Goodman sethg at GoodmanAssociates.com
Sat Jun 4 22:06:04 CEST 2005

Apparently, spammers have been using variations of key spam words to slip
past spam filters for so long that my training database did not have
"Subject: Viagra" as a spam clue.  It has every other variation on that word
imaginable, but not the word itself!  I discovered this when I got a few
spams with a subject lines like "Our Viagra Pharmacy uses only licensed US
medical doctors" that actually scored below my ham threshold.  I have some
friends in the life sciences, so the other subject words are pretty hammy
for me.  I guess some spammer figured out this possible loophole and sent
out a few spam runs using the actual word instead of trying to disguise it.

No problem, I trained on three of them and the rest scored as spam.  I have
to tip my hat to the spammer who realized this opportunity and I find it
pretty amusing.  Perhaps they even had a sense of humor when they did it?  I
mean, they are _not_ going to make sales to people who run Bayesian spam
filters and that's about the only type this could hope to slip through.

It does remind me of that old bit of good advice, "When you have absolutely
no idea what to say, try telling the truth".


Seth Goodman

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