[Spambayes] Do SB check the Attachment too?

Tim Peters tim.peters at gmail.com
Mon Jun 19 11:44:52 CEST 2006


[yahoo.de]
> I believe that spambayes has no functionality to search in attachmennts?
> I send an attachment with spam content and i see in spam clue, that there is
> no Token from the attachhment and the email is classified as ham!!!?

While some details depend in part on which version of SB you're using,
and on some option settings, in general it's correct that SB has no
interest in attachments.

Remember that we're looking for spam here, and nothing other than
spam.  Text buried in an attachment isn't visible unless the user
takes explicit action to look at it, so text buried in an attachment
is worthless to spammers:  they're trying to grab your attention
(well, they're really trying to get your money ;-)), and no person
with minimal knowledge of reality ever clicks on an attachment they
weren't expecting.  Instead, adding attachments would just increase
the size of their spam, boosting the per-message cost of sending it,
with no payback.

Authors of viruses and Trojans (etc) have very different aims.
They're not trying to sell you anything -- their audience is computer
newbies still so naive that they'll open any attachment.  While that's
a major problem, it's not spam, and SB isn't aiming at that.  Such
attachments are typically binary (not textual) data anyway.

Then there's rare Asian commercial spam that sometimes attaches a very
large (like a megabyte) PDF catalog.  I expect that's rare precisely
because it's so much more expensive to send.  It's telling that when I
see one of those, I never see the same one again (newbie spammers can
be awfully naive too ;-)).


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