strange_complex: (Purple and black phone)
This is mainly a test post, really.

But while I'm at it, have a picture of the Choiseul Gouffier Apollo.


Choiseul Gouffier Apollo 4.jpg



ETA: OK, so lessons learnt - use <br> or <p> if you want line breaks, and don't try to get clever with links. The picture worked, though!

Spam tactics

Monday, 5 July 2004 15:05
strange_complex: (Default)
Isn't it weird how the very devices which the proponents of spam use to get past automatic filtering systems also make their emails instantly identifiable as spam to human beings?

I just got an email on the Oxgoths mailing list from a sender named 'Debian-user', with an attachment, entitled:

"[oxgoths] Smile to see the world becomes better! ;-) flake"

Of course one does expect to get email from people one doesn't know on a mailing list. The username 'Debian-user' did sound a bit spurious, but then the goth world is replete with geeky people who use all kinds of languages, programs, etc, which I have never heard of. But the real reason I didn't open it was the appearance of the random word 'flake' on the end of the header: a common spammers' trick which instantly identified it (and its attachment) as unwanted.

I don't know why they do this, incidentally: I just know from the other spam I get that they do. Maybe some filters only look at the last word of the header, so something random and innocuous at that point will throw them off the scent?

Anyway, I suppose the coveted goal of the spam-merchants is to find a way of tricking both machines and humans. Doubtless they'll find a way, eventually...

Spamfest in my inbox

Wednesday, 5 May 2004 14:31
strange_complex: (Default)
Now, I long ago accepted that I was going to get about 4 times as much spam as real mail in my Yahoo account (which is my main one). I didn't mind too much, because Yahoo have a pretty good spam filter, so most of it has always gone straight into my Bulk mail folder.

But I opened my mail just now for the first time since about 8pm last night, and found a whopping 115 spam messages, to only 7 real ones! That is not even within the space of 24 hours: more like 18, I guess. Plus, 40 of the spam ones hadn't been filtered, and hence had to be weeded out of my inbox. Oh, and by the time I had finished my all-of-20-minute session, 3 more had arrived.

This just can't be right, can it? I knew the rate had been going up lately, but I hadn't actually counted up the numbers before today to notice how bad it was.

The really annoying thing is that most of them are obviously ultimately from the same organisation (I don't know what, because I never open them), since they all have very similar subject lines. Lots of stuff about 'Mike gave me your email address', 'Yes, I live in Russia' and 'Sorry my ICQ crashed' lately. So if that one single organisation were stamped into oblivion by someone with the power to do that sort of thing, my life would suddenly get a great deal better.

I don't want to change my email address, because I like my friends to know how to get hold of me. But I'm wondering how much longer I can stand this!

Thanks for listening to my frustrated rage...

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