Just a matter of coincidence, I just got a newsletter from Sunbeltsoftware's- WXPNews -vol.6, #46- Nov. 14,2006 -issue #253 - looks like a direct hit. Anyhow, even 'innocent clicking of these e-mail/spam tells the spammer- someone is home.<hr>
XP Question Corner
Why am I getting all this gibberish-filled email?
Recently I've been getting a lot of weird email messages. They aren't exactly spam - at least they aren't trying to sell anything that I can see and they don't contain any links for me to click. They're just full of gibberish, what appears to be random words and phrases. Who in the world is sending these things and why? -- Genie L.
You're right: they aren't spam, but they are sent by spammers. The point isn't to get you to buy anything, but to get you to mark the unwanted messages as spam in order to confuse your Bayesian spam filters. Most anti-spam programs now use some form of Bayesian filtering - this is a way of using statistical methods to classify messages as spam (or not). The software "learns" to recognize what you consider to be spam based on the messages that you mark as spam. It's a great idea and works well - except when the filters are "poisoned" by lots of messages that contain large amounts of random words and phrases that's likely to appear in legitimate messages.
Bayesian poisoning messages sometimes consist of random words and sometimes a block of text from a literary work or the like. In either case, the goal is to confuse the filters and render them useless.
It's also possible that even though they don't contain links, some of the gibberish messages may contain web beacons. These are tiny, transparent (and thus invisible) graphics files placed in HTML email messages. When you open the message, your email client downloads the graphic from the sender's server. This lets the spammer know that the email address is a "live" one. <hr>Well safe passage to you John Dalek, don't get lost in space and, remember, the spice must flow.NaiveMelody NYC 11-13-06~9:40pm e.s.t. - All star - SmashMouth
Message Edited by NaiveMelody on 11-15-200611:38 PM
Message Edited by NaiveMelody on 11-15-200611:39 PM
Windows XP Home Edition
Message Edited by NaiveMelody on 11-20-200606:24 PM