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July 9th, 2008

The upside to spam

I was just going through the spamtrap on our mail server to hunt for false positives (someone has to get their hands dirty with the stuff, and there are usually one or two in amongst the rubbish*), and I noticed the latest tranche of Stormbot spam had generated headers were all war and rumours of war.

Storm currently pumps out spam with headers that pretend to be surprising news stories, with the intent that you'll click on the URI in the message and get hit by a drive-by malware download - and it really pumps them out. Most of the spam I see in the spamtrap these days is a mix of 419 and pharmacy scammery and Storm-bait messages.

And then I realised that there was an upside to this latest batch of Storm headlines: "What if they held a war and everyone thought it was spam?"

If only.

*Which means IMF is giving us a false positive rate of below 0.3%. Not bad for a mailserver's built-in anti-spam tools)

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