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Feb. 16th, 2007 | 10:21 am
mood: contemplativecontemplative
music: whirring fans in the morning

Something just occurred to me, while browsing through the subject lines of some of my spam..

Spam filters are now using adaptive techniques, which respond to messages marked by the user as spam and try to block similar messages in the future. This is partially automated, as the user still has to tell the filter which ones are spam and which aren't.

But the spammers have available to them an automated technique for dealing with spam filters on sites like yahoo mail. What they can do is create several accounts and send different styles of spam to those accounts. The messages which get through have evaded the spam filter, and are good candidates for mass mailing. So the spammers can use the spam filter itself to automatically develop new messages which evade the filter.

This won't help for personalized adapted spam filters, such as on a user's pc. But it will help for sites with communal spam filters, where the spammer has access to an account on that site.

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