Spam on the rise, those pricks

Have you noticed an increase in email spam lately?  I’ve gone from my usual 200 or so spam messages a day to about 2500 a day for the last couple of weeks.  It looks like the spammers are just belting out numerous copies of the same messages over and over again — which is an odd tactic, because that makes them easier for spam filters to identify.

Speaking of spam filtering, I’m sure you’ve noticed the many ways spammers try to disguise their subject matter to get past the filters.  A popular tactic these days is to use a synonym that’s too general to be positively identified as a black-listed subject.

For instance, consider a few of the synonyms used by ED product spammers for the specific part of the male anatomy that they are promising to enhance:

  1. “device” – how many geek emails would get screened if that word were black-listed?  Pick-up line: “Hey baby, wanna get parallel?”
  2. “aggregate” – not sure what all we’re aggregating here, but somehow you get it in a Gestalt sort of way.
  3. “weapon” – hey, watch where you’re pointing that thing!

What other stand-ins have you seen in your spam bucket?

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10 Responses to Spam on the rise, those pricks

    • You poor thing — you must guard your address well and avoid talking to strangers. Me, I've had my email address published on the web since 1997, so all the spammers have it in their golden oldies collection.

    • Well my Gmail spam folder (or label?) is always empty…. but that's because I've got a filter shoving it straight it the trash :D

  1. Brandon: What? At my office address, I get about 200 / 300 per day… and 100's on my gmail address.

    Consider yourself lucky!

  2. "Instrument" is one I see a lot. Most of my spam is in Japanese though. I looked up some of the words in my Japanese dictionary. I must've used my gmail address for something to do with speaking Japanese at some point, I guess. If I use IMAP and have it go to Thunderbird and turn on Thunderbird's Spamassassin filter, I don't get them though. Maybe GMail needs Spamassassin.

    • Oh yeah, I've seen that one.

      I also get a lot of Japanese, Chinese, and Russian spam. I haven't bothered to try to translate any of it, though.

      I've heard good things about Spamassassin, but I've never used it. I have my account pass through Postini, which catches about 95% of it.