Cyrillic spam impossible to block?

I asked my web host company recently why there was no way to block Cyrillic spam – that is, spam email that uses Cyrillic characters in the subject line.

They said there was no way to block those msgs without also blocking legitimate email.


They use different alphabets. I don’t read any language that uses the Cyrillic alphabet, so why can’t I just have a spam filter that sees the character set being used is Cyrillic and automatically chucks it out the door.

How is that hard?

It shouldnt be see if you can set up that yourself on your side as some sort of rule

They’re just being lazy.

Emails that you can read, are most likely being “encoded” as UTF-8 - an extension of traditional ASCII, but Cyrillic emails are usually coded as something called KOI8, which is easy enough to trap.

It’s trivially easy in Microsoft Outlook to can emails based on their encoding - Open any message, then click Actions, Junk E-Mail, Junk E-Mail Options… Click the International tab, then the Blocked Encodings List… where you’ll be able to pick what you want to block, then OK your way out of the menus.

It doesn’t seem to be as easy with Outlook Express, and different web-based email applications will have their own ways of handling junk mail.

Your web host company is run by a bunch of retarded monkeys. It’s very easy to block any kind of spam: Just sort a bunch of mail into ‘spam’ and ‘ham’ (not spam) and set a statistical filter loose on it. The filter trains itself and thereafter will correctly sort new mail into either the spam folder or your inbox with a very high degree of confidence.* Look at SpamAssassin if you want an example.

*(But not a perfect degree of confidence. You might want to glance over the spam folder every so often to make sure you aren’t missing mail you want to receive. That said, unless you legitimately get mail in Cyrillic, all statistical filters should file all of the Cyrillic spam you get to the right place.)

Hunh. Good to know because host does use SpamAssassin. I understand they may have legitimate need for Cyrillic emails to get through to some of their clients, but I want them stopped from getting to me. Time to send them another support ticket.

Thank you! You just saved me from a repetitive motion index finger injury from deleting all of the !@#$%^&* cyrillic spam.

Roman look-alike letters in Cyrillic are often used to register fake accounts for imitating another user on message boards: for example, you could probably register “еlmwооd”, even though my “elmwood” is taken. Admins try to block the use of Cyrilic by putting the individual letters in lists of characters that are not permitted in usernames.