xxglrSPAM Subjeccct LInESS c

It seems like all the spam I’m getting lately has garbled subject lines.

For example, right now in my Junk Mail folder, I have:

NL kill the paiinn Y
Q eex llarge maanhood n
ha biigger llaady-pleeaserr c
TFF kill the Paain km
coggss ex llarge maannhoood bguu
x full d/pplommAA e
YnY dexgrreeees frm hhoMMe n
What ever happened to subject lines like “WANT A BIGGER C*CK???!!!” I mean, it may have been lewd and annoying, but at least it was intelligible.


I think they’re doing this on purpose, trying to create subjects that are still readable by humans while defeating spam filters. I see a lot of things like “pen1s” and “peni5” and the like, that are recognizable by people but which don’t match your filters.

A lot of them also using multi-line Subject: lines, and putting strings of seemingly random letters a few lines down in the subject, so you’ll get things like:

Subject: Q eex llarge maanhood n


and I suspect they’re using those “random” strings for tracking – either giving every e-mail address a different code and thus tracking which addresses are valid and which bounce, or giving each batch of messages they send out a code and seeing how many bounces they get from that batch so they know which lists of addresses are worth more.

These people are pure evil, after all.

… and when I say “readable by humans” and “recognizable by people,” I mean “you can just barely make out what it means, even if you’re pretty sure the author is a naked mole rat on crack scampering about on a keyboard.”

further amazeing amazeing demonstration at how much filtering a human brain can do and still astract nowlage frm a sent-ince tht iz all most totly rong & verrrgeing on noncents.

Everybody (well, lots of people) added those to their filters, so this kind of message went right to the junk mail filter. So the evil spammers tried slight misspellings hoping to sneak by people’s junk mail filters. (But it’s not working for you, since you said these were in your junk mail filter.) Still, it probably does sneak by for many people.

And the random strings of characters serve 2 purposes for spammers:

  1. Many ISP’s try to catch identical messages being sent to thousands of people, and kill them as likely spam. The random characters make the messages not quite identical, helping spammers to evade these rules.
  2. Gives a unique identifier that can be used to identify a ‘live’ email address if they get any kind of a response from it.

Good point – I didn’t even think about your first reason, fooling the ISP used for sending, but it’s true that it will help them slip past outgoing mail filters and allow them to evade detection for longer than they would otherwise.

Your second point is even better, and is pretty much what I had in mind – using codes for tracking. It seems like a lot of trouble to go through, keeping track of individual codes for every e-mail address they attempt to send to. But it’s well worth the effort, because if they get any kind of response (“Remove me,” “I hate you and will kill your whole family,” or even no response at all – as long as it isn’t a bounce from your server’s mail program that indicates the address is invalid, it’s good for the spammers) they can immediately identify which addresses are real, and target those known-good addresses with heavier streams of spam. And they can also charge other companies a much higher price for sending messages to these known-good addresses.

Unless you reply to the message, putting a unique code in the subject line isn’t going to do anything. It’s there to get past spam filters only.

To track a message, unique codes are built into the urls used to show images and for links.

What’s funny I think very few people will open an e-mail that says **muym WxAvNtT More MbAn JiUoIcCeJ ofixgrodth **, some what more will open one that says Come Meet Singles In Your Area…(and increse your Penis Size) but what ever happend to the good old Hey Joey, How are you or Re: Question for you. I would imagine those plain old ordinary friendly subject lines would slip past filters pretty easily too. Then the spammers can put whatever they want in to the message.

Spam filters examine the message body too, not just the header. So they still need to use garbled text in the message to slip past a filter.