Feb 26 2007
I am always entertained by the cat and mouse game that spammers play.
At first, we had a few rules to catch spam. But spammers got smarter. So we started using Bayesian filters to tell which emails are legit and which are unsollicited. And of course, spammers started working around it by using Bayes poison.
And as spam filters started getting better at detecting those, spammers started using images for the content of the message, and Bayes poison for the rest of the message. So spam filters started reading into those images to see if they were containing spam.
The next logical step was obviously for spammers to try to block the optical character recognition step. Not surprisingly, I received today my first spam as an image with diagonal text:
Let’s look at the next possible steps:
- Spammers introduce Bayes poison in images
- Spammers start using CAPTCHA technology for their messages
- Spammers give up on images, and start using videos
That’s obviously one of the many possible scenarios, but the bottom line is that the story goes on until we find a better way to do email. Considering how electronic signing has failed until now, the future of email is looking rather grim.