Poetic Justice

Oh how we sail, in this wonderful place
where vision is obscured, and they have no face
yet the winds blow strong, and they never relent
the storm of spam that we all are sent.

The spam fiends currently propagating en masse have added a poetic touch to their efforts to be man’s saviour. Now, adverts for virility medication are interspersed with extracts from poetry – of the romantic kind. Who ever thought that these cold-blooded deviants could be so empathetic to the needs of men? After all, love and male performance pills go well together, right?

Here is an extract:
“I would give a kiss to know, why our centers turns so slow. I would live a wish to throw, why the gentler am we stow.”

Doesn’t it warm the cockles? Sadly, it is not the intention of these spammers to tug one’s heart strings, with excerpts of poetic verse, but to avoid being caught. A quick Google search found this stanza in a poem legitimately published on the internet (which is somewhat original considering the narrations are often extracted from ‘War and Peace’).

It is common for malicious folk to try and obfuscate the contents of an email by introducing superfluous text. The technique, called ‘hash busting’ breaks up the message so that the conveyed message is different to the actual contents. Each message sent can therefore be altered to be different on a byte-by-byte basis but still have the same meaning to a human reader. The aim is to break signature-based detection. Being human we simply filter out the noise and interpret the information accordingly, but this is not such a trivial matter for computers.

SophosLabs implements and is continually developing new proactive techniques for spam detection. Therefore tactics employed to alter the textual body of a message don’t work. SophosLabs continue to maintain a catch rate exceeding 98% and keep these malevolent bards at bay.

This email did not fly under our radar and was blocked accordingly. Sorry Spammers, didn’t mean to rain on your parade. Honest.