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Gmail Spam Filter Testing 285

An anonymous reader writes "What can you do with 1000MB of e-mail space on your Gmail account? One guy, by the name of Aaron Pratt ( ), has decided to test the spam filters of Google's Gmail service by having his Gmail account blasted with every kind of spam imaginable. He is testing to see how well Gmail's spam filters can sort out the spam from legitamate email (yes, he does get personal emails from people). As of May 25th, he was at about 30% of his Gmail account's 1GB capacity. You can track his progress on his website, (Google cache of this site: cache: Here is also an article talking about Aaron's efforts from"
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Gmail Spam Filter Testing

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  • first spam? (Score:5, Funny)

    by miketang16 ( 585602 ) * on Monday June 14, 2004 @10:36AM (#9419761) Journal
    psh.. i've done this to my friends before.. they didn't need to make a website to ask for it...
    • by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 14, 2004 @11:14AM (#9420126)
      Oh, I didn't know that was you who passed my address along so I could b uy che.ap v1agra! Thanks! Those pi1ls made my gr0w 3-5 lnches! It was really very thoughtful of you, Mike.
    • by ron_ivi ( 607351 ) <.moc.secivedxelpmocpaehc. .ta. .ontods.> on Monday June 14, 2004 @12:14PM (#9420701)
      Reviews of spam filters always seem to focus on how much stuff they block.

      The consequenses of blocking a non-spam email are so much worse (parent not hearing from kid. the customer that would have saved your startup.) than a spam getting in, I wish the spam filter reviews would focus on those.

  • by umrgregg ( 192838 ) on Monday June 14, 2004 @10:36AM (#9419770) Homepage
    Apparently, Google's spam filter even filters messages that aren't there. From the website:
    3778 messages were received, totaling 213 MB.

    3917 were spam, and Gmail correctly identified 41.9% of these messages.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 14, 2004 @10:37AM (#9419781)
    Is use the GMail data to operate a checksum blacklist. Obviously, if thousands (or millions) of their users are getting the exact same email, it's probably spam.
    • by kryptkpr ( 180196 ) on Monday June 14, 2004 @10:45AM (#9419854) Homepage
      Spammers have thought of this already, and they send nearly-identical messages.. Ever notice the random strings of letters and/or numbers at the bottom/in the subjects of spams?
      • by lockefire ( 691775 ) on Monday June 14, 2004 @10:46AM (#9419871)
        Actually, I get a whole lot of emails with the random words and nothing else. I haven't quite caught on to the advertising strategy in that.
        • by Cruciform ( 42896 ) on Monday June 14, 2004 @10:52AM (#9419928) Homepage
          I've been getting them as well.
          The only reason I could think of someone sending those around is to bog up Bayesian filters with random crap, possibly lowering their effectiveness.

          Any spammmers/spam-experts feel like enlightening us? :)
          • by Xzzy ( 111297 ) <sether@tru 7 h .org> on Monday June 14, 2004 @11:18AM (#9420158) Homepage
            My server was set up to forward anything sent to one of my domains to get dumped into a common inbox. I noticed a ways back (before I changed my config to just bounce all this crap) that I'd get a lot of those dictionary emails to random email accounts.

            So either it's some kind of probe to find working addresses, or a filter clogger. Or maybe both.

            For a few of the random emails I would later start getting "real" spam. Not a majority though.
          • by Halo1 ( 136547 ) on Monday June 14, 2004 @11:21AM (#9420195)
            Most of the time, these messages contain both a text/plain section with only random words, and then a text/html part with the real payload. If you use mutt or so, you most likely only see the text/plain stuff. Another trick is using just a text/html section with random text, but also with an image that contains the real payload.
            • by dragonman97 ( 185927 ) * on Monday June 14, 2004 @11:47AM (#9420447)
              Indeed - while I was doing a lot of spam fighting at work, I reviewed a honeypot I'd set up, and was amazed. I used mutt to review the messages, and found a couple of messages where the text part was a page or two from "The Wizard of Oz" and the nasty offer for some kind of auto insurance or other crap was in the HTML section, replete with hidden hash busters behind color backgrounds. These guys are sharp - they must be paying some smart programmers a lot of money, and it's only sad that they've sunk to such levels.
        • It's a good thing you're not using Outlook. :)

          I get those in Eudora and they don't seem to do much, my friends with Outlook however... not so lucky. :)
        • Try looking at the source -- when this happens to me, I see that the random words are plaintext, and the intended advertisement is in HTML (which I've blocked).
        • those emails could possibly also contain embedded image tags (known as web beacons). when you open an email and attempt to 'download' the image, some server on the net knows it was you who retreieved the image and has just verified that your email address is active and spammable.
      • by Anonymous Coward
        Anti-Spammers have thought of this, too. Things like the Distributed Checksum Clearinghouses [] have "fuzzy" matching.

        Google also has enough computer power to generate some sort of Bayesian filter to catch the most common spam system wide, and even a personalized filter on each account to catch the rest.
    • by Sulka ( 4250 ) <sulka.iki@fi> on Monday June 14, 2004 @10:49AM (#9419902) Homepage Journal
      Checksums are nearly useless against spam. It only takes one byte to change the checksum value and probably more than 90% of spam contain a personalization code to check which addresses are functional. Different code = different checksum.

      This doesn't mean it wouldn't be possible to create a system which would automatically detect individual spam messages based on tagging known spam, you just have to be smarter about the detection than just plain MD5ing the email body.
      • gzip it and compare the files. a short tracking code will make a negligible difference.
        • by Thuktun ( 221615 ) on Monday June 14, 2004 @12:04PM (#9420604) Homepage Journal
          gzip it and compare the files. a short tracking code will make a negligible difference.

          Not necessarily.

          Lempel-Ziv based algorithms, like the one used by gzip, build a compression dictionary on the fly. Any "personalization" added to the message will affect the dictionary to varying degrees from then onward. If it's near the beginning, the personalization would greatly skew the selected dictionary identifiers. Though probably this would have little effect on the actual compression of the data, it would radically change the representation of the compressed image. The farther this personalization is from the start of the data to be compressed, the less effect it will have.
      • What about vetting at least the image-based spam for checksumming? Scan the e-mail for image links (or images included inline). If there's a link, check it against the known list of spam links. If it's in the list, mark the message as spam. Spammers will quickly figure that trick out, though, so step two would be for Google to follow those links, and retrieve the images. Run a checksum of the image file itself; if there are a lot (say, a thousand) messages including the same image, tag it as spam. Thi

    • Except for the many different legit mailing lists that people subscribe to. Any kind of bulk email will be screened by this, thus crippling gmail by preventing mailing lists that people subscribe to from being delivered.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 14, 2004 @10:38AM (#9419791)
    ... to the entire Slashdot community! Now he's going to be flooded with all sorts of spam and shit. LOL!

    Oh... right. :)
  • whining? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Gothmolly ( 148874 ) on Monday June 14, 2004 @10:38AM (#9419796)
    What's Google going to do to protect its users from mail bombs?

    Now you're complaining that your free, 1GB-limit, access-from-anywhere email service could be mailbombed? Live with it. If Google "decides" anything more about our emails, we put on our tinfoil hats and scream. If we broadcast a bogus email address, obtained from gmail for clearly sinister purposes, and it gets mailbombed, we whine that Google doesn't "protect" us. Whats the story, or are we all just schizophrenic?

    Don't want that "vulnerability"? Don't use Gmail!
    • Re:whining? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by supersnail ( 106701 ) on Monday June 14, 2004 @10:47AM (#9419877)

      I don't think its about protection just practicality. Google offers a SPAM filter the littel pratt tested it and found it wanting.

      I think its more of a problem for Google than the end users. The whole Gmail "get a gigiabyte of memeory free" business model is predicated on most people using only a small fraction of that Gigibayte but felling good about the capacity being there. If I open up a gmail account, get p*ss*d of with the spam and go elsewhere without closing the account the 1G will fill up with spam in a couple of months, Google will end up storing terabytes of spam for cutomers who no longer use the service.

      • So what? If they have terabytes and terabytes of spam, they have a huge database to teach their filters with.
      • Re:whining? (Score:3, Interesting)

        by thogard ( 43403 )
        If I offer 10 of my most leeaching customers 1 gig of space, I will need 10 gig of space... or will I? How much of that will be duplicated between at least two users and how much of it will be used by all 10? Remember Google already has copies off allmost all the useful stuff on the net. If you grab some random web page and mime attach it to email, thats going to waste space in my mailbox but if google can figure out that they already have all the images, as well as the text, its going to compress down t
      • Re:whining? (Score:4, Informative)

        by cmacb ( 547347 ) on Monday June 14, 2004 @11:27AM (#9420255) Homepage Journal
        Actually the TOS for Gmail says that doing things to attract spam is a violation, so they could just close the account on that basis. Also, if you don't sign on for a certain period of time (a few months I think) the account gets deleted. I had a Yahoo ID for years before I ever knew there was an e-mail address associated with it. I never read the mail associated with my AIM id and I probably still have free hotmail and a few other things like that floating around. Failure of these companies to delete idle accounts is what causes all the good names to be taken. I think Google is more on-top of this than many of the others.
      • Re:whining? (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Valluvan ( 564515 )
        Not many are as gregarious as Pratt. I've been using gmail for some time now. I must say google has done a pretty good job with their spam filters. For not-high-volume users (which most people are), gmail works much better than other email providers (i have yahoo, ureach and hotmail accounts which I use regularly).

        Of course, google should improve and filter out the occasional crap I get too. And also offer 1 TB.
      • Re:whining? (Score:5, Informative)

        by Beryllium Sphere(tm) ( 193358 ) on Monday June 14, 2004 @11:43AM (#9420411) Homepage Journal
        >The whole Gmail "get a gigiabyte of memeory free" business model is predicated on most people using only a small fraction of that Gigibayte


        Google uses commodity IDE drives. Those retail for about fifty cents a gigabyte. Google's not paying retail.

        I read a quote from a Googleperson that by the time the drive is installed in a system, powered, cooled, backed up and administered Google is paying two dollars for a gigabyte.

        Good point about the problem of abandoned accounts, which won't bring Google any ad revenue. Wouldn't be surprised if they start euthanizing inactive accounts.
    • Re:whining? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Pharmboy ( 216950 ) on Monday June 14, 2004 @10:55AM (#9419956) Journal
      Now you're complaining...

      That is his JOB, to point out shortcomings of the system. He is a tester, and he is doing it for FREE. Google doesn't want testers who get 3 emails a day, they want people to test the living shit out of the service and point out what is wrong with it. Everyone knows Google will try to fix all the bugs, so all the press, good or bad, is still good press.

      If Google barfs when handling 999 messages in 4 minutes during testing, image when several million people have gmail accounts. Fortunately, now Google has an even to look at to see what the problem is. When you are trying to harden a system, YOU MUST BREAK IT OVER AND OVER AGAIN, to see where it is weak. This is what is happening.

      My impression is that the tech's at Google are spending a significant amount of time saying "oh shit, never thought of that, cool." which is the ENTIRE REASON FOR TESTING. They can't think of every situation by themselves. This is also the entire concept behind "open software is more secure". Google's gmail is going to have bugs at this stage and lots of them, period. Google knows this, hell, everyone knows this (this is why its in testing, and not open to the public yet, duh)

      It not whinning, its stating the facts, which Goggle obviously WANTS him to gather, as a TESTER. Seems to me that he is going beyond the call of duty to test their servers, since he is spending a fair amount of his own time.
      • When you are trying to harden a system, YOU MUST BREAK IT OVER AND OVER AGAIN, to see where it is weak.

        Slashdot operated under that philosophy for the first 2-3 years of it's existence. ;-)

    • "Whats the story, or are we all just schizophrenic?"

      Yeah, we all have multiple personality disorder. Luckily we also have multiple bodies, so we dole these personalities at around 1 per body.

      You're complaining about the lack of consistant thought from a crowd of random web surfers...
  • many e-mails has he recieved in total? I've kept spam for six months before and it totaled less than 100MB...and I get a cubic buttload of crap daily.
  • gmail still beta (Score:2, Insightful)

    by ryen ( 684684 )
    isn't gmail still in 'beta' stages? if so, isn't a review of spam filtering techniques a little premature?
    • by waddgodd ( 34934 ) on Monday June 14, 2004 @10:42AM (#9419835) Homepage Journal
      >isn't gmail still in 'beta' stages? if so, isn't a review of
      >spam filtering techniques a little premature?

      What part of Beta TEST escapes you here?
    • Testing occurs at all points through the process. This raw data needs to be "processed" & "reviewed" so that viable results can be determined. Once people have these results, they can try and come up with fixes for it.
      The fact that this guy posted, on hise website, for the net-world to see is just his way of giving the net-world an update. On a personal note, I think it was nice of him to do such. Especially since he will have to kill that e-mail account after giving it to /. people, who I am sure
  • Not a fair test (Score:5, Insightful)

    by SWroclawski ( 95770 ) <> on Monday June 14, 2004 @10:40AM (#9419813) Homepage
    He's not counting all the mail that Google is rejecting and not even being allowed in for further classification.
    • Re:Not a fair test (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Plutor ( 2994 ) on Monday June 14, 2004 @12:09PM (#9420653) Homepage
      Is there any evidence that Google actually does this? I would think that would be terribly non-transparent. Auto-deleting email that it's "really sure" is spam is still dangerous. Even the best-trained Bayesian filters will have false positives sometimes. Is this just random theorizing, or does GMail really fail to deliver some emails it thinks is spam?
      • Re:Not a fair test (Score:4, Informative)

        by SWroclawski ( 95770 ) <> on Monday June 14, 2004 @02:01PM (#9421891) Homepage
        Any evidence that they reject mail for various reasons? I'm sure there is. You can go ahead and see which RFCs they're in compliance with and which they aren't.

        If you don't have a PTR record associated with your host, try to send mail to them, or malform your EHLO or something else.

        You don't need to be "really sure" mail is spam- I'm talking about doing things like standards complaince checking, which will result in mail being rejected at delivery time.

        Is this just random theorizing, or does GMail really fail to deliver some emails it thinks is spam?

        There's no reason to get insulting. RFC 2821 has a number of requirements for delivery of mail that many services ignore.
  • by Clinoti ( 696723 ) * on Monday June 14, 2004 @10:41AM (#9419816)
    Can anyone provide a link or source to the kind of filters google has working on gmail?
  • I'll help (Score:5, Funny)

    by L. VeGas ( 580015 ) on Monday June 14, 2004 @10:41AM (#9419818) Homepage Journal
    Let's all send him an email and ask him how it's working out.
  • News... (Score:5, Funny)

    by somethinghollow ( 530478 ) on Monday June 14, 2004 @10:41AM (#9419821) Homepage Journal
    "Here is also an article talking about Aaron's efforts from""

    Since we are talking about spam and obtaining more spam, I don't know if I should read the site the article is on as "web pro news dot com" or "web pron ews dot com"...

    I guess I'll figure it out sometime.
  • Not that impressive (Score:5, Informative)

    by chrisgeleven ( 514645 ) on Monday June 14, 2004 @10:42AM (#9419829) Homepage
    Seems like Gmail only filters approx. 50% of spam. That is not very impressive, since the top anti-spam software and e-mail clients (such as Outlook 2003 and Mozilla Thunderbird) can easily reach 95% accuracy in spam filtering.

    I am starting to second guess whether I should transfer everything to my Gmail account.
    • by Apiakun ( 589521 ) <tikora AT gmail DOT com> on Monday June 14, 2004 @10:44AM (#9419851)
      Don't forget that this is google's first foray into mail software, and it is still in beta. I have so far gotten very little spam in my gmail inbox.
    • by XO ( 250276 ) <{blade.eric} {at} {}> on Monday June 14, 2004 @10:47AM (#9419879) Homepage Journal
      Sure, but those will also mark virtually every legitimate email as spam, as WELL. Yeah, you can have 95% accuracy... but then you have to go through your hundreds of messages marked spam just to find your real email!

      (example, after two weeks of using spam-assassin, it decided that every e-mail sent to me was spam.. i no longer received anything in my Inbox, everything was transferred to the Spambox. It took me another two weeks tweaking spam-assassin's kill rate down to about a 50% accuracy, and now i actually receive all my emails.)

      • I'm using a mail service that has SpamAssasin ( I configured my account so that SpamAssasin mark messages, but I did not create any filters to delete them of move them to a Spam folder.

        Lately, I've received legitimate e-mail from someone else with a Yahoo Mail account. Spam Assassin mark them as Spam.

        However, my mail client, Mozilla Firebird, does not mark them as Spam... So it stay in my Inbox (even if it contain the Spam Assasin Header and modified title).

        Actually, the Firebird Spam filt
      • Sure, but those will also mark virtually every legitimate email as spam, as WELL. Yeah, you can have 95% accuracy... but then you have to go through your hundreds of messages marked spam just to find your real email!

        Rubbish - I've used thunderbird for many months now, with an account that gets quite a bit of spam. I have yet to see thunderbird make a wrong guess at whats spam and whats not. If anything, thunderbird is more likely to go the other way - allowing spam through - than deleting real email.
    • There are other multiplataform solutions (i.e. popfile, that can easily be "plugged" in both, but there are a lot more available choices) that have over 99% accuracy, but active training one of the biggest components of their success (every time a message is misclassified, correct their choice). I hope gmail will have far better spam detection ratio when out of beta and well managed by the user.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    If I understand what he was talking about on his site, what he cansiders as spam partialy legitimate mailing lists and are not realy spam even if he did not personally sign up for them. IE (Me signing him up for the gay porn of the month club.) He may not want it but, I signed him up.

  • to be able to reserve a name without numbers attached to it.... Damn it's going to be a race :(
  • by Zugot ( 17501 ) *
    Mozilla Thunderbird or Spamassassin will filter at least as well or even better. Is this just a test to see how quickly we can fill up gmail's disk?
  • by magefile ( 776388 ) on Monday June 14, 2004 @10:45AM (#9419861)
    The guy who got booted off AventureMail (2GB free) for trying to test their spam filters? The story is on Kuro5hin [], if anyone wants to see it.
  • My own gmail testing (Score:5, Informative)

    by Twid ( 67847 ) on Monday June 14, 2004 @10:48AM (#9419889) Homepage
    I did some testing of my own. I forwarded a ton of spam from my personal account to my gmail account, just to see what would get through and what would be filtered. For me, gmail was really effective, but strangely, one Nigerian e-mail scam mail didn't get tagged.

    It was from " Mr Jubril Udeh Manager of Credit and Accounts Department of North Atlantic Securities Sarls Lome-Togo Republic."

    Now, the funny part is not that the mail made it through, but that google also decided to show me contextual ad's on that account. Currently, the ads are:
    - Payroll Cards a Poor Substitute for Checking Account
    - Tips for Tackling Check Fraud
    - Sophos hoax description: Ethiopian airline letter
    - FAP non-US Investment FAQs

    In the past the mail has also shown me ads on how to open an off-shore bank account. I'm glad google is willing to help me with the $10.5 million dollars that I'm about to receive! :)

  • Wow! Lot o' spam. (Score:2, Interesting)

    by justkarl ( 775856 )
    As of May 25th, he was at about 30% of his Gmail account's 1GB capacity

    30% * 1000MB= 300MB of spam? I don't think I've got half of that in my life. Maybe 100MB of spam lifetime.
    SO, let's do more math. Avg. spam message=5kb. Therefore, 5kb/300MB(by 300*1024)=61440 messages? Am I right? That is a whole bunch!
    • by Mz6 ( 741941 ) *
      Hmm.. well let's see...

      His last week stats are:

      3778 messages were received, totaling 213 MB. 3917 were spam, and Gmail correctly identified 41.9% of these messages.

      Something is off... Unless his spams contain attachments, this says that each of his emails were 17 MB in size each.

      I mean 17.73708.. This is /. afterall. :)

  • by AviLazar ( 741826 ) on Monday June 14, 2004 @10:53AM (#9419941) Journal
    While we cannot block every domain name (i.e. if you get spam from $#(*$ because it will alienate your legitimate contacts, there are many domain names that we can block (i.e. Yahoo provides email/domain name blocking, but limits this to 100 (unless you are paying). Do we know if gmail will have this limitation?
    *just for those who didn't know, the above domain names and email accounts are random, any resemblence to an actual domain or email account is purely coincidental, and if you choose to do so, you should sue /., not me :)
    • Gmail allows you to create any number (at least they don't seem to have any limit) of "filters". These are rules that allow you to manage your messages based on sender, recipient, subject, if the message has an attachment, if it has certain words, etc.

      So this allows you to block some domains, if you'd like.
    • I've found whitelists, combined with treating everything as junk, to be far more useful than blacklists.
  • by osewa77 ( 603622 ) <`moc.liamg' `ta' `smsajian'> on Monday June 14, 2004 @10:54AM (#9419945) Homepage
    I have subjected my e-mail address, [mailto] to the same abuse. by redirecting all e-mail addresses that recieve lots of junk mail to this one and posting the address unprotected to lots of websites and newsgroups. At the initial stage, a lot of 419 scam mails got through, but now I hardly get any spam. No false positives for me so far.
    Seun Osewa, Abeokuta Nigeria []
  • Select "create a filter". Do so with the text of the bomb.

    Select all the messages that it displays as able to be included that you've already archived (one click).

    Select "Move to trash".

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 14, 2004 @10:58AM (#9419977)

    How about having Slashdot editors/Hemos test the gmail spell checker too?
  • This won't work for me, how will I get emails like:
    • Home loans and refinancing
    • Proven techniques help you find a date tonight - guaranteed!
    • suuuper streeeeeeetch your coock
    • Drive that new car today
    • Give the girl what she needs
    • SEXUALLY-EXPLICIT: Rise N Shine, there all here
    • Your Degree by Fedex shipped
    • Make your man hood work right
    • Rooooock Haaaaard Ereeeectiooons In 60 Seeeeeecooooooonds
    • Sexually Explicit: At home mom's nude on cams
    • Free Phone Free Shipping Easy Qualify
    • get the p .e.
  • Anyone know how he's pulling the numbers off the page? Is there some kind of sneaky back-end that we can get stats about our account with? Is he manually entering all this info? Or maybe some kind of "screen-scraping" techniques to pull the data off the page... hmm...

    I guess because his stats are about 2-3 weeks behind, it would indicate that things are leaning towards the manual procedure...
  • 0% Spam (Score:5, Interesting)

    by yuri ( 22724 ) on Monday June 14, 2004 @11:00AM (#9419995)
    Spam is unsolicited, so google should filter none of his mail.

    This guy solicited it.
  • This guy gets thousands of Spam mails without a problem, yet I can't receive a simple HTML attachment without the mail being rejected (552 Illegal Attachment). Hrmm...
  • Lack of updates? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Xiadix ( 159305 ) on Monday June 14, 2004 @11:07AM (#9420057) Homepage Journal
    Did anybody else notice that his site hasn't been updated in almost a month (May 25)? Seems his project is no longer working. I wonder if Google booted him.

  • by waytoomuchcoffee ( 263275 ) on Monday June 14, 2004 @11:11AM (#9420087)
    For those of you that don't have Gmail yet, there is a little "Report Spam" button you can use to, well, report spam. When Gmail gets a few million users, and even 1% use this little button, you are going to see the spam detect rate skyrocket.
  • Cache? (Score:5, Funny)

    by Freon115 ( 672518 ) on Monday June 14, 2004 @11:20AM (#9420180) Journal
    Do you really expect the Google servers to go down because of /.? ;)
  • Wow (Score:5, Funny)

    by EaterOfDog ( 759681 ) on Monday June 14, 2004 @11:40AM (#9420386)
    His wang is going to be huge!
  • by Avumede ( 111087 ) on Monday June 14, 2004 @12:03PM (#9420592) Homepage
    I pay the $20 for extra Yahoo email, and I have to say that their spam filtering is much better than gmail's right now. I have about 10 spams a day to clear out of gmail, where with Yahoo it's more like 1, often 0.

    People that don't pay for Yahoo don't seem to get such good spam filtering, though.

    Google can definitely do better.
  • Calculations? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by ( 463614 ) on Monday June 14, 2004 @12:08PM (#9420640) Homepage
    So, in less than a month, he has recieved in excess of 300 Megabytes of useless junk ?

    I think somebody needs to recalculate axactly how much bandwidth go to waste because of this SPAM plague. The cost in global comms traffic must be staggering!
  • by mparaz ( 31980 ) on Monday June 14, 2004 @12:30PM (#9420869) Homepage
    "Please invite me to GMail!"
  • by StressGuy ( 472374 ) on Monday June 14, 2004 @12:32PM (#9420889)
    I have Mozilla, it has a Bayes SPAM filter. Lately, it's been getting fooled more and more. The messages that make it through have one or more of the following features:

    1) Several intentionally mis-spelled words

    2) Lots of text in white (so it's invisible or nearly invisible)

    3) Message in .GIF form only - no plain text.

    Could you add filters that look for, say, more than 10% of the words mis-spelled, text font nearly equal to background color, or no actual text in message? These would take effect in addition to the existing Bayes filter.

  • by dirvish ( 574948 ) <> on Monday June 14, 2004 @01:42PM (#9421695) Homepage Journal
    I tried to do the same thing with my AventureMail [] account but AventureMail wasn't cool with it. They deleted my account! You can check out what little data I collected before the account suspension and read the emails to and from AventureMail about the merits of the account suspension at []
  • Yale Story (Score:3, Interesting)

    by dirvish ( 574948 ) <> on Monday June 14, 2004 @02:35PM (#9422283) Homepage Journal
    Here is a discussion [] from Yale's LawMeme on the legal ramifications of Prattboy's experiment. Does asking others to sign you up for spam count as an opt-in?

Where there's a will, there's an Inheritance Tax.