My spam fighting idea...
I've had the same email address for about 10 years, I use it publicly, and I get a lot of spam... over 1000 messages / day ... I use several layers of spam cleaning (my mail routes through 2 ISPs with 2 and 1 mail filter each), plus I use Mozilla with it's built-in junk mail filter (which I love because it has learned what I consider spam or not...) ...
BTW: Mozilla folks... After marking receiving about 200,000 pieces of spam, the junk mail filter is getting to be pretty slow now...
Anyway... Stuff still gets through... The main thing that comes through these days are messages that are just images, and a link to a website... The problem is that there isn't a lot of content to filter on in terms of determining whether the message is spam or not... I might have a friend send a message like... "Check out this picture - it's hilarious" ... and a picture of whatever is funny this week... And I'll have spammers send the same thing, but the picture is a big pile of Viagra, and I can go buy it from their website...
My idea is this... I glanced through the patent directory and didn't see anything, so I'm establishing this entry as prior art for anyone that implements it, and giving the idea up to the public doamin...
My [insert spam filter here - on the mail server or on the client] should actually follow the links on these short little messages, and filter on the content that the link leads to... Here's a message that came today... it's actually got a plaintext part and html part, and the plaintext part has nothing to do with the html (the text is designed to be ordinary and defeating the various spam filters), but the email reader displays the html:
CJ: Message headers here...
This is a multi-part message in MIME format.
CJ: This plain text throws off content based filters... Most mail
readers won't even display this...
Content-Type: text/plain; charset=iso-8859-1
Her dark, pretty face xvhfglittered there in front of me. I stood with my
mouth open, trying to ljeu think of some way to answer her. We were locked
together this way for dcsqmaybe a couple of seconds; then the sound of the
mill jumped a hitch, and something kmdncommenced to draw her back away from
me. A string somewhere I didn't see hooked on oufb that flowered red skirt and
was tugging her back. Her fingernails peeled khjx.
Her dark, pretty face bpryglittered there in front of me. I stood with my
mouth open, trying to mhtx think of some way to answer her. We were locked
together this way for cpegmaybe a couple of seconds; then the sound of the
mill jumped a hitch, and something plbacommenced to draw her back away from
me. A string somewhere I didn't see hooked on cbes that flowered red skirt and
was tugging her back. Her fingernails peeled euns.
CJ: This is the part that I end up seeing... low content, an image, and
a whole bunch of links to drug websites...
Content-Type: text/html; charset=iso-8859-1
<meta http-equiv="Content-Type" content="text/html; charset=iso-8859-1">
<img src="cid:mexjheto_mlsjprse_mzwuzxlq" border="0"></a>
SO... My filters have been fooled... Following the first link however I'm
taken to a pretty slick looking website... The content on the website includes:
Super Viagra, or CIALIS is used to treat erectile dysfunction, also known as impotence. This is when a man cannot get, or keep, a hard erect penis suitable for sexual activity.
The active ingredient in CIALIS tablets, tadalafil, belongs to a group of medicines called phosphodiesterase type 5 inhibitors.
Following sexual stimulation CIALIS helps the blood vessels in your penis to relax which allows the blood flow into your penis.
The result is the improved erectile function.
CIALIS will not help you if you do not have erectile dysfunction.
So I'm pretty sure that there's some good content there that would have my
filters freaking out...
This technique would have a couple of advantages:
1) If _every single email_ that a spammer sent resulted in their website delivering 10K of data, there would be some pretty serious (ie. expensive) bandwidth used up... (And might result in spammers effectively DOS'ing their own sites)...
2) The website(s) for these spammers pretty professional... they spell "Viagra", not "V1agr!" - so the link is more representative of the content of the message than the actual message content...
3) Legitimate emailers that send 50-100 messages wouldn't have bandwidth or DOS issues... legitimate emailers would have links to sites that are of interest to me... the content on their sites would match my preferences, and wouldn't be filtered...
So there it is folks... Mail / spam developers, go build this into server side and client side mail so that just a bit more spam will be auto-filtered before I see it... :)