Pharyngula

Spam advice

The Dennis Markuze story has made it to Ars Technica. I am much relieved to have that pest gone from my mailbox, but I was thinking about one point everybody is missing: the human brain seems to have an edge over computers.

I just checked, and the FtB site has accumulated about 2100 spam hits which none of you have seen, but which were automatically intercepted by the software (you aren’t missing much: somebody really wants to sell you shoes, lots of shoes). Markuze was hitting me on email and twitter for more than that, and the thing was, those all got past the filters I’ve got in place. So one obsessed crazy man with minimal technical skill and nothing but persistence outperforms all the spambots out there, at least on the scale of individuals, if not in breadth of attack.

Spammers might want to think about that. Instead of writing a new generation of software to circumvent our filters, maybe they should recruit social misfits with obsessive-compulsive disorder, and write software that amplifies their efforts. You can blame me if they take my advice.

(Also on FtB)