Sunday, December 18, 2005

Spy Vs Spy

MIT uses SpamAssassin to help filter spam email and, for the most part, it does a good job. However, it seems the SpamAssassin is sometimes outwitted by another assassin: Jason Bourne. I say this because the last couple of spam emails that have made it into my inbox have contained segments from Robert Ludlum's Jason Bourne series of novels, like:

"
slumped in the rear seat waiting to hear the words. The nun comes out, monsieur! cried the driver. She enters the first taxi! Follow it, said Jason, sitting up. On the avenue Victor Hugo, Laviers taxi slowed down and pulled up in front of one of Pariss few exceptions to tradition-an open plastic-domed public telephone. Stop here, ordered Bourne, who climbed out the instant the driver swung into the curb. Limping, the Chameleon walked swiftly, silently, to the telephone directly behind and unseen by the frantic nun under the plastic dome. He was not seen, but he could hear clearly as he stood several feet behind her. The Meurice! she shouted into the phone. The name is Brielle. Hell be there at noon. ... Yes, yes, Ill stop at my flat, change
"

I guess the inclusion of random innocuous text like this in addition to the usual pitches for Cialis etc is enough to throw off the spam filter, at least for a while.

Is the use of segments from this particular series of novels, with their theme of sneakiness of various sorts, a knowing wink on the part of the spammers ? Who knows, but I found it amusing all the same.

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