This is not new, but worth passing on to those folk that would like to understand spam a bit better. Spam is a pain for all of us, and it’s not likely to get better. But the more we understand it, the more we can do something about it. If you think it’s just a bunch of sleazy guys who don’t know about computers and don’t know how much damage they cause, read this. It’s a PDF Acrobat file version of the presentation by one John Graham-Cumming, who designed the free POPFile spam filter I use and rave about every chance I get.
John goes into fascinating detail about the tricks spammers use, which helps us realise a couple of things:
1) These spammers are smart, or have smart people working for them;
2) Spamming is not going to go away, and spam filters are going to have to get smarter to keep up;
3) It may be worth splashing out on spam filter software if you’re a big company, but if you’re an individual, you may well be better off using POPFile and doing what you can to support folk like John, who are as close to the cutting edge of anti-spam design as anyone. (If you really like his work, buy some of his stuff.)