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I Say Risbubh

I keep getting this one, with a question about whether spammers can use it to get past filters:

Aoccdrnig to rceent rsceearch at an Birtsih uinervtisy, it deosn’t mttaer in waht oredr the ltteers in a wrod are, the olny iprmoetnt tihng is taht frist and lsat ltteer is at the rghit pclae. The rset can be a toatl mses and you can sitll raed it wouthit porbelm. Tihs is bcuseae we do not raed ervey lteter by it slef but the wrod as a wlohe.

Firstly, it’s a crock. That text is incomprehensible! Plus, it’s not entirely truthful in its message — try this variant, which really does make the ‘rset’ a ‘toatl mses’:

Aidnroccg to rceent rrceesah at a Biitsrh usvitrneiy …

Or maybe it’s just me who has to spend about 10 times as long trying to comprehend it. (Or maybe my font’s too small. whatever…)

Secondly, every ‘trick’ that results in spammers embedding large up-front blocks of readable text in their mails, scrambling letters around like that, using l33t-sp3ak, i n s e rt i n gs p ac e s, 92384 adding lsdjfgk random foo words to viagra confuse filters, etc. etc. will do nothing but hurt them.

Bear in mind they make money from spam by making sales — if they have to increasingly obfuscate their message to get through, their would-be ‘customers’ will not be able to read the messages, their sales will go down, and spamming will become unprofitable.

Remember: if the costs of spamming goes up (through effective filters, increasing complexity to evade detection, and legislation to prosecute them), and the returns go down, the spamming becomes unprofitable and more spammers will give up.

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