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Spam: Tactics, strategy, and angry bears

I know spam is spam is spam, and I know trying to figure out any logic underneath it is a lost cause. However… I am curious.

Many spam subjects are seemingly random, designed to convey whatever “information” they contain and fool spam filters. I understand that.

Many spam subjects are time-related. As an example, in the last months there has been a surge of spam mentioning Donald Trump. I am thankful: Very easy to filter out, even before it reaches spamassassin.

Of course, spam will find thousands of ways to talk about sex; cialis/viagra sellers, escort services, and a long list of WTF.

However… Tactical flashlights. Bright enough to blind a bear.


I mean… Truly. Really. WTF‽‽

What does that mean? Why is that even a topic? Who is interested in anything like that? How often does the average person go camping in the woods? Why do we need to worry about stupid bears attacking us? Why would a bear attack me?

The list of WTF questions could go on forever. What am I missing? What does “tactical flashlight” mean that I just fail to grasp? Has this appeared in your spam?


aeb 2017-02-23 09:04:26

If you’ve been adblocking

If you’ve been adblocking everything, you’ll probably have missed that there’s been web ads for flashlights for weeks now basically everywhere. “Get them before they’re outlawed!” and so on.

I have no idea why these flashlights are suddenly marketed so aggressively either. WTF indeed.

gustavo 2017-02-23 17:25:28

I got the same spam message!!

some time ago, my suspicion is that the random topic is to avoid being caught by spam filters.

how do you do content filter before spamassassin? is it reliable?

gwolf 2017-02-27 14:55:35

Breaking demographics…

Joey, I guess you are aware you are way off the charts in several demographic aspects, right? :-]

Joey Hess 2017-02-26 10:18:00

makes sense

I’ve never heard of a tactical flashlight before, but as a USian, it’s very easy to see how this label for a powerful LED light would appeal to multiple target demographics here.

(I have in fact encountered a bear in the woods while scouting for campsites. I was saved by tactical cowardliness.)