The Spammers' Compendium: five years on

John Graham-Cumming Independent author

Almost five years ago at the first MIT Spam Conference I gave a talk in which I outlined the state of the art in spammer content trickery at the time. Five years later spammers are still constantly innovating and The Spammers' Compendium web page has become a standard reference for spammer content trickery with submissions from around the world.

In this talk I look back at the trends in spammer trickery, and to the future making a best guess at the way in which spammers will attempt to evade spam filtering.

The talk will also cover the open SPUTR (Spam/Phish Uniform Trick Repository) naming scheme proposed in a Virus Bulletin article that can be used to identify the same spammer trick across different products.

I'll wrap up with a look at the most recent spammer tricks, with a special emphasis on image-based spam, and data on the effectiveness of OCR techniques in identifying the text in spammer-obscured images.