It's hard to tell sometimes what's really going on with spam. Filters and other mechanisms are improving to some extent, creating the appearance that the problem is lessening, but it's doubtful that the overall volume of spam being sent is decreasing. But one type of spam seems to be on the rise: bizarre messages with nothing but short quotes from literary classics. Nobody really seems to know quite what the point of these messages is, but one email company says they make up 4% of all spam, peaking as high as 40% in June. The most common theory about these messages is that they're part of a slightly long-term attempt to confuse spam filters, in the hopes that users will label them as spam and throw off the filters so later spam that actually includes some sort of commercial message, gets through. Others say it looks like it's just the result of some sort of communications failure between a spammer and the zombie PCs they're trying to use. It's unclear exactly what's going on, and nobody seems to be able to track a spammer down to ask them. Perhaps they're all originating from somebody looking to rekindle people's interest in classic literature, rather then just trying to get them to look at some more porn.
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