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Random Letters and Words in the Subject Line

Tuesday, November 16th, 2004 by | Filed Under: E-Mail Help

What are those random letters and words that show up in the subject or at the bottom of many spam emails?

I get those emails too: a graphic will appear selling some product and at the top or bottom it looks like a three year-old was attacking the keyboard. Or you’ll see some random words like “goldfish tinman wart museum tragedy boxcar”. Makes for interesting beat poetry, but what does it mean?

I’ve heard a few theories about this…

Theory 1 is that bulk mail servers can generate random characters to make each email different, thus fooling ISP filters.

Theory 2 says that since the advertisement is in the graphic, a graphic without text might be filtered out.

Theory 3 reasons that some recipients will send a reply asking, “What’s that gibberish at the bottom of your email?”. This will verify a valid address allowing the e-spammers to send you more UCE (Unsolicited Commercial Email).

Theory 4 claims that it is a secret code known only to the UN, the Illuminati, Aliens, or the CIA.

The true reason for this, however, is zsvnln zsk dvm ksm a skddc cmisd mim ew foxtrot greenbean elbow nautical!

~ David

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