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Ways to stop spam, detect robotic activity, and actually harm the spam trade, as well as how it works, how to circumvent filters, etc. 
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Email dated to the future
Date: November 04, 2006 07:10PM

Lately, I've been receiving a lot of spam that is coming from the future. It's currently November: I'm seeing emails all the way from December. This is obviously a ploy to get the email to bubble up to the top of the inbox, but it's quite annoying, because I've actually had this happen for legit emails too. Any comments?

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Re: Email dated to the future
Posted by: rsnake
Date: November 04, 2006 07:32PM

I've seen exactly the same thing but for emails dated way way way in the past so they show up only after I've cleaned out my inbox. That really is a pretty obvious heuristic.

- RSnake
Gotta love it. http://ha.ckers.org

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Re: Email dated to the future
Posted by: maluc
Date: November 04, 2006 07:52PM

Yeah, it's a pretty obvious (and effective) way to keep their spam emails the top in your inbox .. but email providers can't just disallow all future email.

For example, when i need to use my trial version of Microchip's C-compiler for PICs .. i set my clock time to the future, so the trial period hasn't ended yet ^^

Anyone sending an Outlook Express email with their system clock set in the future will likely send you one postmarked from the future - i don't use outlook to test.

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Re: Email dated to the future
Posted by: rsnake
Date: November 04, 2006 07:57PM

I didn't say it was a reason to blacklist, I said it was a heuristic. Obviously you wouldn't want to kill anything with a bad date on it, but you certainly would want to raise the suspicion. Using that as well as the other signatures available would help you detect that sort of thing easier.

- RSnake
Gotta love it. http://ha.ckers.org

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