Spam, with a Side of Gibberish

Here's why spam may have random text in the subject line or the message body.

Can you tell me what the gibberish at the end of a spam message means? Is this code or just random filler to fool a filter?

J. Kiernan

We have found that random text added to the subject line (for example, "Get Rich Quick!!!! xuyrr") is more common. There are two possible purposes for this random text: It could be an internal marker for the spammer; if anybody responds to such a message, the specific add-on text might identify a particular mailing or campaign.

More likely, the purpose is to foil antispam tools that block specific message subjects. Spammongers also attempt to evade this type of blocking by misspelling words or inserting punctuation, as in "Regrow your Hair" or "Get out of D$E$B$T," both of which are actual subject lines from messages sent to the User to User mailbox (

Gibberish within a message may have the same purpose. Smart spam-blocking utilities attempt to detect spam based on patterns of text in the message. If a substantial chunk of the message is gibberish that varies each time it is sent, the spam blocker may have a harder time identifying the message as junk. Of course, the next generation of spam blockers may include a gibberish detector!

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