Fun_People Archive
28 Feb
MAILBOMBER being smart?... but it still speaks terrible english.

Date: Wed, 28 Feb 96 17:36:43 -0800
From: Peter Langston <psl>
To: Fun_People
Subject: MAILBOMBER being smart?... but it still speaks terrible english.

Forwarded-by: (Keith Bostic)
From: "Jordan K. Hubbard" <>

> Jon Loelinger writes:
>>So, like Ravis Tasakorn was saying to me just the other day:
>> Dear Users
>> I'd like to know if any of you have URL of cool sites where I can
>> download virus killer shareware programs.
>> It may be some of these virtual creatures living in my harddisk,Ah! :(
> Yes, and they sound somewhat intelligent too.  Odd...

Only just..  I did think to subject Ravis to a Turing test in a short
round of private email, and he failed it, so I'd say this is simply
another manifestation of the MAILBOMBER virus they've been talking about
over on AOL.

Yep, MAILBOMBER is one of the more insidious little virii to come out of
Eastern Europe.  It apparently forges mail from a randomly constructed
alias and posts it to a randomly selected mailing list (ours,
unfortunately, appearing to be one of compiled-in choices).  The topic of
the message is, of course, viruses and whether you have any information
on them.  It then scans the replies it gets to see if the keyword
MAILBOMBER appears anywhere, thus cleverly measuring its own levels of
notoriety and taking various protective measures when certain thresholds
are exceeded.

Fortunately, numerous bugs in its natural language output algorithm make
it rather easy to catch.  It seems that the author wasn't a native speaker
of english, and he coded certain linguistic misunderstandings on his part
directly into the virus.

In short, it may be a highly sophisticated piece of work, but it still
speaks terrible english.

Hopefully my mention of it 3 times in this message should trigger its
response mechanism into fleeing this particular mailing list.


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