UPDATE: Secret Spam Message!

Hey, remember that “spam from the future” we told you about last week? The message contained is so powerful, so advanced… it crashes Thunderbird, our email program. All day long, Thunderbird crashed through the canopy, over and over again, cracking goose eggs like our skull banging on the desk as we futilely attempted to mine the tip line.

Turns out the squiggly, seldom-used ASCII characters are the result of a Japanese character set being dumped into our puny American email. The Japanese are so industrious and hard-working, they’re already on the year 2038! Oh yeah, and it was porn.

What really burned our electronic biscuit was a malformed header that caused Thunderbird to lock up harder than our jaw after we got bit by that rusty prostitute in Reno.

In the end, we had to access our email system through a web-based interface (Squirrel Mail), delete all the spam, and then we were able to hear your consumer screams once again. Ah, the music.

Previously: Secret Message!

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  1. I use Eudora, and every now and then there’s a message that kills it dead too. Since my not-very-1337 anti-spam solution… ), I just use that to delete the offending message from the server.

    The last time I bothered tracking down why such a crash happened, it was because of an awesomely large header section in the message – which is a double pisser, because any program that “only downloads the headers” can appear to have hung, as it tries to digest N megabytes of freakin’ header crap. There are several other “magic cookies” that can thork various mail clients, though.

  2. I use Eudora, and every now and then there’s a message that kills it dead too. Since my not-very-1337 anti-spam solution is Mailwasher (old review: http://www.dansdata.com/mailwasher.htm ), I just use that to delete the offending message from the server.

    The last time I bothered tracking down why such a crash happened, it was because of an awesomely large header section in the message – which is a double pisser, because any program that “only downloads the headers” can appear to have hung, as it tries to digest N megabytes of freakin’ header crap. There are several other “magic cookies” that can thork various mail clients, though.

  3. Paul D says:

    The inexplicably large headers are probably deliberate, trying to cause a buffer error by overloading a field that’s not intended for tons of data. Your email client craps out, but not before allowing whatever code was supplied in the header to wreak havoc on your system.

    Watch your ass.

  4. AcidReign says:

    …..AOL mail isn’t affected, if the mail gets through at all. I’ve always felt their email module was safer than others. You have to click a special button to even see images and links in a given email.

  5. Jesse in Japan says:

    You want me to translate it for you?