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encoding spam?

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yapadu View Drop Down
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    Posted: 07 December 2011 at 7:55am
Not sure if I just never noticed before, or if these spammers are using a new technique.

I'm seeing text messages (they look like text) but when you view the source the messages are just base64 encoded.  Guess the email client is decoding the source.

Am I correct in that spamfilter can not do keyword scanning on messages that are base64 encoded?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote LogSat Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 December 2011 at 9:32pm
yapadu,

Yes, that is correct. SpamFilter does not *currently* perform an decoding on that base64 encoded message content to check it for keywords.

We are alpha-testing a new major upgrade of SpamFilter that features a completely new redesigned SMTP engine. In addition to using fibers rather than threads, and adding support for things like TLS, this release does decode many more email formats, including the base64-encoded ones. We're probably going to pre-release publicly it within a few weeks.

In the meantime... we do have this option in the SpamFilter.ini file to block emails with such encodings:

;Set FilterBase64html to 1 if you want to block any emails with Content-Transfer-Encoding=base64 and Content-Type=text/html or text/plain

FilterBase64html=0

Roberto Franceschetti

LogSat Software

Spam Filter ISP
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote yapadu Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 December 2011 at 6:13am
Hi Roberto,

I have been spending some time since posting that query trying to stop these messages.

I would have to ask are you sure it does not decode base64 messages?

The reason I say this is I'm looking at a message right now, it was placed in quarantine rejection reason 13 - and it shows the keywords that triggered it.

When I look at the message source from the quarantine table it has a text/plain & text/html sections (and an image/jpeg section) all of them are base64 encoded.

If I decode the base64 message content the keyword filter that triggered it does in fact exist in the message.

So in this case at least spamfilter must have decoded the message before running the keyword filters...

I will email you a copy of the message for your reference.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote LogSat Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 December 2011 at 7:53pm
I should have been a bit more thorough in my previous post. I wanted to keep things simple, but this topic deserved more explanations.

If a message contains multi-part MIME attachments, and one or more of these parts is a text/plain or a text/html attachment that is base64-encoded, SpamFilter does indeed decode them and applies all the text-based filters on them (including keywords).
An example of such an email would be something like:
Received: from 211.239.153.213 by mail.netwide.net (LogSat Software SMTP Server); Wed, 7 Dec 2011 16:21:41 -0500
From: "waylen" <waylen@jalond.com>
To: roberto <test@logsat.com>
Subject: Re: LED Lamps From Waylen
Date: Thu, 8 Dec 2011 17:22:40 +0800
MIME-Version: 1.0
Content-Type: multipart/related;
type="multipart/alternative";
boundary="----=_NextPart_000_088E_01CCB5CD.FD3A47C0"

This is a multi-part message in MIME format.

------=_NextPart_000_088E_01CCB5CD.FD3A47C0
Content-Type: multipart/alternative;
boundary="----=_NextPart_001_088F_01CCB5CD.FD3A47C0"


------=_NextPart_001_088F_01CCB5CD.FD3A47C0
Content-Type: text/plain;
charset="ISO-8859-1"
Content-Transfer-Encoding: base64

SGkgU2lycywgDQoNCk91ciBMRUQgc3RyaXAgbGlnaHQgaGF2ZSBhIHNwZWNpYWwgcHJpY2UgZm9y
IGhhcHB5IG5ldyB5ZWFyIGFzIGZvbGxvdzoNCkpELVNMMzUyOFMtTjEyRDYwICBVU0QyLjUvbWV0
.........OMISSIS..........

------=_NextPart_001_088F_01CCB5CD.FD3A47C0
Content-Type: text/html;
charset="ISO-8859-1"
Content-Transfer-Encoding: base64

PCFET0NUWVBFIEhUTUwgUFVCTElDICItLy9XM0MvL0RURCBIVE1MIDQuMCBUcmFuc2l0aW9uYWwv
L0VOIj4NCjxIVE1MPjxIRUFEPg0KPE1FVEEgY29udGVudD0idGV4dC9odG1sOyBjaGFyc2V0PWlz
.........OMISSIS..........

------=_NextPart_001_088F_01CCB5CD.FD3A47C0--

------=_NextPart_000_088E_01CCB5CD.FD3A47C0
Content-Type: image/jpeg;
name="card-2011-1.jpg"
Content-Transfer-Encoding: base64
Content-ID: <200FBB4A8BC446EDB21F596F0D2758EC@PC201009220859>

/9j/4R+8RXhpZgAASUkqAAgAAAAIABIBAwABAAAAAQAAABoBBQABAAAAbgAAABsBBQABAAAAdgAA
ACgBAwABAAAAAgAAA
.........OMISSIS..........



What SpamFilter is *not* currently able to do (but the next release will), is to decode an email which does not have any MIME attachments, but rather has its entire email body base-64 encoded. In this specific case, SpamFilter does not currently decode the body as there are no MIME attachments to decode. An example would be the email section below, which as you see has no "Content-Type: multipart" in it:

Received: from 211.239.153.213 by mail.netwide.net (LogSat Software SMTP Server); Wed, 7 Dec 2011 16:21:41 -0500
MIME-Version: 1.0
Date: Thu, 08 Dec 2011 06:21:38 +0900
Content-Type: text/html; charset="UTF-8"
Content-Transfer-Encoding: base64
Message-ID: 5_1323274905168_1278962658406wf984tI_7689C27FC746872D570B.noreply@spf01.bizmailer.co.kr
From: Muk Eun Ji <no_reply@mukeunjikimchi.com>
To: roberto <test@logsat.com>
Subject: =?UTF-8?B?W011ayBFdW4gSmldIEJlc3QgV2ludGVyIEZvb2QsIE11ayBFdW4gSmkgS2ltY2hpIE1lbnU=?=

PCFET0NUWVBFIGh0bWwgUFVCTElDICItLy9XM0MvL0RURCBYSFRNTCAxLjAgVHJhbnNpdGlvbmFs
Ly9FTiIgImh0dHA6Ly93d3cudzMub3JnL1RSL3hodG1sMS9EVEQveGh0bWwxLXRyYW5zaXRpb25h
bC5kdGQiPg0KPGh0bWwgeG1sbnM9Imh0dHA6Ly93d3cudzMub3JnLzE5OTkveGh0bWwiPg0KPGhl
YWQ+DQo8bWV0YSBodHRwLWVxdWl2PSJDb250ZW50LVR5cGUiIGNvbnRlbnQ9InRleHQvaHRtbDsg
Y2hhcnNldD11dGYtOCIgLz4NCiA8dGl0bGU+TXVrIEV1biBKaSA6IEtpbWNoaSBNZW51PC90aXRs
ZT4NCjwvaGVhZD4NCg0KPGJvZHkgc3R5bGU9Im1hcmdpbjphdXRvIDA7IHBhZGRpbmc6MDsgZm9u
......OMISSIS.......

Roberto Franceschetti

LogSat Software

Spam Filter ISP
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