Viagra, Viagra, Viagra Emails

Ah, I love the increasingly Spy vs. Spy perversity of the anti-spam email struggle:

Dan Lukas, lead security architect at Aurora Health Care, makes no attempt to halt e-mail with “Viagra” in the subject line.

Here’s why: Junk e-mailers learned long ago that when properly capitalized and spelled, Viagra (along with cousins Levitra and Cialis) is a dead-bang, Katie-bar-the-door, raise-the-drawbridge-and-flood-the-moat signal for any self-respecting spam filter. Hence the increasingly bizarre variants of such words in spam subject lines: v-i-a-g-r-a, Ci@lis, L*V*TR* and so on.

“It’s gotten so that an e-mail that just says ‘Viagra’ is extremely likely to be legitimate,” says Lukas,


  1. Just wait until we get voice spam – how the heck are we going to filter that? Viagara voice mails… ahhhhhh!

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