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A hash buster is a spam filtering tool used to inject unique strings of characters into email messages. It is designed to fool the filter elements, known as hash-based filters, that take a snapshot of a given message to determine whether it is unique from other messages.
The general use of the word "hash" involves algorithms that correspond to data sets, often text messages, that are compared and contrasted. For example, hash encryption uses keys that correspond - and are derived from - documents to look for tampering evidence or verify a message's authenticity.
Hash buster tools put these different character strings into emails, so that each email looks like a different message. The hash-based filter then considers these to be unique, whereas without the hash buster, the emails would be identified as syndicated spam messages.
Experts have noted that hash busters are only successful against a hash-based filter and that because many email filters use a more sophisticated system, a hash buster does not allow spammers to be totally successful without other techniques.
In terms of their appearance, hash-busting character strings can appear unauthentic and strange in an email message. These types of tools add to the chaotic presentation of spam emails, which facilitates identification and flagging. In general, the low quality of spam messages often involves nonsense or non sequitur messaging, which is a telltale sign of unauthorized communication.