Image Spam

Why Trust Techopedia

What Does Image Spam Mean?

Image spam is a type of spam, or rather, a spamming technique, in which a spam message is delivered in the form of an image. This is done in an attempt to circumvent spam filters that scan for particular keywords. This works because a user can read an image, whereas many anti-spam systems cannot.

Advertisements

Techopedia Explains Image Spam

There are two ways to look at filtering image spam. First, anti-spam systems can be improved to have better image recognition. While many spam filtering systems have this ability, accurate character recognition is difficult.

As opposed to trying to "read the image," there are various other spam detection methods, such as honeypots, message header analysis or human reporting mechanisms that can help in detection. Additionally, there are many anti-spam systems that use a combination of whitelists, blacklists and so-called gray lists that force authorized clients to re-send messages.

Given all these techniques, image spam is no longer the issue it once was. Initially, there was a flood of spam, but as systems have adapted, it is now more of a footnote to the never-ending battle of spam prevention.

Advertisements

Related Terms

Margaret Rouse
Senior Editor
Margaret Rouse
Senior Editor

Margaret is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical business audience. Over the past twenty years, her IT definitions have been published by Que in an encyclopedia of technology terms and cited in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine, and Discovery Magazine. She joined Techopedia in 2011. Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages.