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Guest Paul_W

Spam

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No, not the real thing, the junk that arrives in your email. This subject has been previously discussed in these forums, but I thought to air my experiences with it. I have gone for the simple solution; that of signing up with a spam filtering company. It was a painless process, no files to download or install; no need to change my email address. I have read horror stories of such companies filtering genuine emails that happened to contain certain key words, but this company keeps a log of blocked emails for thirty days and having checked it, I found that the eighty or so emails they had blocked in that time were all spam. Had there been a genuine email in the log, I would have been able to release it.Much of the problem could be solved if it were possible to block, not a particular account, but an ISP. Two I have in mind are @yourbigvote.com and @yourbigfun.com. Writing from a considerable depth of ignorance in these matters I suspect the spam senders who use these companies have a deal where their username is changed daily or weekly to enable them to circumvent any blocking rule. If it were possible to block the ISP, then that little dodge would be brought to an end.Denis. The Ancient Brit.

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I would also love it if I could block an ISP. Spam/Junk Mail drives me nuts. What I am going to try do is I will make a new account with Yahoo or Hotmail and I will get a list with the companies that spam me and I will try e-mail them a few hundred times a day with junk. I'm trtying to find out how to send the same message 200 times quickly without haveing to compose/send 200 times. I will flood their e-mails with junk. I hope I'll be able to find out how to do that.Take careMikeEDIT: If your thoughts are "This guy has too much time on his hands and he needs help" errr....you are right :-)

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That doesn't work since the "sender" address is often forged.A lot of spam I receive comes from "my own address".The problem lies with the internet specification dealing with this.It should not allow you to change who the 'sender' is.

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There is no ultimate solution as yet, but give Mailwasher a go and see what you think. It retrieves your headers and such before you actually download them and then YOU decide whether to accept it, or not.http://www.mailwasher.net

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I just realized that 95% of the junk mail has an "unsubscribe" option at the bottom often written very small. I have unsubscribed from as many as I could...we'll see if I still get junk or not.Take careMike

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They tell me that the "Unsubscribe" option is there solely to verify a legitimate email.

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I heard that too so I just delete the pesky things.If your e-mail client supports it you can always set filters to either send spam straight into the trashcan or I think some clients allow you to delete them at the server.

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oh darn!! so I just told them that I actualy open the mail..now I'm in trouble. I'll look into the filter option.ThanksMike

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Yes, and now you expect a lot more.

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You could also threaten them with legal action - in some jusrisdictions it is illegal to send unsolicited mail to named persons without their express prior consent (Germany being one). For example, a company could not send out unsolicited advertising material to 'Mike, 345 Main Street, Anytown, Germany', although sending it to 'The Occupier, 345 Main Street, Anytown, Germany' is ok. The same rule applies to e-mail, and most private e-mail addresses are for named people, i.e. the option of sending an e-mail to 'occupier@isp.com' does not exist, ergo spam is illegal (unless, of course, you consented). Now - and this is purely hypothetical, of course - if someone sent the spam company an e-mail, claiming sending such material is illegal in his jurisdiction, how much trouble do you think the spam company would go through to check if the sender actually lives where he says he does? Just a thought,Cheers,Gosta.

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>You could also threaten them with legal action...How many people are actually going to do that, much less follow through with it, especially given that the return address is most likely non-existant? The best course is to just delete it.

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I found that the threat is usually enough - I've sent e-mails to quite a few of those. Once you ask for the postal address for service of a writ, the spam usually stops. Finding out their e-mail address usually isn't that difficult - my ISP allows for mails to be traced back.Cheers,Gosta

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Ihor,Yep. Not only does it verify that the e-mail got to someone, it now puts your legitimate e-mail addy (and often IP and other info) into a very large database that is, in effect, "opting" into mass mailings.These people suck.When I had my other site host, I could use .procmail and .procmailrc files to filter out the spam so I never saw it. I don't have direct access to my mail server with my new host. They charge extra to allow that.These people suck, too.So I have a myriad of filters in Eudora, so if it's from certain domains, or specific addy, or not TO me in a correct way, it gets tossed. I still have to DL it, but I still never see it. Hell of a lot of embedded viruses in those things, too.Those people suck most of all.I rate spammers right up there with lawyers and used car salesmen - all of whom should be put up against the wall.

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Gosta,Remember, most spam is from a few companies who are paid by the company to market them - and they usually use offshore servers - .ru is very popular, and so is china.com. And the mailers are usually just some kid in a basement either with a mail server - so no controls whatsoever - or free access to someone else's offshore.Maybe you can threaten the company that is advertising, and maybe they'll stop, but it's a lot of work. But nothing will ever happen to the mass-mailers until peole stop supporting the companies that use them.Think everyone's stopped buying from Ariane?Even threatening the wewbhost does nothing. The host has to go through so much work to shut a site down that by the time it's closed, the spammers (usually porn) has moved to another, usually free, site, or just another account on the same site. Ever wonder why so many links point to Yahoo! or any of those places?Boycott the free sites, get the advertisers to stop advertising on them, and make life hell for them and 90% of the spam will stop. No free host - no reason to spam.Making laws would mean nothing.If you want to see where spam is really coming from - use http://spamcop.net. It's free and easy.

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Hi Scott,>Maybe you can threaten the company that is advertising, and >maybe they'll stop, but it's a lot of work. But nothing >will ever happen to the mass-mailers until peole stop >supporting the companies that use them.Indeed, those are the ones you need to threaten. Sorry, if I sounded confusing >Think everyone's stopped buying from Ariane?You can buy stuff from them? ;) I thought their URL was a broken link, but maybe they don't sell to people who run Ad-Substract or disable cookies... Oh well, I'm sure I can live without their products. >Even threatening the webhost does nothing. You'd be surprised - if you have a valid legal argument, it will work wonders. Just last week I got a site shut down who owed my wife a lot of money for the webdesign. It took all of four e-mails and the site was gone. >Making laws would mean nothing.Why make new laws - the existing ones already cover most of the issues, the advantage is that they're ready for use in court rather than having to go through the lengthy process of enacting them through parliament.>If you want to see where spam is really coming from - use >http://spamcop.net. It's free and easy.Excellent site. Thanks for the link.Cheers,Gosta.

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I do just that. My ISP allows maildelivery through SMTP (in addition to POP3), allowing me to run my own mailserver (which is of course shut tight, allowing only the IP ranges in my LAN and the mailserver from my ISP to even connect to it).It has built-in mailfiltering, which currently blocks several hundred domains (including some entire countries).That way I block about 200 spam messages a week, with maybe 100 more getting through (from new addresses not yet in the list, but it doesn't take long to add them :-jumpy).Not ideal, I'd rather have some automated system included to save me some work, but it's effective.Mailwasher seems nice, but works only on POP3 connections. SMTP allows me to bounce the email as if it were incorrectly addressed without ever getting the message over my line (with POP3 the entire message has to be downloaded before you can get at the headers, with SMTP you can download the headers only and bounce from those (which also tells the other server to delete the message).

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The methods used by both Jwenting and yourself sound a little technical to an innocent such as me. For that reason at a cost of

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>Remember, most spam is from a few companies who are paid by >the company to market them - and they usually use offshore >servers - .ru is very popular, and so is china.com. And the >mailers are usually just some kid in a basement either with >a mail server - so no controls whatsoever - or free access >to someone else's offshore. Ha! Tell me about it. I'm the e-mail administrator at my job and there is a certain spammer from Taiwan who is relentless. I set up the firewall to block his numerous IP addresses, most of them from Hinet, and it's apparent that he doesn't even know that he is being blocked. He has made over 4,000 attempts in the past two days to connect to our mail server. "Kid in a basement" for sure. BTW, he sends a message with a link to an Oriental porn site, and it's not even a good one. Oops! (j/k) Scott, I use Eudora Pro also, but the advantage to using Mail Washer is that you get to block them BEFORE the mail arrives. This decreases the possibility of receiving a new virus/worm that would be undetected, or inadvertantly opened if the subject line is clever enough to make you do so, otherwise.

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Mike,Good news for you. I have found that it is possible with my filter company to block ISP or domain names. I did it using the filter company

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Cool. I think I need to look into it. Oh, and the unsubscribe option seems to work for most of the junk. I et a lot less junk now that I unsubscribed from most of them. There are still a couple of them though. Thanks for the info.Mike

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Being somebody who administers the messaging servers for a living, I'll give you a tip or two, as well...If you're able to get your mail vai SMTP, then you may wish to consider signing up with an RBL... and you also need to make VERY sure that you've got your server locked down pretty hard to avoid relaying mail out. Realtime blackhole lists will, occasionally, "throw out the baby with the bathwater" but they do work well. Most folks who blast spam out do not use their own ISP to send this garbage. If they were to do so, they'd find their accounts shut down in fairly short order.The relay problem is where most of this lays. In order to use SMTP, you've got to have port 25 open. Unless you're in a position where you can afford to have your inbound and outbound SMTP traffic on different servers, you must be cognizant of how to lock down SMTP traffic such that people cannot relay traffic off your server.For those who do not know what a relay is... Joe.Bloe@spam######.com needs to send out 450,000 emails for some great new porn site that is going to be shut down anyhow. He'll be well out of compliance with his ISP's AUP (acceptable use policy) if he tries to send it off their servers and they'll likely only get out about 5000 of them before he gets nabbed. Instead, spammers will get a list of open relays. Joe sets his software to use the smtp server at some unsuspecting admin's system. Often, it'll take days or weeks before said admin realizes that he's been blasting that mail out in such quantity.The points I'm making here (and hopefully, I've not gone too far off), are:1> If you are able to use your own SMTP server, consider realtime blackhole lists.2> If you're going to use your own SMTP server, be sure that NOBODY can send mail off it except for your local network. You'll wind up with a huge mess to clean up if you don't secure that relay!!Trust me on these... I wish I'd known about this stuff without having to find out "the hard way."Bill

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>Often, it'll take days >or weeks before said admin realizes that he's been blasting >that mail out in such quantity. And said Admin may find that HIS server has been blacklisted since the spam appears to be coming from him.

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Bill,Thanks for that interesting and informative message. Reading it has convinced me, if convincing where needed, that for an innocent such as myself, I getting good value for money by paying

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>And said Admin may find that HIS server has been blacklisted >since the spam appears to be coming from him. I was remiss in not pointing that out, yes...Failure to secure your relay, if you're running an SMTP server, will not only cost you money (bandwidth) and the aggravation of having to secure a server that the world may have discovered is an open relay, it'll also give you the aggravation of "Now I have to figure out who's blacklisted me." Cleaning up the mess can take a great deal of time and stress... Not to mention the spammers seem to figure out that a relay is open really fast. They don't get the idea that you're closed nearly as quickly. It takes a while before the hammering on your door stops.

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Heh...I had to learn the hard way also, Bill.

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