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Old Oct 10th, 2007, 01:59 PM   #1
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SPAM - is anything being done?

I have been dealing with two separate mail hosting companies lately that, in spite of their insistence they are keeping up with spam controls on their servers, my clients who are hosting on these servers are constantly being bombarded with an inordinate amount of spam.

I have accessed one of the server's SpamAssassin directories and reviewed some of scripts and they appear to be based on point-scoring to flag spam. There are reams of code with key words that you would think would catch 80-90% of this crap.

What I'd like to know is, why is so much incredibly obvious spam still reaching the recipients?

What is being done about spam in general?

How is spam allowed to proliferate and why?

You would think that in this day and age something could be done about this.

My clients are currently receiving spam on the order of at least 5 times the amount of valid emails.
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Old Oct 10th, 2007, 02:06 PM   #2
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I run SpamAssasin on the domain I manage and it helps but its not perfect. That said between its rules and the rules I have created in my mail programs I can effectively deal with the bulk of it..but its a constant battle to keep ahead of them as they try new tactics like image based promo's etc.

As to why it happens? Well its immensely profitable with little fear of persecution
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Old Oct 10th, 2007, 07:54 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MacAndy View Post
My clients are currently receiving spam on the order of at least 5 times the amount of valid emails.
Don't shoot me but I think it's in part your clients fault.

Where do they post their email address?
Who do they give their email address to?
What do they do with a spam email once they receive it?

I use my email address widely but not indiscriminately, get about 70 to 100 emails a day, many subscriptions to forums and automatic searches that I have initiated, and I receive maybe two or three spam emails per week.
And that is without a spam filter either at the ISP end or my incoming mail end.
I asked my ISP to disable their spam filter on my email address because it was catching mostly legitimate emails, often the ones in a foreign language, and not getting these emails created a lot more problems than the handful of spam I get a week.
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Old Oct 10th, 2007, 08:19 PM   #4
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The most effective filter diverts anything that is not addressed only to the boxholder. Next up a filter that catches a bunch of identical eMails to lots of users on the same server.

In Calgary Telus filters are pathetic, Shaw pretty effective, Nucleus was great. Incidentally my Yahoo address seems to have very solid filtering as well. One reason I have kept it.
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Old Oct 10th, 2007, 08:24 PM   #5
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Something that really irritates me is that CSIS and the Homeland Nazis want to tap all of our eMails and phones and yet can't be bothered going after the s that generate this crap.
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Old Oct 11th, 2007, 04:52 PM   #6
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As long as spam mail works, there will continue to be spam mail.

As long as 0.0025% of spam (the typical response rate of spam is one-quarter-of-a-percent) gets a "customer" there will continue to be spam.

As long as the money made from selling sex pills or stock tips or gambling scams is greater than the cost of sending millions of spam messages there will continue to be spam.

Want to stop spam? Educate the 0.0025% of people who reply to it with money to stop.
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Old Oct 11th, 2007, 05:15 PM   #7
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Don't shoot me but I think it's in part your clients fault.
You're joking right?

It's a Mac-users problem because their email was skimmed from a PC-users' address book? Huh? Please line up to be shot.

I have never posted my actual email address on the usenet, yet I get spam. Why? Because my clients using PCs have had the addresses skimmed from their address books. So I'm to blame for this? Ridiculous.

While I realize the Internet is not policed by anyone, you would think there would be some sort of way to control email coming from illegitimate sources. Isn't there some estimate that spam outweighs legitimate email by 3 to 1?

If I were sit here and start sending out spam, my ISP's mail server would end up on a black list of blocked servers. I had one account years ago that I could not send emails to a certain domain because that host's server had been blacklisted.

So far, the only response from the supposedly-competent mail hosts is that client-based spam control is much more effective than server-side control. I find that unbelievable. If servers were set up properly they would be able to block all but maybe 5-10% of the spam so it wouldn't even arrive.

What really bothers me is that the spam coming through is so incredibly obviously spam. I could see it being a problem if it looked legit, but message titles with all Russian characters?????

So, I am looking for someone who can work with SpamAssassin to improve its usefulness. Right now, it's virtually useless.
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Old Oct 11th, 2007, 05:58 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MacAndy View Post
You're joking right?

It's a Mac-users problem because their email was skimmed from a PC-users' address book? Huh? Please line up to be shot.

I have never posted my actual email address on the usenet, yet I get spam. Why? Because my clients using PCs have had the addresses skimmed from their address books. So I'm to blame for this? Ridiculous.
Your changing the scenario - your initial post was about spam that your clients are getting, not about spam you are getting. That's what I commented on.

But just out of interest - how is your clients address book being "skimmed" to retrieve your email address?
Is that not an issue your clints need to address?

I don't really understand how anyone can "skim" emails from any address book on any computer unless they have full access to that computer. And then you have a much bigger problem than a bit of spam mail.

I correspond with many people and my email address is in hundreds of address books - most of the people I correspond with have PCs not Macs, and the little bit of spam I do get is a 'hit and miss' approach where people have guessed my email address.

I really don't understand how/why people still get hundreds of spam messages a day and I don't. I guess nobody likes me

But seriously - the point I was trying to make initially is that some people just don't know how to handle spam.
Not only do they hand out their email address everywhere indiscriminately, they also click on links when they do get spam or even worse, click on the "unsubscribe" link that is often provided.

Rather than trying to filter out the spam, people should take steps to prevent their email address even ending up on a spam list.
If you use Apple mail you could try the bounce feature. Many of the emails you 'bounce' will probably come back as undeliverable, but for the ones that don't, you may be taken off that list.
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Old Oct 11th, 2007, 06:05 PM   #9
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I was making a comparison - both my clients and myself use Macs - and from what I can surmise, by simply emailing PC users who are infected with any of the myriad of viruses and worms that are prevalent on PCs, their address books [with my client
s emails and with mine, with everyone they have ever communicated with] have been compromised, hence the spam.

So blaming them for using their email address is ludicrous, they've never openly posted their email addresses on the usenet where skimming addresses is always a possibility.

When you send out dozens - hundreds - of emails a day you increase the risk of your email address being scooped.

And using Apple Mail is NOT an option. These are companies with employees who need to use "employeename AT employername DOT whatever".

See?
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Old Oct 11th, 2007, 06:07 PM   #10
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So far, the only response from the supposedly-competent mail hosts is that client-based spam control is much more effective than server-side control. I find that unbelievable. If servers were set up properly they would be able to block all but maybe 5-10% of the spam so it wouldn't even arrive.
Actually much better than that. The schoolboard when I worked for them were able to block well over 99% of the crud. I did have to fetch the occasional legit eMail maybe one every other month. Nucleus in Calgary has outstanding spam filters. Over 2 and a half years a total of 6 spams crept through, most of them on days Nucleus was doing routine maintenance. I had to fetch about the same number of legit eMails from the server Quarantine box. All of them had sent to or cc'd to multiple users.

The problem is providers are more than willing to gouge us for their service but reluctant to use some of that cash to buy the best spam filters.
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