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SpamCop Discussion > Discussions & Observations > SpamCop Blocklist Help
pagejm
Please make allowances for my ignorance on this delicate subject, but as a mere Mailwasher user I have been religiously reporting spam to Spamcop for some time. However, I have not noticed a significant drop in the amount of spam sent to me. I asked my ISP (FreeOnline) if they use the Spamcop blocklist, with a negative reply. Surely, if the blocklist is not used by some ISPs the spam will get through, thus defeating the object of reporting spam in the first place. If I've missed something could someone please enighten me unsure.gif
Telarin
What you have missed is that when you report spam, that report goes to the ISP that the spam originated from. Most ISPs do not want their systems used to send spam, and will remove users that violate their terms of service. Unfortunately, there are far too many ISPs out there that either don't care, or are incompetant and allow spammers to continue to use there networks.

I work for an insurance agent with about 40 employees, and I use the SCBL as well as Spamhaus to block spam from entering our network to the tune of about 12,000 messages blocked per day.
Miss Betsy
QUOTE(pagejm @ Jun 14 2006, 05:17 PM) *

Please make allowances for my ignorance on this delicate subject, but as a mere Mailwasher user I have been religiously reporting spam to Spamcop for some time. However, I have not noticed a significant drop in the amount of spam sent to me. I asked my ISP (FreeOnline) if they use the Spamcop blocklist, with a negative reply. Surely, if the blocklist is not used by some ISPs the spam will get through, thus defeating the object of reporting spam in the first place. If I've missed something could someone please enighten me unsure.gif

You are correct. If you don't use the scbl to either tag or block spam, there is no particular advantage to you. However, there are some ISPs who do pay attention to spamcop reports (everyone makes mistakes sometimes) so, once in while, you do 'good' work by reporting. If you are not using the scbl to filter, however, it is entirely altruistic.

I don't use Mailwasher, but I thought from previous discussions that you can configure it to use different blocklists. Perhaps a Mailwasher user will help.

Miss Betsy
pagejm
Thanks for the quick replies, and for pointing me in the right direction. I found where I can activate the blocklist in Mailwasher, so I'll see if it makes a difference.
Miss Betsy
QUOTE(pagejm @ Jun 14 2006, 07:43 PM) *

Thanks for the quick replies, and for pointing me in the right direction. I found where I can activate the blocklist in Mailwasher, so I'll see if it makes a difference.

Great, thanks for letting us know that we helped you.

Miss Betsy
Farelf
QUOTE(pagejm @ Jun 15 2006, 07:43 AM) *
... I found where I can activate the blocklist in Mailwasher, so I'll see if it makes a difference.
That's good news pagejm! If there's a way (and it doesn't consume too much of your time) to report those caught by the blocklist, note there is some value in doing that - it helps keep listed those addresses which continue to spew; it helps to extend their time in the sin bin until (after) they actually stop. Otherwise they just gopher in and out of the list, causing consternation when their spam reappears in the times between relisting.
petzl
QUOTE(pagejm @ Jun 14 2006, 11:43 PM) *

Thanks for the quick replies, and for pointing me in the right direction. I found where I can activate the blocklist in Mailwasher, so I'll see if it makes a difference.


Aside from getting a spammer listed by the SCBL
(1) which stops spam as it is being sent not after it is sent
(2) SpamCop notifies the listed owner of the IP address sending spam
(3) By reporting spam it alerts ISP's of criminal activity
(4) Increasingly more and more spammers face the courts because of reporting spam
(5) Just blocking spam without reporting has minimum impact on spam
(6) The most effective way of attacking spam and spammers is through a SpamCop Email account Although MailWasher is very good (turn off "bounce feature") a SpamCop Email account is superior and helps finance SpamCop
(7) With spam, attack is your best defence. SpamCop allows one to do this easily and accurately
dra007
You can take advantage of the spamcop block list by downloading the free spampal (dot com) program and using it as an add on to your e-mail client. It will tag and move the spam to a separate folder thus sorting it out from your other mail.
pagejm
QUOTE(dra007 @ Jun 15 2006, 11:01 AM) *

You can take advantage of the spamcop block list by downloading the free spampal (dot com) program and using it as an add on to your e-mail client. It will tag and move the spam to a separate folder thus sorting it out from your other mail.

Doesn't Wailwasher do this automatically for me? Come to think of it, there has been no spam caught by SpamCop in this way so far. My SpamCop setup in Mailwasher quotes the DNS blocklist server as "bl.spamcop.net". Is this correct?
Farelf
QUOTE(pagejm @ Jun 16 2006, 03:16 AM) *
... DNS blocklist server as "bl.spamcop.net". Is this correct?
Seems to be - another MailWasher user quotes that in the first topic I found in a site search with the keywords - http://forum.spamcop.net/forums/index.php?...indpost&p=41880 Nothing caught so far sounds a touch suss, some other configuration wrinkle yet to be prodded perhaps?
agsteele
QUOTE(pagejm @ Jun 15 2006, 08:16 PM) *
Doesn't Wailwasher do this automatically for me? Come to think of it, there has been no spam caught by SpamCop in this way so far.

Could be that your ISP or an upstream is implementing some blocking en route and stuff which would hit the SCBL has already been removed from the spew otherwise reaching you.

Andrew
pagejm
At last I've found some blacklisted addresses, but only after gazing at the Mailwasher message list for up to 30 seconds without doing anything. The status column shows "suspicious" first, then changes to "origin blacklisted by SpamCop". I've been marking them all for reporting to SpamCop in the usual way

Is there a special procedure for reporting these blacklisted items?
Miss Betsy
QUOTE(pagejm @ Jun 16 2006, 04:26 AM) *

At last I've found some blacklisted addresses, but only after gazing at the Mailwasher message list for up to 30 seconds without doing anything. The status column shows "suspicious" first, then changes to "origin blacklisted by SpamCop". I've been marking them all for reporting to SpamCop in the usual way

Is there a special procedure for reporting these blacklisted items?

No, reporting is reporting. The bl is entirely automatic. There is complicated 'math' that determines what goes on the list and when it comes off partially based on the time the spam was sent (not when you report it). As Farelf said, reporting spam that is already on the bl will keep it on the bl if it is a regular source of spam.

Spam that is two days old won't be accepted. When people have too much spam and too little time, they will only report, say 10, of the most recent spam. That's about the only 'special' procedure that I can think of.

Miss Betsy
pagejm
Thanks for that. So it seems that the spammers just keep right on sending their spam regardless, and we keep right on reporting it. In any event, the amount of spam arriving at our inboxes doesn't diminish. The spammers still get enough people responding favourably, otherwise they would stop. Reporting doesn't appear to help reduce email traffic - on the contrary, as far as those of us who report it the traffic is doubled, byt the reports themselves.

Why can't they remain on the bl for ever? That way the same addresses wouldn't have to be reported more than once.

Please excuse my stupid questions - I'm simply trying to fathom just what is the point in what we're trying to do. What is the goal? If it's reducing spam, it isn't working. As I mentioned earlier, my ISP doesn't use the scbl, preferring to leave it to their clients, but all we want is to reduce spam traffic in our inboxes without the extra hassle of filtering it out manually. Surely there must be an easier way.
Farelf
QUOTE(pagejm @ Jun 17 2006, 02:24 AM) *
... Why can't they remain on the bl for ever? That way the same addresses wouldn't have to be reported more than once. ...
Despite the impressions of some (and even despite the wishes of many SC reporters) the concept is not punitive. IIUC the idea is that the great majority want to do the right thing and, given early warning by SC, can plug the source maybe even before they are listed, if not then apply for delisting immediately on fixing it and "colateral damage" is kept to a minimum (but not, unfortunately, averted entirely as we know and as "we" keep getting reminded).

The law abiding majority should not be punished for the outrageous behaviour of the few. Nice idea, governments used to work on the same principle ... once. SpamCop is enough of a target already on this modest model, Lord alone knows how it would survive if it look it upon itself to arbitrate on degrees of pernicity. I point out that both the "age" of spam processed and the maximum period of SCBL listing have been reduced in relatively recent times. From "our" perspective that seems counterintuitive but then we only get to see the tatty end of the process. One trusts, even if they don't bother very often to tell us, that great numbers of admins quietly and competently do the necessary to make our world a better place. And our various authorities can take care of the "one percenter" outlaws. (sob) I'm going now.
Wazoo
QUOTE(pagejm @ Jun 16 2006, 01:24 PM) *
Thanks for that. So it seems that the spammers just keep right on sending their spam regardless, and we keep right on reporting it. In any event, the amount of spam arriving at our inboxes doesn't diminish. The spammers still get enough people responding favourably, otherwise they would stop. Reporting doesn't appear to help reduce email traffic - on the contrary, as far as those of us who report it the traffic is doubled, byt the reports themselves.

And from the other point of view .... there once was a time when a spammer could send out 1,000 and get a return from that spew .... these days, with the various BLs, filters, managers, etc., etc., etc. you now see stories of spammers kicking out 1,000,000 e-mails a day trying to get any kind of a return .... and it you look arounf some more, you'll see some advertising that they can handle sending 10s of millions of "high-speed marketing messages" a day .....
QUOTE
Why can't they remain on the bl for ever? That way the same addresses wouldn't have to be reported more than once.

There other BLs out there that do things their own way.
QUOTE
Please excuse my stupid questions - I'm simply trying to fathom just what is the point in what we're trying to do. What is the goal? If it's reducing spam, it isn't working. As I mentioned earlier, my ISP doesn't use the scbl, preferring to leave it to their clients, but all we want is to reduce spam traffic in our inboxes without the extra hassle of filtering it out manually. Surely there must be an easier way.

I believe some 'personal" tools have already been suggested in this discussion (if I'm confused, SpamPal is one, SpamAssassin is another) that can use various BLs, offer more powerful filtering and management tools, etc ....
The original SpamCop.net philosophy was that the ISPs receiving the notifications would actually care and do something about the pronlem. The reality is that some do, some don't, some are materially involved with the spew themselves, .... the point is that SpamCop.net reporting does feed the SpamCopDNSBL, which is used by countless ISPs around the world and countless end-users around the world. If you want to take advantage of the results of "your" reporting, you need to add in a tool to use the data available.
Miss Betsy
QUOTE(pagejm @ Jun 16 2006, 02:24 PM) *

Please excuse my stupid questions - I'm simply trying to fathom just what is the point in what we're trying to do. What is the goal? If it's reducing spam, it isn't working. As I mentioned earlier, my ISP doesn't use the scbl, preferring to leave it to their clients, but all we want is to reduce spam traffic in our inboxes without the extra hassle of filtering it out manually. Surely there must be an easier way.

If you want to reduce the spam traffic in your inboxes, then you need to learn how to 'tweak' filters (or if you can, abandon that email address and start over with an alphanumeric one that is hard for the dictionary spammers to guess. And then be very careful where you use it. Use a throwaway account for web interaction (like sneakemail).

If you want to contribute to a global solution, then you will support the use of blocklists by your ISP.

Miss Betsy
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