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Is it really doing any good?

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Reporting spam potentially adds a spammer to the blacklist, which DOES reduce spam, and makes life less profitable for the spammer.

It's possible that you might report a spam, get an address blacklisted, and then see no more of the spam from that server. If it's a chronically blacklisted address it probably does no good, but if it's a compromised address or responsible provider you might help the adminstrator shut the spammer down. So yes, you might reduce spam by helping to kill a spam run.

As for the chronic abusers, my feeling is that it's going to catch up with them. No legitimate Chinese or Korean businessperson wants to send mail from a blacklisted address if he or she can help it.

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I now spend at least an hour each day forwarding spam to SPAMCop, from several accounts    I have been doing this for several months.  I cannot discern any reduction in the amount of spam, even though I am unable to actually log  the activity.

You're not alone. Most of us here receive hundreds a day. In the last 6 months, I've received and reported 12,000 emails.

I do not know of a better alternative than SpamCop for a user like me, but I would be interested in others experiences. 

I haven't found one yet. SpamCop's BL is the largest out there and using SpamCop Mail allows you to use all the available BLs to filter out the spam.

I suspect filtering is just a cosmetic, not reducing Internet traffic. 

You're right. The only way to slow/stop traffic is to stop it [at] the source with the ISPs.

I think you need to see SC for what it is: A method of reporting spam, with hope/intention of stopping spammers from continuing. No program/website will stop spam, but by reporting them, you can help.

Edited by btech

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Has SpamCop actually done anything for anyone? I have been sending spam to these folks for over 2 months now and I still get between 10 and 20 per day. My average response time is 3 hours "Great" according to the SpamCop website. What is suppose to happen here or am I just sending my email out generating more spam? Is SpamCop spam? Is all this a fraud to get personal information from me?

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iceycool's post was Moved/Merged here (from the Help Forum) .. user advised via PM of this action

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Has SpamCop actually done anything for anyone? I have been sending spam to these folks for over 2 months now and I still get between 10 and 20 per day. My average response time is 3 hours "Great" according to the SpamCop website. What is suppose to happen here or am I just sending my email out generating more spam? Is SpamCop spam? Is all this a fraud to get personal information from me?

21423[/snapback]

For the hosts that use the Spamcop blocklist your spam reporting helps a lot.

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7.  Spammers decide it isn't worth their trouble, they quit spamming and die alone and impotent.

21405[/snapback]

Impotent? What about all that unsold Viagra, not to mention all the sexy horsies!

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I rarely use the parser these days outside of examining other people's submittals for analysis.  Even the benefit of having a free e-mail account thrown my way hasn't happened.  My budget has never allowed the opportunity to purchase anything beyond the free-reporting status.  Yet, here I am, all these years later, still volunteering my time.

Sounds like altruism to me.

You must pick your goals and define your terms.  It's actually very apparent that the SpamCop tool-set does have some impact, based on all the work going on to try to circumvent the SpamCop parser.  Years back, a spammer could make his/her meal-ticket with just a million e-mails .. now you see stories of needing to send out 10's of millions to get around all the filters, blocks, and such placed in the attempt to stop the spew.

My inbox, over the last year or so, cannot notice that effectiveness.

Do you have a cite to explain that extra bit of comment?

If this hour a day over the last six months helps define the "black list" used by a commercial company in their service, that is some value, and perhaps the only value.

"internet wide" ..???? surely you jest.  There are a number of initiatives all over the place.  Agreement, standardization, and "internet wide" adoption ..????  years away at best.  SPF, Yshoo's Domain keys, Microsoft's plan to go with the open stuff, then trying to patent their version, putting a basic halt to that whole game plan ... and even with all that, there are still prople putting Exchange servers on-line every day and finding that even the latest software releases aren't secure .... Maybe you've been reading too many press releases of late?

There was a day when the "standards activity" provided all the Email value.  Maintenance of all that has not kept up with the requirement, so now we have less value.  I am not sure that the "filter" and "blacklist" commercial boys can succeed, so I am looking elsewhere for a better solution.

21406[/snapback]

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ressr, there appears to be no original content in your Reply.

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Well, there actually is .. I even thought about being nice and editing a bit to fix the quoting .. but realized that to make it read 'right' ... I'd actually have to go back and include more 'substance' from the (my) quoted response .. then reading closer, I actually am not sure I understood a couple of the 'responses' provided. So I left it as is ....

It seems like "we" are miles apart over the 'free' use of the SpamCopDNSBL and ressr's depiction of some commercial enterprise application ... and I still haven't figured out where that particular viewpoint has come from. And of course, that last remark .. hasn't everyone been looking for a better solution all these years? .. followed by the alternative view, if SpamCop was so sucky, why is so much time and effort expended by the spammers to try to get around it?

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Does it work? I hope so. At least it keeps the #^% out of my inbox and allows me to sort it at my convenience, and then it does so en masse, rather than 1 at a time, the way it used to be before I paid up and subscribed. A great deal at double the cost!

While I still get a few spams that make it through my inbox, fewer are there. Those that make it get reported the old way... A few mails are also held that should go through - but hey, no one's perfect - and some of those domains they are sending through are almost blacklisted anyway (or so I hope)

So amid all the discouraged users, here's one who believes you do make a difference. So, THANK YOU. You have recovered some of what is otherwise lost/wasted time. And that's all we have in the end; what's yours worth to you?

Keep up the fight!

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I believe it is doing some good -- and I feel it is my internet "civic" duty

to keep on reporting.

** CONSIDER THIS **

Of the number of email users in my time zone, if 10% of them reported their

spam each morning at 8 AM, chances are, the spammer's server would

be inundated with complaints.

If 20% reported their spam each morning at 8 AM, chances are there would

be sufficient traffic to that site to cause an innocent

(therefore legal) denial of service.

The spammer would get the message real quick.

The problem is, SpamCop does not usually do a very good job of reporting or

replying to THE ACTUAL SPAMMER, but rather targets the IP which the

spammer 'used' -- which can in all likelihood be different

for most recipients.

I wish there were some way spam fighters could form a coalition and REPORT

spam via SpamCop, then COMPARE their results amongst themselves.

I postulate that we would discover SpamCop sending complaints to

DIFFERENT IP owners, since the spammers frequently change the

target IP during spam attacks.

HOWEVER, I also guess that the target DOMAIN (ie: the "Advertiser")

link is always the SAME.

Therefore if there were some way to target the ADVERTISER in the spam,

we'd be shutting them down rather quickly.

For instance:

While analyzing spam over a period of several days, I find anywhere

from a dozen to several hundred spams all linking to the SAME domain.

However each and every spam is from a DIFFERENT sender, at a

DIFFERENT IP address, using a DIFFERENT SMTP. They would all seem to

be "different" spammers and spam, however since they ALL link to

the SAME "Advertiser" it is obvious the Advertiser is the criminal.

Targeting the ADVERTISER would be the magic formula to ending as much

as 50% of the spam we receive today, and would send a strong

signal to the others slipping through.

Too bad we can't do that.

:(

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Too bad we can't do that

There are various ways to target the advertiser (however, spammers evade them also).

Some of them block the sites. Others attack the sites (not something IMHO is contributing to a better internet).

You may be correct that if the 'big guys' did act promptly, spam would end. However, IMHO, if more people complained and made more noise that even the 'big guys' would be shamed into behaving. Unfortunately most people still think nothing can be done about spam.

Miss Betsy

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I wonder whether our effort at reporting spam is misdirected. What if that effort were redirected instead towad some radically different approach to the problem?

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I wonder whether our effort at reporting spam is misdirected.  What if that effort were redirected instead towad some radically different approach to the problem?

Can only suggst that you do some research. There are plenty of "plans" out there, most of them suck, but ..... Some of those "alternatives" are even addressed within this Forum, most dealing with the fallout from the bad implementation ... challenge/response, SRS/SPF, Yahoo's DomainKeys, to name just a few ....

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I've even suggested a credit system, whereas the sender deposits a penny per e-mail, and if the receiver "accepts" the message, they get that penny back. But it would take a company the size of AOL, Yahoo, or PayPal to implement such a thing. And turns out it might even require its own protocol.

But it was a thought, and I don't think new thoughts of trying to kill spam should end until spam is dead.

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What if the SMTP host rejected, during the SMTP session, mail where the From address isn't whitelisted and the mail doesn't include a key like Cruelmail's "postage"? Rejecting the likely spam during the SMTP session instead of rejecting it by mailing to the return address gets around the problem of spamming innocent bystanders whose mail addresses the spammers have stolen to use as return addresses in spam.

(I am trying to start a similar discussion at http://snipurl.com/c11c; the poster "95h62gq02" there am I).

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What if the SMTP host rejected, during the SMTP session, mail where the From address isn't whitelisted and the mail doesn't include a key like Cruelmail's "postage"? Rejecting the likely spam during the SMTP session instead of rejecting it by mailing to the return address gets around the problem of spamming innocent bystanders whose mail addresses the spammers have stolen to use as return addresses in spam.

Since you seem to be looking for new ideas: this is mine. The only thing it requires is the 're-education' of ISPs/

The spam problem is essentially UBE. There is already an RFC that bulk email should have in its headers that it is bulk. If ISPs filtered on the bulk email header line, then they could block all bulk email that is not specifically whitelisted by their customers. The whitelist would be one more step in the confirmation process. Then ISPs could block only email from IP addresses that was bulk but did not contain the header line saying it was bulk. That would entail a blocklist like spamcop's where reports drive the blocklist criteria. To keep from being blocked an ISP would have to take measures against people who sent bulk email without the proper header.

In the end, no single email would ever get blocked (as long as it came from a whitehat ISP who made sure bulk emailers used the header) and if it did (because of the glitches that sometimes do happen), it would be a very short time.

Anyone who wants to get *any* bulk email could by prior arrangement with his ISP. It might cost more since the ISP has to accept more email for that end user.

The whole spam problem now becomes a matter of competence (ability to put bulk email in the headers and to monitor outgoing email for that header).

My theory is that either bulk email will become more expensive so it is no longer profitable for the spammers or that they will voluntarily switch to the bulk email header. And then, nobody has to have any filter except the blocklist of incompetent ISPs (or open proxies and trojanized machines) and the white list for bulk emailers that you have confirmed.

The only way that spam can be controlled is at the *sending* end by preventing spammers from sending their spew.

Miss Betsy

Miss Betsy

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What if the ISP's removed their spammers?

I believe this would be the best solution!

23143[/snapback]

Read spamhaus' definition of a ROSKO spammer (not the actual criteria - three different ISPs - but the description). To paraphrase, a professional thinks of ISPs as a disposable resource. (Still, I agree, this is the best way to drive the cost of spamming up).

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Like you said, read Spamhaus :D

If the ISP's read Spamhaus they wouldn't bring those ROKSOites on ;)

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most spam i get on my server is from free email accounts - i thing that untill free email accounts are banned or identification is required to activate one, the spam will continue

ALL isp's give email accounts so why are free email accounts needed???

im really getting pissed off with the amount of spam i get

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most spam i get on my server is from free email accounts - i thing that untill free email accounts are banned or identification is required to activate one, the spam will continue

Are you sure? Or are you believing the allegeded From: lines?

ALL isp's give email accounts so why are free email accounts needed???

Not all ISPs offer easy world-wide access to their e-mail accounts. One typical easy answer ...

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I have been reporting spam received for six different email accounts on four different domains for almost four years. I keep seeing the same ISP's getting reports and yet I still see them being reported. and the level of spam never decreases on any of the domains. granted two are regular targets of spammers, Yahoo and Excite email accounts... but I even chanced ISP's two years ago on the main email account I used, and avoided submitting it to any places that might seel the address for email and even it gets occasional spam. :(

does spamcop really work at all unless you subscribe to an email account???

how come I keep seeing the same chinese and domestic ISP's being reported?

I'd love to undertsand why this doesn't seem to be working.

Thanks flagginator.  You put that into very good perspective for me.  I guess I'll just keep on weeding.

I wish I had such confidence. 4 years into this and no change in sight. what good is SC REALLY doing???

i'll add one more thing to this. I NEVER get replies to my submittals. when I first started using SC four years ago, I got one or two every once in a while, but I have not seen hide nor hair of a response from an ISP in at least a year, probably more.

Edited by Wazoo

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Just to pipe in on this conversation. I work for an ISP, and deal directing with complaints sent by people and companies like SpamCop. It is making a difference. The ISP I work for is one of the biggest ones in Canada, and we suspend, on average, over 100 customers a day due to complaints regarding email spam. I have just recently started reporting spam myself because of the difference it makes. When we get complaints about spam messages originating from one of our customers' computers, we first send an email warning, advising them of the situation, and how to clean their computer... if we continue to get complaints, we temporarily suspend their service until they call in. We then inform them of the issue on their computer (virus, open proxy, trojan, etc), and tell them they need to clean their computer and call us back. We then reconnect their service once they say their computer is clean. Most of the time, they don't actually fix the problem, however. If we still continue to get complaints, we suspend their service for a week. At this point, we generally recommend they reformat their computer(s), and install an antivirus program and firewall. After the week is up, we reconnect their service. If we still get complaints, we suspend their account for 1 month... and if, after the one month, we still get complaints, we terminate their internet services with us.

That all being said, the majority of broadband companies in North America have similar policies, or at least are starting to impliment them. It's not going to cut out all the spam out there, especially the spam that originates overseas from blackhat "bullet-proof" hosting companies and whatnot, but it will make a big difference if we keep it up.

On a side note, one of the reports I sent off yesterday from spamcop was on one of our customers, and the report got sent to our abuse department. When I came into work today, I checked the account, and they were already suspended... less than a 24 hour turn around time. ;) That one complaint alone made a difference.

So, yeah, there's proof that SpamCop is really making a difference.... Keep up the great work. :D

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An idea: Since it is sometimes difficult to get someone to fix a trojanned machine, why don't ISPs have a 'fixit' plan (that's part of the contract). If you don't fix it the first time, the second time, the ISP will fix it for you - at a price - or you are suspended until you have a bill of health from certain authorized providers.

Miss Betsy

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