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Is it really doing any good?

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Short answer: Yes...

I'm sure a moderator will be along shortly to merge your topic in with a lengthy discussion about this same subject where you can read some of the information other users have posted about how much good spamcop is doing for them.

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<snip>

I'm sure a moderator will be along shortly to merge your topic in with a lengthy discussion about this same subject where you can read some of the information other users have posted about how much good spamcop is doing for them.

...Done! PM sent to advise of this action.

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...Done! PM sent to advise of this action.

Minor detail ... beat on the database to do the Merge in reverse, so as to keep a number of existing links still working. However that probably also changed the data in that last PM .. so sending an updated one to MikeJT to advise of the 'new' links ....

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When you can convince enough idiots out there to quit sending their money to the spammers, filling out the silly forms, signing up for the free/great deals, quit responding to the phish e-mails, quit opening up those file attachments that then compromise their computer so as to add new resources for the spammers to send more spew .... maybe another couple of days, wouldn't you think?

I am no expert, and while it is easy to get bogged down in technicalities, I think in the end that reporting spam has little, if any effect. I think the quotation above is sensible..... if we TOTALLY ignore spam (even reporting via Spamcop), just consign it to the trash can, this in effect negates any effort put in by spammers, they will soon get the message.

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if we TOTALLY ignore spam (even reporting via Spamcop), just consign it to the trash can, this in effect negates any effort put in by spammers, they will soon get the message.

No, that doesn't seem to be so. The "JHD" (just hit delete) crowd have been around a long time and far outnumber those who do any reporting (by an exponential factor) and yet spam has steadily increased. If nobody ever complained, many of the blocklists/blacklists wouldn't exist, and FAR more spam would be flowing around and taking up everyone's precious time, even if just to decide that it's spam and to delete it, not to mention all the extra bandwidth, server space, etc. that would be necessary to handle the increased load.

The reporting done by SpamCop users helps keep many others from ever having to deal with the stuff, assuming that their ISPs are using the SCBL for blocking, or if the ISP uses BL listings to sort the spam into a "Junk" or "Held" mail folders, that's also useful because it's easier to rescue the occasional false positive and then either report *or* delete the rest once a day than if I have to be constantly dealing with spam each time I POP my mail.

I used to have "catchall" addresses at several domains, and the spam was manageable, but that's a thing of the past. Now, I have to resort to multi-stage filtering (which includes some blocking) in order to keep from having to deal with an unacceptable level of spam.

All it takes is to have your address included in a single "mailto" link on a website somewhere and you'll be deluged...I've seed this happen to previously "clean" addresses of my clients and friends, and it's very aggravating. Spamming shouldn't be legal...it's theft. But the civil authorities and the various "powers that be" on the Internet (such as ICANN, major backbone routing providers, etc.) won't take a hard line against spamming, and there must be enough idiots out there who actually BUY stuff that gets spamvertised to keep this all getting worse and worse. We can cheer when we read about the few major spammers who have been hit with big fines, lawsuits, etc., but I'm not cheering until spammers are tracked down and imprisoned. (some would like to see them killed, but I'm not *that* extreme)

DT

Edited by DavidT

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I am no expert, and while it is easy to get bogged down in technicalities, I think in the end that reporting spam has little, if any effect. I think the quotation above is sensible..... if we TOTALLY ignore spam (even reporting via Spamcop), just consign it to the trash can, this in effect negates any effort put in by spammers, they will soon get the message.

Reporting spam via spamcop does not reduce 'your' spam unless you use the spamcop email service or have a server and use the spamcop bl.

If you only ignore spam, then the few whitehat ISPs who do 'do' something about spamcop reports will not hear that something has gone wrong. Additionally, you feed the scbl for those who use it.

JHD (just hit delete) is ok in that there are no responses to spam, but it does nothing to reduce spam either by reporting to whitehats or by feeding the scbl. It could be called the 'lazy man's way' to control spam.

It all depends on what you want to do. You may be trying to reduce the spam to your inbox (which, if you use the spamcop email service, you can do). However, it is also just as effective to change your email address to one that contains alphanumeric characters (so it isn't picked up by 'dictionary' spammers) i.e. m1k3Jt. And then be very careful whom you give it to. My email address was compromised because someone who had my email address in their address book became infected with a virus. Also it is a good idea to have throwaway accounts for any time you use it on the internet (some people like sneakemail, for instance).

If you are trying to contribute to the overall spam reduction effort, then support of blocklists, in general - not just the spamcop blocklist, is the way to go. You can do this by selecting an email provider that uses blocklists and rejects at the server level and is aggressive about allowing spam to be sent from the computers under its control (IOW, a responsible, competent ISP).

Miss Betsy

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Hello, Miss Betsy. Long time no see. :)

Reporting spam via spamcop does not reduce 'your' spam unless you use the spamcop email service or have a server and use the spamcop bl.

[...]

If you are trying to contribute to the overall spam reduction effort, then support of blocklists, in general - not just the spamcop blocklist, is the way to go. You can do this by selecting an email provider that uses blocklists and rejects at the server level and is aggressive about allowing spam to be sent from the computers under its control (IOW, a responsible, competent ISP).

Miss Betsy

For people using the Windows operating system (not me anymore) and getting their mail via POP3 or IMAP4 (not Webmail), there's a nice piece of software which can easily be installed in the pipeline between your mail client and the outside world. It is called "spampal" http://www.spampal.org/ ; it can detect spam by a variety of user-configurable methods, including public blocklists, one of which is (guess which?) the SpamCop one; it adds an X-SpamPal header to the mail you receive and (at your choice) it can also add **spam** in front of the subject of what it thinks is spam (Thunderbird can filter on the added header but Outlook Express needs the Subject tag). In my experience, that spam filter is very accurate (i.e., it has a low percentage of both false positives and false negatives), and can be made more so by setting options appropriate to the kind of mail you receive. And it gets better with time, since one of its user-settable options is to watch your outgoing mail and whitelist the people you write mail to.

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Hello, Miss Betsy. Long time no see.

Hi Tony! Glad to 'see' you, too! I try to keep my hand in when I can, but my fingers are in too many pies.

You aren't the only one who thinks spampal works really well. I just have not had the time to check it out so I don't think of recommending it.

Miss Betsy

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Hi Tony;

I just have a minor Q.

I've been using "The Bird" on Windows XP-Home since Feb and am very satisfied with it's (baysian) filter's

performance. With the exception of a negligable number of the of pill spams with munged subject lines,

I think it is close to, if not 100%, as far as identifying the spam I have been getting.

Given that everyone has their own profile of spam, are you suggesting that in your experience, Spampal picks up some spam that T-Bird overlooks?

Edited by rooster

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Given that everyone has their own profile of spam, are you suggesting that in your experience, Spampal picks up some spam that T-Bird overlooks?

Not a direct answer, but just noting that SpamPal predates Thunderbird, so your comparison query is actually based on products looking to do the same thing. If you're happy, run with what you've got. For folks not using Thunderbird, SpamPal is an available option.

BTW, the use of "creative" names for tools, products, actions, services, etc. sure plays hell with people trying to "search / find" things in here that may be of relevance.

"The Bird" -> Thunderbird, already AKA as T-Bird, TBird, TB for a few examples already existing in here

"baysian" -> Bayesian

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Hi Tony;

I just have a minor Q.

I've been using "The Bird" on Windows XP-Home since Feb and am very satisfied with it's (baysian) filter's

performance. With the exception of a negligable number of the of pill spams with munged subject lines,

I think it is close to, if not 100%, as far as identifying the spam I have been getting.

Given that everyone has their own profile of spam, are you suggesting that in your experience, Spampal picks up some spam that T-Bird overlooks?

I don't know, because, when I was on Windows and using spampal, I didn't use bayesian filters (neither the spampal plugin nor the T-bird built-in "junk" filters). What I used was public blacklists (not all those offered by spampal but SC and a couple of others based on fast response time, high number of positives, and no false positives), RegEx filtering (which I found quite effective in tagging e.g. penis-enlargement scams, mortgage scams, Nigerian scams, lottery scams, ...) and auto-whitelisting (i.e., whitelisting the people to whom I write). I guess I mustn't have a very exceptional incoming-mail "profile", except that I do receive legitimate mail from many parts of the world including Eastern Asia (in English, but possibly with a From-line and/or sig in CJK characters), mostly on the Vim editor's mutual-help mailing list; and occasionally a mail in Esperanto (which can be from anywhere) or in French. This "cosmopolitan" profile (in the original sense of the word, not that of fashion magazines ;) ) means that I cannot afford to filter by country, even though spampal has the option to do it.

IMHO, the bottom line is: if you found a spam filtering method which gives you very few false negatives and no false positives, stick with it. But I wouldn't advise "delete unseen" methods like those offered by some ISPs (including mine) because of the risk of losing a mail incorrectly labeled as spam without ever knowing it. IOW I disable my ISP's spam-filtering options and I set my "onboard filters" to tag and sort, not to kill.

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I have been reporting the vast majority of spam I get to spamcop for two consecutiev years. For my own surprise, I am still getting spam from the same domains or ISPs. So, what's the point of reporting spam to SpamCop, if these domains/ISPs don't get blacklisted?

<Moderator note: this post was originally entered as a separate thread in the "SpamCop Reporting Help" forum. IM sent to poster to let him know about the merge into this thread.>

Edited by turetzsr

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I have been reporting the vast majority of spam I get to spamcop for two consecutiev years. For my own surprise, I am still getting spam from the same domains or ISPs. So, what's the point of reporting spam to SpamCop, if these domains/ISPs don't get blacklisted?

You have to use the spamcop blocklist (or spamcop email service) to get the benefit of reporting. Nowadays there are few web hosts or ISPs who allow spammers and usually are able to stop them before they get a spamcop report. The web hosts or ISPs who don't care continue to send spew and are probably on dozens of blocklists, but the server admin has to use those blocklists in order to block the spam.

Miss Betsy

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You have to use the spamcop blocklist (or spamcop email service) to get the benefit of reporting.

Thank you very much for your quick response. We're a Web hosting company and we submit reports directly to spamcop using OUR_ID[at]spam.spamcop.net

When we submit a report via email, we usually get a response back from SpamCop telling us that "SpamCop is now ready to process your spam." We click on the link provided in the message and finish the report. I, and my friends in the office, have been doing this for two years, now.

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Thank you very much for your quick response. We're a Web hosting company and we submit reports directly to spamcop using OUR_ID[at]spam.spamcop.net

When we submit a report via email, we usually get a response back from SpamCop telling us that "SpamCop is now ready to process your spam." We click on the link provided in the message and finish the report. I, and my friends in the office, have been doing this for two years, now.

That is the reporting side of the equation.

Those reports are used to add or maintain IP addresses (not domains or ISPs) on the SC DNSBL. Your mail server could then query that DNSBL when you are receiving email to see if you want to receive it or not. This step is where the reduction of spam would come into play.

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I have just started using Spamcop to report spammers. I have used it for two days. When I came home from work today I had a lot of new spam from different spammers but with essentially the same format/content & identical number key in the email. All the spam was addressed to caththismail[at]mydomainaddy.net (last part not really addy). There were 14 such emails (see Sample content below).

If reporting spammers is just going to get a barrage of more crap .. why bother.

Would be interested if others have had this experience & views in realtion to the effectiveness of reporting through Spamcop.

Quixote

Hi

How are you ? Call me.

I don't sign my son up

Poor you, i don't even think how much spam you are recive.

and organized

68796D6D7866716C7466787379667E73796668796E726E4571677166687A77336A

Hi

How are you ? Call me.

he not be on par

Poor you, i don't even think how much spam you are recive.

develop problem-solving

68796D6D7866716C7466787379667E73796668796E726E4571677166687A77336A

Hi

How are you ? Call me.

is more good,

Poor you, i don't even think how much spam you are recive.

videos or older children

68796D6D7866716C7466787379667E73796668796E726E4571677166687A77336A

Hi

How are you ? Call me.

report says.

Poor you, i don't even think how much spam you are recive.

instead allowing

68796D6D7866716C7466787379667E73796668796E726E4571677166687A77336A

Hi

How are you ? Call me.

you almost

Poor you, i don't even think how much spam you are recive.

and organized

68796D6D7866716C7466787379667E73796668796E726E4571677166687A77336A

etc

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If reporting spammers is just going to get a barrage of more crap .. why bother.

Would be interested if others have had this experience & views in realtion to the effectiveness of reporting through Spamcop.

I just picked this Topic/Discussion to merger this new post into .. there are several others that cover much of the same ground .. some folks talk about their spam reduction, others talk about their spam increase .. there is a lot of stuff surrounding the whole issue.

PM sent to advise of the move/merge ....

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Hello,

My first post here. Not sure if this is the right place but well.

Since 2 days I'm harassed by the same spam all over and again:

"The United States National Medical Association".

I was used to report every spam to the report system here but it never helped to reduce spam.

I had an email that I gave only to trusted people but a month ago, someone brilliant received a spam promising to give him free cell phone if he send the message to all his mailing list. Unfortunately my email was there and since then, my most important email that was protected from spam since then has become spammed also ...

I'm now using "MailWasher Pro 5.2" but it doesn't really help neither. I only use it to bounce spam but the guy continue to send me the same crap again and again and again ....

Does anybody here got the same message or similar message? how to stop that?

I have submitted it to spamcop but I doubt it will help ... it never helped so far ...

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My first post here. Not sure if this is the right place but well.

Yes, the Lounge is appropriate. However, I merged your "new" Topic into an existing discussion that covers a lot of the same ground. (PM sent to advise of this move/merge)

I was used to report every spam to the report system here but it never helped to reduce spam.

In general, this is not a "failure" of SpamCop.net ... rather it's that so many ISPs don't give a damn, don't have the (trained) staff needed, or are simply incompetent. Then we add in the thousands/millions/countless users in the world that have no control over their own systems. On the other hand, think of the world as it would be without tools like SpamCop.net ....

I'm now using "MailWasher Pro 5.2" but it doesn't really help neither. I only use it to bounce spam

Really, really a bad idea. The "Bounce" function is basically useless, and in fact, could get you into trouble with your own ISP. Take the time to look up "MisDirected Bounces" around here, compare that to the multitudes of folks posting with a complaint that "spanners are using my name/address/domain forged into the From: line" of their spew. Just who are you sending your "MailWasher Bouces" too .... probably the same folks complaining about their data being used ... bottom line, you'r not helping anyone with that (stupid) Bounce function.

That it's also "not helping" would seem to be a configuration issue. It was my belief that MailWasher could/would use various BLs to 'handle' incoming e-mail ... to include the SpamCopDNSBL, which is 'fed' by SpamCop reports from users.

I have submitted it to spamcop but I doubt it will help ... it never helped so far ...

I would suggest that further research on your part is needed.

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Hmmm ...

Ok. Well, I use this software since +/- a month following the advices of someone saying me that this has reduced the spam from her accounts since she uses it.

I'm just overspammed everywhere, my forum, my emails .... whatever I do :(

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I was used to report every spam to the report system here but it never helped to reduce spam.

I'm now using "MailWasher Pro 5.2" but it doesn't really help neither.

I have submitted it to spamcop but I doubt it will help ... it never helped so far ...

It all depends on what you mean by the phrase "helped" in these instances.

If you are expecting anything you do to magically remove your address from the spammers lists so you will not receive any more spam, that is not going to happen. Your address is comprimised and will only receive more spam as it is sold from spammer to spammer.

SpamCop, MailWasher, and others are good at determining what is spam and what is not once your account has received the message and handling it so it does not pollute your Inbox.

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Hmmm ...Ok. Well, I use this software since +/- a month following the advices of someone saying me that this has reduced the spam from her accounts since she uses it.I'm just overspammed everywhere, my forum, my emails .... whatever I do :(

You have found out that it is very difficult to avoid being placed on spammers lists! Too bad about your friend getting you on the spammer list.

The way to combat spam is to use filters. Most people use a combination of different filters (like the spamcop blocklist, spamassassin) and also use a whitelist for regular correspondents.

In order to benefit from reporting spam, you need to use the spamcop blocklist. I believe you can choose to use it with Mailwasher. Occasionally, a spamcop report does go to an internet service provider who is responsible and the problem is fixed. The server admin who got the report is usually very grateful. Mistakes do happen and if spamcop catches it, then the server admin can fix it before his IP address goes on a blocklist that is more difficult to be removed from.

I want to repeat that it is VERY VERY BAD to use the 'bounce' feature on Mailwasher. You become a spammer when you do that because what you are doing is forwarding your spam to some innocent person whose email address is being forged by the spammer. Some people get hundreds and hundreds all at one time.

Perhaps your friend is using the spamcop email service. People are able to use the filters and whitelists so that almost no spam appears in their inbox. All suspected spam goes to a special folder called 'Held Mail' so that you can look at it to see if some real email was tagged. Many people claim that they can set the filters so that no good emails are tagged and there is usually no spam in their inbox.

You can do the same with Mailwasher. Lots of people use it also, but anyone who hates spam does not use the 'bounce' feature.

I can't help you with how to keep spammers away from your forum, but I know that our Forum administrator, Wazoo, is constantly busy trying to keep them away. I hope you know how to keep them from hacking in and using your forum to send spam.

If you want to do more than just keep the spam out of your in-box, there are other ways to attack spammers. You will have to know a lot about how email works in order to be successful. I don't have time to learn, but there are lots of server administrators who work with email every day and do try to shut the spammers down.

Cheer up! It is like being a defensive driver. It may take a little more time, but you have a better ride.

Miss Betsy

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Hi,

Thank you for th advices. The thing is that when an email adress is being too much spammed, I usually delete it ... so it's similar than bouncing, right?

I just delete the address and create a new one. The problem is that this time I cannot delete it, that address is too important.

I tried to use that spamcop/blocklist feature from mailwasher but it almost blacklisted and blocked 70% of all my messages!! I'm a dumb for this kind of things and after some hours of trying to understand it, I gave up and tried to only use that bounce stuff that a friend suggested me. She said she only uses that feature and got less spam since she uses it. So if spammers notice that an email is not working, they may remove it from the list. I know most of them forge the header but finally it's the same result as if I would have deleted my account.

My server uses spamassasin and other things, but that just isn't of any help. I just don't want to see the spam on my mailbox but I don't want either to miss important emails. Because sometimes important emails are being categorized as spam (and some of my emails are too).

As for my forum, whatever I do, it works for a short while (1 month or 2), but they always come back having found a way to break my solution ... I don't know if they check if their spam is working or if they receive a message of error if it is not ....

If only I could get my hands on those guys and their computers .....

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Thank you for th advices. The thing is that when an email adress is being too much spammed, I usually delete it ... so it's similar than bouncing, right?

No, it is not similar. There are two ways to 'bounce' messages. One way is to reject it at the server. Then it goes back to the computer that sent it. The other way is to accept the email and compose another email to send back to the From email address. When you delete an email address, the server rejects it. When you 'bounce' with Mailwasher, you compose another email and send it to someone else who doesn't want spam.

Spammers don't care whether you get the email or not. When the spammer is sending millions at a time, they don't care how many disappear. Spammers also create different email addresses and send them. Since they are all now criminals, they are just fishing for victims.

It is very frustrating to work at developing good filters. But, that's the only way to use email nowadays. Trial and error will show you how to set the filters so that you get the good mail and the bad mail goes to another folder.

Miss Betsy

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