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msealey

Giving SPAMmers a taste...

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Like most of us, I've now had it with spam :-)

SPAMbombed last week for four hours, never replying, names munged, SpamAssassin and SpamSieve installed etc I still get several dozen times the amount of the stuff every time I collect authentic mail.

The law doesn't seem to be able to do anything (nor should we necessarily expect it to); technological solutions are failing left, right and center and so far the damage to legitimate businesses isn't sufficient to eradicate this e-terrorism.

So I believe it's time for some direct action (without making things worse; and emphatically without affecting a single other user than the e-terrorist SPAMmers in any way whatsoever - so not attempts to multiple bounce etc).

Does anyone know of sites without double opt-in where you can subscribe SPAMmers for multiple email lists - over and over and over again? Or similar?

Are there effective, honorable spam vigilantes?

I visited spamitback.com for the first time today; they have (had?) a piece of Windows-only s/w which would essentially fill out forms on the e-terrorists' sites multiple times and submit 'customer inquiries' and use their own SMTP servers to 'give them a taste...'. But it doesn't seem any longer to be being supported and the version you can download 'expires' before use.

If I'm way off here, I will listen. But I'm looking for effective methods of disabling these monsters.

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Does anyone know of sites without double opt-in where you can subscribe SPAMmers for multiple email lists - over and over and over again? Or similar?

Are there effective, honorable spam vigilantes?

19530[/snapback]

Certainly spammers have spoilt it for everyone but I'm not sure subscribing spammers to their own lists will have any effect whatsoever - except perhaps make you feel better :blink:

However, depending on the legal frameworks where you live you could be committing criminal acts by impersonating someone else or of harrassment. Sure the spammers are doing much the same but it somehow always seems to be the good guy that gets caught.

If you haven't done so, consider signing up for a SpamCop filtering account or flat-rate mail account. I find I get virtually no spam in my mailbox - although plenty gets held in the held mail area. Then spend your frustrations effectively reporting the junk that gets trapped. Far more satisfying! ;)

Andrew

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Andrew,

Certainly spammers have spoilt it for everyone but I'm not sure subscribing spammers to their own lists will have any effect whatsoever - except perhaps make you feel better

No, what I'm wondering is about a site that allows email addresses (those of SPAMMers) to be signed up for multiple circulations (legitimate ones): and I mean multiple! One or two of the magazine free 'offers', say, are only accepted if you go through pages of boxes to sign up for more offers.

However, depending on the legal frameworks where you live you could be committing criminal acts by impersonating someone else or of harrassment.  Sure the spammers are doing much the same but it somehow always seems to be the good guy that gets caught.

I know what you mean and am not advocating anything less legal than the SPAMmers' actions - nor anything which could ever affect third parties.

If you haven't done so, consider signing up for a SpamCop filtering account or flat-rate mail account.  I find I get virtually no spam in my mailbox - although plenty gets held in

the held mail area.  Then spend your frustrations effectively reporting the junk that gets trapped.  Far more satisfying! ;)

Yes, I've certainly considered that; the trouble is I have a few dozen POP3 accounts and feel I still have to check through the hundreds of spam items which I get - just in case of f/pos.

Thanks :-)

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Yes, I've certainly considered that; the trouble is I have a few dozen POP3 accounts and feel I still have to check through the hundreds of spam items which I get - just in case of f/pos.

Thanks :-)

19545[/snapback]

I have 5 POP accounts that I route through my SpamCop mail. I'm not sure of the maximum number allowed, but I see 10 allowed in the interface. Maybe an admin knows of more allowed?

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I have 5 POP accounts that I route through my SpamCop mail.  I'm not sure of the maximum number allowed, but I see 10 allowed in the interface.  Maybe an admin knows of more allowed?

19550[/snapback]

You should try to have your email forwarded to your SpamCop email account this is far superior/faster then there are no limits (the limits apply to POP'ing only)

You are then best to POP direct from SpamCop's servers

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You should try to have your email forwarded to your SpamCop email account this is far superior/faster then there are no limits (the limits apply to POP'ing only)

You are then best to POP direct from SpamCop's servers

19556[/snapback]

Thanks, btech and petzl :-)

I'll still have to wade through what a SpamCop account filters out for me, for false positives, though, won't I?

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Thanks, btech and petzl :-)

I'll still have to wade through what a SpamCop account filters out for me, for false positives, though, won't I?

19557[/snapback]

Yes and No.

Depends on several factors and your personal feelings.

The more aggressive the filters you select to use, the more false positives you will get.

Some people are of the opinion that if it is identified as spam it can be ignored regardles if it is legit or not. That is definately a personal decision.

So if you want to be sure that you have not accidently filtered any legit mail, then you will have to wade though all the junk.

If you know all the people who will be sending to you, then simply add them to you white list, but that can be a bit of work to maintain.

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Yes, I've certainly considered that; the trouble is I have a few dozen POP3 accounts and feel I still have to check through the hundreds of spam items which I get - just in case of f/pos.

Using the spamcop email account doesn't solve what IMHO is the best aspect of blocklists - the fact that if a false positive (not a spam in content) is caught by the blocklist at the server level, the original sender gets a rejection notice. If they are using a white hat ISP, the amount of time that their emails will be rejected is no more than what frequently happens with backhoes, etc. If they are using a black hat ISP, then they (the senders) have the hassle of finding a way to get the email to you instead of you (the receiver) having to sift through hundreds of messages.

However, if you set your filter levels to fairly low, you get more spam in your regular inbox, but also less false positives in your held mail box. The level of spam in your inbox is not so high that you can't sort it out quickly. I think the false positive rate for good mail for some people is very close to 0%. In that case, you can ignore the held mail if you are pressed for time. It just takes tinkering with the levels to get a comfortable-to-you level. IME, I make as many mistakes as the filters (perhaps even more) looking at them manually so if you miss a couple because you skip looking at held mail every now and then, it is no worse than what you probably have missed looking at each one.

Miss Betsy

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No, what I'm wondering is about a site that allows email addresses (those of SPAMMers) to be signed up for multiple circulations (legitimate ones): and I mean multiple! One or two of the magazine free 'offers', say, are only accepted if you go through pages of boxes to sign up for more offers.

19545[/snapback]

But I think you would be doing just what Spammers do... Adding someone to a list that they have not opted into and worse, you would be impersonating them in attempting to do so. I think that would be a bad approach.

Yes, I've certainly considered that; the trouble is I have a few dozen POP3 accounts and feel I still have to check through the hundreds of spam items which I get - just in case of f/pos.

19545[/snapback]

I use the flat rate mail account. I get perhaps 1 or 2 false positives a month at most using quite aggressive filtering. With the standard level I used to get a few slip through to me but never had anything filtered that should have been delivered. I currently have the following blocklists selected and have SpamAssassin triggering at a score of 2. [bLs: SpamCop, China, Nigeria, Argentina, Brazil]

Of course you can also add senders to your white list so that anyone who appears to get regularly trapped can be automatically allowed through and that improves the flase positive results as well.

Andrew

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Miss Betsy and Andrew,

Thanks for those replies: I'm certainly considering a SpamCop account, though with multiple domains (I maintain three or four sites), the maximum of five is a disadvantage; BTW is it possible to register for a single account and then graduate up to the 5(?)-account one?

Presumably I could have email from more than one 'remote' account forward to the same SpamCop account?

My reservation is that - with the greatest of respect to SpamCop - I'd be adding one more link in the chain to fail if SpamCop's servers should ever be unreachable etc.

But I think you would be doing just what Spammers do... Adding someone to a list that they have not opted into and worse, you would be impersonating them in attempting to do so.  I think that would be a bad approach.

So did I six months ago - but this is taking over my life. I see it that I'd be encouraging them to 'rethink'. Perhaps I'm completely wrong. But I'm at the end of my tether.

The spamitback.com s/w (which, as I say, doesn't seem any longer to be supported/available) uses the SPAMmers own servers (filling in forms on their sites; their SMTP servers) such that no-one else is affected. The spamitback.com site has success stories of spammers whose servers consequently fail. That is my unashamed aim.

I use the flat rate mail account

== snip ==

Thanks; that's encouraging

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You should try to have your email forwarded to your SpamCop email account this is far superior/faster then there are no limits (the limits apply to POP'ing only)

You are then best to POP direct from SpamCop's servers

19556[/snapback]

I never thought of doing that. Thanks!

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Miss Betsy and Andrew,

Thanks for those replies: I'm certainly considering a SpamCop account, though with multiple domains (I maintain three or four sites), the maximum of five is a disadvantage; BTW is it possible to register for a single account and then graduate up to the 5(?)-account one?

The current setup for SC mail will POP up to 10 accounts.

Presumably I could have email from more than one 'remote' account forward to the same SpamCop account?

Yup, you can.

My reservation is that - with the greatest of respect to SpamCop - I'd be adding one more link in the chain to fail if SpamCop's servers should ever be unreachable etc.

So did I six months ago - but this is taking over my life. I see it that I'd be encouraging them to 'rethink'. Perhaps I'm completely wrong. But I'm at the end of my tether.

The way I work things with my own domains is as follows:

Set up two accounts. Call them something like clean and dirty.

The clean account is not known to anybody but the SC system.

SpamCop POPs and filters the dirty account. Anything passing the filtering gets forwarded by SC to the account clean.

When I need a new address, I create it as an alias to clean. This avoids any problems with delays for most of my mail.

If an alias starts getting some spam, I change it to point to the dirty account and it gets filtered by SC from then on.

If SC had major problems, I could take it out of the loop by pointing all the aliases back to the clean account.

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When I need a new address, I create it as an alias to clean. This avoids any problems with delays for most of my mail.

If an alias starts getting some spam, I change it to point to the dirty account and it gets filtered by SC from then on.

19610[/snapback]

You're more forgiving than me. When an alias starts getting spam, I am always tempted to change it to point to the bit-bucket. (Using a separate alias for everyone I buy from: merchants who leak my details to spammers aren't people I ever want to do business with or hear from again). But YMMV.

Cheers, Nick

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The current setup for SC mail will POP up to 10 accounts.

Yup, you can.

The way I work things with my own domains is as follows:

Set up two accounts. Call them something like clean and dirty.

The clean account is not known to anybody but the SC system.

SpamCop POPs and filters the dirty account. Anything passing the filtering gets forwarded by SC to the account clean.

When I need a new address, I create it as an alias to clean. This avoids any problems with delays for most of my mail.

If an alias starts getting some spam, I change it to point to the dirty account and it gets filtered by SC from then on.

If SC had major problems, I could take it out of the loop by pointing all the aliases back to the clean account.

19610[/snapback]

Yes, I use a variation on this theme myself, except using three Spamcop accounts instead:

1. The main account receives mail for all my "live" email accounts on my various domains. I don't filter this particularly aggressively. Obviously the held mail on this account needs to be checked regularly and fairly carefully for false positives. However, after a "bedding in" period of forward-and-whitelisting any legitimate mail which has got caught, false positives are now very rare indeed.

2. I have an "ex-staff" account, to which mail to all old email addresses is sent. This account is set to filter much more aggresively, and again after a "bedding in" period of forward-and-whitelisting false positives are very unusual. The held mail on this account obviously won't need to be checked as often if you don't want to, and you know when checking this account you are less likely to find legitimate mail anyway.

3. I have a "spamtrap" account. I use this when spammers have been kind enough to make up email addresses at my domains (and then sell these addresses on to other spammers too). Any mail coming to any of these addresses I *know* is spam, and this account is set to hold all incoming mail for immediate reporting. The held mail page for this mailbox is actually set as my browser homepage, so every time I go on the internet I first quick-report the spam which has been caught to feed Spamcop's filters (takes a couple of seconds each time). Don't forget to forward-and-whitelist the reports coming from Spamcop though!

Hope this helps.

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