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Hats off to Microsoft


rconner
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After bitching so assiduously about the obtuseness of Microsoft's abuse desk, I feel I am obligated to salute them for two jobs well done:

Richard, I have closed the account, cedward110[at]live.com that you reported in accordance with our Terms of Use (TOU). It is a strict violation of the TOU for our members to send objectionable material of any kind or nature by using our service.

Richard, I have checked the fedexexpress012[at]live.fr account and I have verified that it is already closed. We have also verified that the account is in violation of our Terms of Use Agreement that is why we have closed the account.

Bravo to my correspondent Lotiz S.

The nice thing about these is that MS acknowledged that the addresses were in violation of the TOU and that they were closed. Often, providers won't tell you exactly what they did, leaving you to read between the lines.

-- rick

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...The nice thing about these is that MS acknowledged that the addresses were in violation of the TOU and that they were closed. Often, providers won't tell you exactly what they did, leaving you to read between the lines.
Well, kudos all round :D. Would it be worthwhile recapitulating, here, your process and the words you use in achieving these ends?
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Well, kudos all round :D. Would it be worthwhile recapitulating, here, your process and the words you use in achieving these ends?

I've beem trying out gmail, no spam in my inbox

Microsoft needs to try harder IMO

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Would it be worthwhile recapitulating, here, your process and the words you use in achieving these ends?
A lot of this will be found on the wiki, but we can repeat ourselves a bit.

I figure that it is fair game to report an e-mail address to its provider if the address is obviously and unquestionably a fraud drop-box. If the address is named in the text (i.e., "contact me at crook [at] foo.bar") then I consider it reportable. LIkewise, if a Reply-To address is provided, I also consider it reportable (because it wouldn't be present if the scammer didn't explicitly put it there in order to divert replies).

In this case, I did as I usually do and used abuse.net to find the "official" reporting addresses for the domain in the e-mail address -- in these cases, live.fr and live.com.

From there it is a simple matter to create the report. I now usually try to emphasize that I am reporting a drop box, and I ask for specific measures; this is to prevent (as much as I can) the report from being misinterpreted as a standard spam complaint. Doesn't always work, I suspect.

See message below. Fraudster requests replies fedexexpress012[at]live.fr (given in message body). Please cut off incoming mail to this address in order to stop the fraud.

The original message + headers is pasted in below the report (i.e., not an attachment).

-- rick

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I figure that it is fair game to report an e-mail address to its provider if the address is obviously and unquestionably a fraud drop-box. If the address is named in the text (i.e., "contact me at crook [at] foo.bar") then I consider it reportable. LIkewise, if a Reply-To address is provided, I also consider it reportable (because it wouldn't be present if the scammer didn't explicitly put it there in order to divert replies).
But what about the situation when the address is simply a forged address of an valid and innocent user and is actually being used as a form of an embedded "Joe Job"?
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But what about the situation when the address is simply a forged address of an valid and innocent user and is actually being used as a form of an embedded "Joe Job"?
This is always a possibility, but I am convinced it is a pretty remote one with regard to these 419-type scams. Why would a crook fire up his spam machinery just to implicate someone else's freemail address? Usually the target of a Joe Job would be a private domain or website, where more is at stake.

Also, when a crook sends me a mail explicitly requesting response, and goes to some effort to provide a special address (not a simple From-address) for this purpose, I don't think it is wrong to report this; as always, it is up to the address provider to determine what action, if any, should be taken. If they believe it to be a Joe-Job, then the are free to act accordingly.

As I mentioned, I generally report these only when the crook has given an address in the body or in the Reply-To field; I generally don't fool with addresses that appear only in the From field, for the reasons you allude to.

-- rick

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Occasionally I have come across a 419 fax that includes an email address to reply. Hotmail, did provide a fax number eventually and so did yahoo recently:

So if you get a faxed or mailed 419 that wants you to reply via email:

Here's the yahoo response

If you have a hard copy of an unwanted email you have received, you may

fax it to us for investigation at:

(503) 844 2399

The Hotmail one was so long ago, I don't have it anymore. It does no good to write an email to the abuse desk - they have to have a copy of the solicitation which you don't have if it was faxed or mailed to you unless you have a pdf scanner.

Miss Betsy

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My hat is planted firmly back on my head today; I tried to report an address in the w.cn domain (which appears to be an MS/Hotmail operation), and got the same pro-forma doo-doo that I have gotten in the past. It included the following bogus complaint and advice:

Unfortunately, in order to process your request, Windows Live Hotmail Support needs additional information to validate and confirm the abuse.

The easiest way to report spam to Hotmail is to click on the “Report spam†or “Junk†button provided by your ISP. Hotmail has systems set up with most major ISPs so that when their users click on “Report spam†or “Junk†buttons, we automatically receive a notification. Check the link below to find out if your ISP is included. If you cannot find your ISP in the list, please forward the spam or abusive mail to us as an attachment. Simply start a new mail message, attach the spam to that mail, and send it.

Guess what, MS? If you use a standard mail client, it won't have an ISP-provided "Report spam" or "Junk" button, and even if it did it is not clear that MS would be included in the notification. Also, their instructions for attaching are very elliptical and not obvious for most users to follow. Finally, I can't imagine what possible "additional information" I could provide in order to "validate and confirm the abuse" -- if my note plus the full message packet won't do, what would be sufficient?

Just to see if it would make any difference, I re-sent the complaint this time with the spam message in a MIME attachment. You're right -- it made no difference to the outcome, I got the same brush-off.

To top it off, you can't use the Hexillion trick to test the address, Hotmail will reject mail from this service as possible probing.

-- rick

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...To top it off, you can't use the Hexillion trick to test the address, Hotmail will reject mail from this service as possible probing.
Yikes! That is new. A murrion/murrain on Microsoft!
550 SC-002 Mail rejected by Windows Live Hotmail for policy reasons. The mail server IP connecting to Windows Live Hotmail has exhibited namespace mining behavior. If you are not an email/network admin please contact your E-mail/Internet Service Provider for help. Email/network admins, please visit http://postmaster.live.com for email delivery information and support
And of course the referenced postmaster page is as useful as mammary glands on a boar for the purpose of validating a single address.

Not so much 'they play with us for their sport' (Melchett, character, in Blackadder series II episode "Chains", for enquiring minds) as they don't even notice us.

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Worth knowing, thanks petzl.

I'm now finding the google toolbar buggy (I'm a poor sod who's laptop came with Microsoft's rubbish Vista operating system though? not sure of a connection but probably)

The Google mail button disappears with other buttons magically appearing. Bit like Outlook Express's contacts or address book being emptied every-time a secrete "upgrade" took place Vista "fixed" this by deleting outlook Express completely

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...The Google mail button disappears with other buttons magically appearing. Bit like Outlook Express's contacts or address book being emptied every-time a secrete "upgrade" took place Vista "fixed" this by deleting outlook Express completely
ICBW but I think there might be a big difference - the Google mail button will still be there somewhere, restorable (somehow). Vista seems a bit 'willing' when it comes to deciding what you 'really want' on your bar, ribbon, streamer, strip, tray, bubble, box, doppelbüstenhalter, whatever they call it/them but that should be affected by volume of usage. Vista and Office 2007 were sent by Satan to get us preconditioned for perdition. Dunno about you, but I'm mending my ways, pronto.
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What issues have you had with Vista? I've run my laptop for 2.5 years now with no issues other than it being a memory hog (slow). A $50 memory upgrade to 4GB and has had no issues since.

I have seen people who try to control every aspect of the OS (files it is going to keep, (If the OS stored the files, there is a reason, people.)etc.) who have issues. I run plain vanilla with no toolbars.

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What issues have you had with Vista? I've run my laptop for 2.5 years now with no issues other than it being a memory hog (slow). A $50 memory upgrade to 4GB and has had no issues since. ...
Well, it's my wife's - HP laptop. I suppose more memory might help (we got 'extra' I think, can't recall what it is optioned to offhand). Between HP and Microsoft and NIS and Java etc, it always seems to be do something else when she wants to do stuff. She lets it go ahead and complete, once she works out what the lack of response is all about, but she fumes. And somehow it is my fault :D . Well, I guess it is, I should hop in and sort it out. But I don't have prior experience with Vista, everything just seems a bit different, hard to find.

And don't mention Office 2007. Perfectly fine, I'm sure, but not when she's working on a complex Word document that started life as a Word 95 document. It used to be about 100kb, heading towards maybe 300kb, 1Mb tops. It is now 24Mb. Pagination, cross references not updating, those are particular issues. Again, big learning curve relative to previous versions, function ribbons or whatever they are laid out in different groupings to the old style drop-down menus. Putting the two together, application and OS ... extreme chagrin. But we will overcome. Just in time for it to be all obsolete, no doubt :D . And the start button (or whatever it is called now) items keep changing.

I'm thinking memory could be part of the answer. Broadband connection seems OK (possible factor with updates), it is fine for the XP desktop anyway, connected to the same router. Maybe we only have 2Gb on the Vista (though I think it is more). I will check soon, tomorrow.

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I agree with Office 2007... have seen it on a coworkers desktop (and heard him over the partition) and am sticking with Office 2003 for now.
I'm sure it's fine - as long as there are no 'legacy' documents you need to maintain and apart from the learning curve and if you're not to attached to any 'advanced' worksheet features (like VBA functions, precise format of charts and so on). I'm sure all of those things are 'addressable' but the winds of time blow cold. Not quite at the stage of being amazed to awake each morn (give it another 20 years) but even so ... there's not enough time. Well, we'll find time/ways. That magnum opus doc is gunna end up pure RTF, mark my words. Well, not really.

But yes, the Vista laptop has 'only' 2Gb. We'll add more and see how it goes - thanks for the tip. Dark thoughts of 'big fat lazy programmers'. No, I know, productivity, product life cycles, 'economics' etc. We are used to outliving products. Heck we've outlived (from their 'birth') individual warships, skyscrapers, breweries (we thought them immortal, but no) and automobile manufacturers. And heaps of actors and rock/pop musicians. And the death and revival of counter lunches (not all partings are final on this earth).

Thanks again Steve :)

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I agree with Office 2007... have seen it on a coworkers desktop (and heard him over the partition) and am sticking with Office 2003 for now.

The advice I have had from IT experts is when you get a laptop buy a new blank hard drive and put your old copy of XP on it

Problems with Vista have been many, particually its ever changing "security features" and the complex way you have to OK programs. Suddenly program's that worked for ages suddenly (no warning) won't, untill you "clear it"

Another is the software you have to pay an "upgade" for it to work in Vista (old version of Nero I installed on it to get "blue screen of death" which I had not seen for years and it was no easy feat to restore)

Office 2007 new time consuming learning process after a month it fails validation check (fasle positive) a week later passes but leaves a pop-up "this copy of Microsoft office is not genuine" and two buttons "remind me latter" or "Go to piracy site" the latter now confirms my product genuine (i suspect an uninstall and reinstall is required)

My Laptop is a HP Pavillion, initially slow but googled "crapware" and found a crapware uninstaller after which system sped up heaps. Seems manufacturers get commisions for the crapware you upgrade to

Again the fix is to buy a new hard drive (500 gig about $100) do a clean install. When selling put original hard drive back and you then have no security issues with thugs recovering deleted files

Edited by petzl
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Having ordered a few PCs for systems we are building at work, I'm always amused to see the option on the order form to "downgrade" to XP Pro from Vista (and I invariably check the box, since industrial software publishers have been very slow to embrace Vista). Fortunately they do not charge you for this "de-hancement"

-- rick

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Several I worked with 2 years ago were still not supporting XP. One was still using WinNT several years after it was de-supported.
Hah! The first problem we had with the Vista was with a printer. Installed it, latest drivers only good for XP but "worth a try". Nope, OK, no problem, just uninstall it.

Nope, couldn't install any other printer then. OK, no problem, system restore (that's what that extravagant, real-estate-hogging system restore partition is all about). Nope, OK, no problem, regress to an earlier point (pity about the other stuff installed after that, including Service Pack, but we can always do it all again). Nope. Regress further. Nope.

Google, ah, our problem is evidently with the registry, purchase a (relatively) reputable, Vista-certified, 'registry fixer' advertised as perfect for incomplete printer uninstalls and all other ailments. Run, a very large number of things 'fixed'. Nope, can't install printer. Run again (as advised) a huge number of things still to be fixed, allow that. Nope, still can't install any printer, now realize (more Googling) that's because there's a registry problem.

Go in and manually back up then manually delete several dependent entries that were tying up print spooling with calls to the deleted printer modules. And we can now install our (new, Vista-certified) printer, scrap the old one (it is still perfect, up to and including XP, but can't give it away - oh well, what's a little more gallium arsenide in the landfill?). Re-install everything we had regressed out, except they seem to be installed anyway? Does system restore actually do anything? But no problems.

Except it is slow on occasion (always was) and doesn't tell us when it is doing stuff 'in the background' which makes it slow. Which is frankly terrifying in this brave new world of worms and trojans. But the AV and anti-spyware gives us a fighting chance. And uses more resource. We only doubled the base configuration memory. We should have known to quadruple it, like sensible people would. And get rid of the crapware (though most of it is HP and seems rather intimately woven into the system). And we don't have installation disks. Apparently that's what the 'system restore' restore is all about, or might have been in the brief, unlucky interval of our purchase (of a release too early to qualify for the Windows 7 upgrade). Some or all of that might yet be debated with the vendor.

I, who have watched a total of 5 minutes of "Dexter" and avoided it ever since, now wish the good old style of 'hanging, drawing and quartering' was still on the statute books and could be applied to those responsible for our Vista journey. And that I could watch. I refrain from the graphic descriptions, savoring them to myself out of consideration for any not driven to the extremities of vengefulness, enough to say the barbarity was far worse than even the most depraved could ever imagine unaided, they refined and relished the cruelty over many, many generations until at last it became too much even for them.

Oh yes, I can understand that some might avoid Vista, though that is not always an option. It now seems that the ill-fated "Millennium Edition" was but an augury. What more could you expect from people who can't even count?

Hey, this is sort of O/T. We/I are/am talking about Microsoft. But not Hotmail.

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I, who have watched a total of 5 minutes of "Dexter" and avoided it ever since, now wish the good old style of 'hanging, drawing and quartering' was still on the statute books and could be applied to those responsible for our Vista journey. And that I could watch.
Can't help you there, but there's always http://spamusement.com/index.php/comics/view/280.

-- rick

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[snip]

I, who have watched a total of 5 minutes of "Dexter" and avoided it ever since, now wish the good old style of 'hanging, drawing and quartering' was still on the statute books and could be applied to those responsible for our Vista journey. And that I could watch. I refrain from the graphic descriptions, savoring them to myself out of consideration for any not driven to the extremities of vengefulness, enough to say the barbarity was far worse than even the most depraved could ever imagine unaided, they refined and relished the cruelty over many, many generations until at last it became too much even for them.

Oh yes, I can understand that some might avoid Vista, though that is not always an option. It now seems that the ill-fated "Millennium Edition" was but an augury. What more could you expect from people who can't even count?

Hey, this is sort of O/T. We/I are/am talking about Microsoft. But not Hotmail.

Dexter I found too gory for me also, but would probably enjoy if those responsible for Vista were on receiving end

Yes the mystery running of whatever in background is scary for me also, I think a lot of it is HP's "Health check" suggest you put it on manual and run it on occasions (after removing crapware ) your LapTop will run a lot faster

A lot of software including favorite email client/News reader, Outlook Express is now in the bit bin with Vista and Hotmail is no longer, now called webmail, The topic is "Hats Off to Microsoft" (The OP was happy with MS killing a spammer)

And your opinions reflect mine near exactly- The cost of replacing software and Hardware just to run Vista will be more than a $100 (approx) to replace the Laptop drive with a 500 gig (run XP) and the shop you buy it from does all the work installing

Edited by petzl
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