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  • #2150381

    Rant of the Week – Spammers (07/02/2008)

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    by Tammy.Cavadias ·

    Here we all are once again ready and willingly to listen to me rant, whine (yes, I will take some cheese with that), stomp my little foot and just give my little feeble opinion (as little as that opinion may be) 🙂

    I had originally started to write about “changes” – enlight of the new web design. Not about the design itself per se, but more about reflection based on “changes”.

    However, I decided to change that last minute, and start all over from scratch and go with spam and spammers instead.

    So here it is – short and sweet, with a little Grey Poupon and crackers on the side.

    I know on any given day even with the best filters in place, all measures that one can take to keep spam/spammers out of their email boxes, some spam still manages to get through. I don’t tend to receive very much in my main email accounts (one for work and one for family/friends), since I use alternate email addresses for things like ordering online, subscribing to newsletters and joining forum boards. Along with the alternative email addresses, I also use filters, I don’t click on the “unsubscribe” link in email received (they don’t need confirmation from me that yes this is a valid email address) and report anything I receive to my ISP. For me, this works at cutting down the spam received in my main accounts. I’m sure each of you have your own way of combating spam/spammers, as that really is what it is – combat but without the combat pay.

    While there are *laws* (Can-Spam) that are suppose to help deter spam/spammers they are a joke.

    Such as:

    – Requiring an “unsubscribe” link? Yeah right, like I’m going to click on it so they know my email address is valid? Besides, I shouldn’t have to click on anything, as I shouldn’t have gotten that spam email to begin with.

    – I bought such and such item so their third parties now have a relation with me so they can now send me spam as well? No! If I wanted your product I would have searched you out to begin with.

    – Legal recourse? Yeah right, big companies may have the ability to hunt down spammers, but what about the little guy?

    Spam/spammers though isn’t just a problem in email, its also a problem in forum boards, chat rooms and IM’s.

    It’s a problem that will continue as long as the money is there, as that is what it mostly boils back down to – Dollar signs. I say mostly, as some of the spam received is for other *benefits* – i.e. the girl in the chatroom trying to pick up any guy over the age of 13 who can fulfill her every fantasy. Course some of you may not consider this spam, but I do when it’s unwanted and the chatroom isn’t called – Fantasies-R-Us.

    What more should the government(s) (yes, I said government, shame on me) be doing? How about the companies that own the forum boards, chatrooms, and IM’s? How about the ISP’s?

    What more can *we* do about it? How do you deter spam/spammers?

    Yes, I know I probably just opened up a whole bag of worms, but that’s ok, I have my fishing line out and some spam sounds good tonight (with a little Grey Poupon to cover the bitter taste)

    -Tammy 🙂

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    Replies
    • #2923691

      Spammers? We don’t need no steenkin’ Spammers!

      by captbilly1eye ·

      In reply to Rant of the Week – Spammers (07/02/2008)

      I have to say, Tammy, the ‘Change’ topic would have been a lot more fun! …what with the new site and the Obama thing. But this will do.

      It seems to me the amount of Spam has actually declined over the past year or so. Most of what sneaks past the filters is made up of scam offers or info phishing – those hoping for a few big scores. I believe many spam proliferators have turned to a more lucrative way of earning disreputable funds… spyware, malware and adware.

      Selling email lists to groups that fly under the guise of ‘Market Research’ is still big bucks these days, but knowing the personal surfing and buying habits of people is much more valuable.

      • #2923686

        Next week :-)

        by Tammy.Cavadias ·

        In reply to Spammers? We don’t need no steenkin’ Spammers!

        ..next week we’ll do “Changes”.. as you have exactly what I was thinking – Obama, the web site, the world, etc… but we do know how we LOVE to go off-topic (no pun intended) :p So this could very well turn into a combo – Changes and Spam.. with a side of fries 😀

        I do have to ask though, are the ISP’s doing enough? Are *we* as people doing enough or maybe too much? How about here at TR? What more can we do that we aren’t already doing?

        How about search engines? Should they be doing more? The list goes on…

        -Tammy 🙂

        • #2923671

          Well, since you asked…

          by captbilly1eye ·

          In reply to Next week :-)

          An annoyance that I and others have experienced is mail through TR from unknown members.

          Peer Mail should be just that. Mail from peers… more directly… from those in our Contacts list. That way, no one can send me email until I receive and accept a request to add them to my Contacts list. I get several emails a week from first-time posters that are either too impatient to wait for a posted reply or those that are just too lazy to post a question to begin with. Because of that, I’ve considered turning off peer mail.

        • #2923624

          Good suggestion….

          by Tammy.Cavadias ·

          In reply to Well, since you asked…

          Kinda similiar to how some IMing programs work – you can choose except all or only from contacts.

          -Tammy 🙂

        • #2923656

          Even better suggestion about peer mail

          by nicknielsen ·

          In reply to Next week :-)

          If you don’t accept it, you can’t send it.

        • #2923653

          That would have been my suggestion

          by w2ktechman ·

          In reply to Even better suggestion about peer mail

          Along with being able to run a search for other users. That way one can more easily find them after receiving an email.

        • #2907971

          You can search for users

          by michael jay ·

          In reply to That would have been my suggestion

          from the top 100 page, over here:
          http://techrepublic.com.com/5236-1-0.html

      • #2923431

        Being the guy behind the spam filter

        by dumphrey ·

        In reply to Spammers? We don’t need no steenkin’ Spammers!

        I can say over the past 2 years our spam volume has doubled, but, thanks to filter goodness, the end user is seeing less in their inbox.

        “but knowing the personal surfing and buying habits of people is much more valuable.”
        Your ISP will complain about bandwidth congestion from P2P (which is < Youtube which is < SPAM). But then they say its to expensive to do any thing about. But then they whine about the cost of bandwidth... A vicious circle. Seems to me they just want more control over what we are allowed to do with the internet, and who we can do so with...

    • #2923683

      Don’t actually get too much spam

      by nicknielsen ·

      In reply to Rant of the Week – Spammers (07/02/2008)

      I average about 3-5 messages per day for my three main email accounts. Dealing with it is easy: a quick review of senders and subject lines to make sure nothing important was mismarked, Mark All, and Delete.

      I have noticed that I get different spam to the different accounts. The Hotmail account gets the “traditional” sex spam. Gmail gets discount merchandise and web pharmacy offers. My ISP account usually gets mails from sites or organizations with whom I used to have a business relationship. Funny thing about that is that most of those business relationships were initiated two or more ISPs ago, years before the current account was opened. Go figure.

      Edit: clarify

      • #2923678

        Black lists and spam filters are worse for business

        by jdclyde ·

        In reply to Don’t actually get too much spam

        Listening to some WATB go one about having to delete 5 spam messages is a lot better than if you miss ONE business opportunity because of either a stupid black list service or getting caught in a spam filter.

        I have had a world of problems with both over the last few years.

        Would you believe some of the damn black lists take a week to remove you OR you can PAY them to accelerate the removal? Blackmail.

        • #2923503

          Cure for “I get a bunch of spam at work” WATBs.

          by charliespencer ·

          In reply to Black lists and spam filters are worse for business

          I have a user who occasionally complains about the amount of spam he gets. Wednesday he mentioned he’d received almost twenty spam messages in two day. I showed him how many the filter had blocked; end of conversation.

        • #2923474

          I have tried that

          by jdclyde ·

          In reply to Cure for “I get a bunch of spam at work” WATBs.

          didn’t work. It obviously just showed we weren’t doing a good enough job…. :0

          right now, over 90% of all emails that we get are spam.

        • #2923427

          We have had 1 false positive (so far, in the last year)

          by dumphrey ·

          In reply to I have tried that

          and 99.4% (roughly per week) is SPAM.

        • #2922619

          Just this week I was bit by the filter

          by jdclyde ·

          In reply to We have had 1 false positive (so far, in the last year)

          We are converting our network, and I had to make changes to our router. I didn’t know what changes would be needed, so the tech for our provider was going to email me a few links that would explain what I needed to do.

          My day ends at 5pm EST, by 9:30pm EST I said F it and left without ever getting the email.

          The next morning, there it was, sitting in the spam filter since @#$@#’en 4:30 pm the day before. grrrrrr.

          I changed over to my gmail account for the rest of this project. I was NOT happy.

        • #2922609

          Dern

          by dumphrey ·

          In reply to Just this week I was bit by the filter

          what filter are you using? We are on our second technology since I have been here, and we get 1 or 2 false positives a year.

        • #2922598

          I run into that

          by tig2 ·

          In reply to Just this week I was bit by the filter

          The 3 Day mail system appends links to our various partners. I tried sending an email using the system and was told by several people that it showed up in their spam filter. So I sent a complaint to the 3 Day and stopped using their system. And I am not alone in that. Many of us don’t use the 3 Day system because of the links.

          The 3 Day is the first time I have run into this but I understand why it happens. A single link in the email seems to be okay, more than one doesn’t.

        • #2922592

          didn’t even HAVE any links in it

          by jdclyde ·

          In reply to Just this week I was bit by the filter

          the tech took the time to cherry pick out the information I needed and dropped it in the body.

          For the life of me, I don’t see anything about it that would make it look like a spam. no forwards or replies even.

        • #2922589

          That’s strange

          by tig2 ·

          In reply to Just this week I was bit by the filter

          I could see it getting caught in the filter if there were multiple links but a clear text email with no links or forwards is odd.

          Aggressive spam filter?

        • #2907931

          Aggressive spam filters

          by nicknielsen ·

          In reply to Just this week I was bit by the filter

          I’ve lost contact with a couple friends because their ISPs instituted white-list filtering without explaining how to add correspondents to the whitelist.

          One friend tried several times to set the spam filtering properly, but was unable to receive mail from almost everybody. The last email I received from her at that account mentioned that the spam filtering rules had completely eliminated mail from people she knew without significantly affecting the amount of spam she got. We have since gotten back in touch through a chance meeting, but she refuses to use email ever since.

        • #2923429

          Heh

          by dumphrey ·

          In reply to Cure for “I get a bunch of spam at work” WATBs.

          I had to do the same, he felt a little better knowing he did not get any of the 387,000 others that week (of which 99.9 were just dictionary spam and not targeted).

    • #2923682

      You said it yourself $

      by tony hopkinson ·

      In reply to Rant of the Week – Spammers (07/02/2008)

      It’s no accident it’s rife, that anti-spam is a thriving industry and that attempts at legislation are hamstrung fom the get go.

      Follow that money, it will lead back to some very ‘legitimate’ players.

    • #2923681

      But I LOVE them!

      by jdclyde ·

      In reply to Rant of the Week – Spammers (07/02/2008)

      It is fun when you are out with your friends and order a round of Amaretto slammers. mmmmm. Good stuff.

      Wouldn’t want to drink a lot of them, mind you, but a few here or there is fine!

      I think you just need to open your mind to new possibilities! Amaretto slammers go nicely with tequila. B-)

      • #2923662

        and I Love IT!

        by captbilly1eye ·

        In reply to But I LOVE them!

        Sometimes I crave pork shoulder.

        [audio src="http://faultgame.com/images/spam.wav" /]

        😀

        speaking of Slammers… ever try an Alabama Slammer?

        1 oz. Southern Comfort
        1 oz. Amaretto
        1/2 oz. Sloe Gin
        1/2 oz. Lemon Juice (preferably fresh)

        Combine So-Co, Amaretto, and Sloe Gin in a shaker with ice. Serve over ice in a Rocks glass or straight up in a Shot Glass.

        • #2923603

          not a fan

          by jdclyde ·

          In reply to and I Love IT!

          of sloe gin. lets just say, we are not good friends right now…. a bad night of drinking sloe screws…. :0

          the comfort on the other hand used to be my “kick start”. I didn’t get out of work until about 10:30pm, so my buds would already have at least an hour on me. So I would order my kick start and the bartender would line up four shots of southern and a glass of sprite at the end. I was caught up, NOW! B-)

          Back in the daze when I would drink my paycheck, before I had kids.

        • #2923502

          What are you talking about?

          by charliespencer ·

          In reply to not a fan

          Slammers are those little hamburgers Ruby Tuesday’s sells. You eat them, not drink them, and they wouldn’t be any good with sloe gin or SC on them.

        • #2923475

          I NEVER

          by jdclyde ·

          In reply to What are you talking about?

          “slam” my food, only alcoholic beverages…

          Slow down and chew your food. If you go to a place with better tasting food, you wouldn’t HAVE to slam it down fast! :p

          rootbeer slammers are kind of tasty… B-)

        • #2923470

          Why not have the original….

          by captbilly1eye ·

          In reply to What are you talking about?

          … Sliders from White Castle.

          A sack full on the way home around midnight is a great way to cap off the evening. Unfortunately, the reconstituted onions make me an outcast the next day.
          🙂

          Hmmmm…. sliders with a Sloe Gin au jus…. a new taste treat. On second thought, maybe Ameretto would be better.

        • #2923465

          Billy, you know better than that.

          by charliespencer ·

          In reply to Why not have the original….

          You show me a White Castle restaurant in South Carolina and lunch is on me. No, the frozen ones at the Pig don’t count.

        • #2923461

          If you have Crystal’s…

          by boxfiddler ·

          In reply to Billy, you know better than that.

          you got the equivalent of.

        • #2923410

          Yea… what was I thinkin’?

          by captbilly1eye ·

          In reply to Billy, you know better than that.

          I’ll be in Detroit again next month.

          … now adding ‘Slider’s’ to the list of things I need to pick up.

          Want any? I’m buyin’.

    • #2923573

      I only see

      by jaqui ·

      In reply to Rant of the Week – Spammers (07/02/2008)

      one spam a week at most, other than the spam here on TR.
      Not just the spam posts, but advertisements for products I’ll never buy, like anything from Microsoft. 😉 or those “reports” from the completely biased “independant survey firms”
      [ like anything Gartner says can be beleived with all their obvious lie reports in the past ]

      • #2922379

        My all time favorite spam…

        by Tammy.Cavadias ·

        In reply to I only see

        is the ones I get from either a) the girl claiming she read my profile and she believes she’s what I’m looking for (sorry honey your plumbings all wrong) or b) are you having trouble getting it up? you need a male enchancement pill (looking down… unless I’ve gotten a sex change in the last couple of secs, no I don’t)

        -Tammy 🙂

    • #2923507

      Stopping spammers is easy.

      by charliespencer ·

      In reply to Rant of the Week – Spammers (07/02/2008)

      As long as one cybertwit continues to the junk being sold, spamming will be a profitable method of advertising. If idiots would stop buying from the products, the spammers would have no financial motive to send spam. That’s who my real complaint is with – not spammers but people who respond to spam.

      • #2923469

        We need to pass a “john law” for SPAM

        by jdclyde ·

        In reply to Stopping spammers is easy.

        Just like johns getting nailed for paying for sex, we need to fine morons for being morons.

        We can call it the moron tax.

        wow, a tax I can support! B-)

        • #2923449

          Nah, it wont pass

          by w2ktechman ·

          In reply to We need to pass a “john law” for SPAM

          cause ‘moron’ is a word too well known.
          Maybe ‘dimwit’ should be used?

        • #2923423

          Or perhaps

          by dumphrey ·

          In reply to Nah, it wont pass

          (A)cknowledged (S)pam (S)upporters HOtLinE

          A database of those known to respond to SPAM, and then we can blacklist them from sending/receiving email.

        • #2923417

          :D Excellent Idea

          by w2ktechman ·

          In reply to Or perhaps

          😀

        • #2922615

          When an offense is detected

          by jdclyde ·

          In reply to Or perhaps

          Someone comes in, slaps them, and takes their computer away.

          B-)

        • #2922612

          Can I Volunteer?? :D

          by the scummy one ·

          In reply to When an offense is detected

          I would like to give it the personal touch.

          Can I bring the master MAE with me???

        • #2922608

          Is the offence really bad enough to

          by dumphrey ·

          In reply to Can I Volunteer?? :D

          warrant MAE?!?!?!?

        • #2922602

          But, it would be fun :D

          by the scummy one ·

          In reply to Can I Volunteer?? :D

          😀

        • #2922601

          And, on the other hand, Mae would be

          by the scummy one ·

          In reply to Can I Volunteer?? :D

          protected from prosecution on these ‘warranted’ beatings 😀

        • #2907927

          Gorilla glue…

          by Tammy.Cavadias ·

          In reply to When an offense is detected

          I say we glue their fingers to a HUGE sign that says “I’m a spammer” and make them go out in public. 😀

          -Tammy 🙂

        • #2923396

          Well, anybody who clicks on those links

          by nicknielsen ·

          In reply to Nah, it wont pass

          is not just a dimwit, but senseless. Maybe it could be the senseless tax? :0

        • #2922377

          And just *who* do you expect…

          by Tammy.Cavadias ·

          In reply to We need to pass a “john law” for SPAM

          to manage that “moron tax”.. the government? Oh wait.. never mind they would be perfect to manage a moron tax :p

          -Tammy 🙂

    • #2923355

      Insidious spam

      by tig2 ·

      In reply to Rant of the Week – Spammers (07/02/2008)

      The spammers who have won a very special place on my “S-List” are the ones that wake up zombie threads to couch their advertising in or just post nonsense in to bring them to the front page again. GRRRR!

      Navigating the site is already a challenge enough. To have to wade through posts that are years old because some half-wit thought it would be funny to knock all current content off the front door makes the site nearly unusable. And for what? So some idiot spammer can have a few minutes of laughs?

      Why can’t aging topics be locked down in an effort to prevent this from happening? Once a topic has archived for a period of time with no activity- say 3-6 months- it gets locked so that no new posts can be added? That would insure that the information contained in the thread is accessible for historical purposes but it doesn’t become a zombie destined to walk the board months or years after its death, brought to half life by some idiot spammer.

      • #2922605

        My least favorite

        by dumphrey ·

        In reply to Insidious spam

        are the ones that fake a “NDR bounce” to include spam not filtered since its an NDR and returning…
        These really set users on edge; “Someone is sending spam as me?” “My computer has been HACKED! Fix it!” Sigh…
        And no matter how you may want to, message headers are not for the non-initiated, users just look and see a picture of a vase or something. (But then some of these guys can sell snow to polar bears, so they can be forgiven :))

      • #2922576

        spam KILLED the usenet.

        by locrian_lyric ·

        In reply to Insidious spam

        and a good portion of the Yahoo groups.

        I remember when SPAM first reared it’s ugly head on the usenet.

        Back then, the spammer would usually get swatted hard, and would be lucky if he still had a working OS by the time we were through with him.

        then the spambots came and overwhelmed us.

    • #2922574

      I know a few guys with middle names of ‘the’ who could take care of ’em

      by locrian_lyric ·

      In reply to Rant of the Week – Spammers (07/02/2008)

      Too bad it’s not legal.

      Can we get a law passed to make killing a spammer ‘justifiable homocide?’

    • #2922521

      Spammers; another class of computer criminal

      by neon samurai ·

      In reply to Rant of the Week – Spammers (07/02/2008)

      .. who should have there fingers smashed with a meat tenderiser or the edge of there keyboard. I don’t meant broken, I mean all those hundreds of bones in the human hand turned to mushy goo.

      – spammers
      – malware writers (outside of proof of concept in a controlled environment)
      – virus writers (outside of proof of concept in a controlled environment)

      I don’t trully premote violence and realize that finding the responsible party is not possible across boarders and such. They’d only be back too the crime again after there hands eventually healed also. Man it would make me feel better though.

      The real problem is still the profit. If it didn’t turn a profit, it wouldn’t be done.

      Oh well.. maybe in another reality where email protocols are written differently or everybody voluntarily only interacts with peopel who will use public key signing.

    • #2907886

      I hate spammers

      by av . ·

      In reply to Rant of the Week – Spammers (07/02/2008)

      I’d like to see them all tarred and feathered and put on public display so we can throw rotten tomatoes at them (theres a good use for all those salmonella tainted tomatoes!), especially the male enhancement spammers.

      This thread has special meaning for me because I just went through the disintegration of my existing spam filter at work because of the sheer volume of spam my company has gotten over the past 6 months. Its about 250,000 messages a day now of which over 95% is spam. Most of it is dictionary attacks so it is deleted automatically, but about 7000 or so a day make it to the spam trap that someone (thankfully not me) has to go through. Then there are the daily NDR email attacks that I can’t seem to stop totally. Every week there’s a new tactic. It was becoming my full time job just to keep up with the spammers.

      I finally had to throw in the towel and got approval to outsource the spam filter. We’re now using Postini. I’m still setting it up, but so far, so good.

      Spam is a global problem and its here to stay. As long as someone out there is willing to click on the link in some of these stupid emails, the spam will keep coming. Government won’t stop it. Antispam software and services is now a big money making industry. Its good for business, just not good for the rest of us.

      *Sigh* 😐 I remember back in the 90’s when we didn’t have spam. The good ol’ days.

      AV

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