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Last post Author Topic: SPAM reaching epidemic proportions  (Read 12418 times)

Carol Haynes

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SPAM reaching epidemic proportions
« on: June 08, 2006, 05:10:47 AM »
I don't know about others but I am finding that I am receiving spam at an alarming rate these days (at least 3 x a s much as my normal mail - often more).

A lot of it comes from people simply blitzing my ISPs email address systems with exvery conceivable combination of carol in the persoanl part of the address - which is damn annoying.

I am also finding my own domain names are becoming susceptible to spam too. I have just set up filters so that only email addressed to specific email addresses are allowed though on my own domains and everything else is redirected to me@privacy.net - a free dumping service!

More worrying though is that one of my addresses seems to be a target for the spoofers - I am getting loads of 'mail undeliverable' messages from ISPs - and they look like genuine notifications. Is there any way to stop this - otherwise I am likely to get my domains blocked by antispam organisations?

The big problem is that I have various spam filtering options on my computer and 99.5% of spam is correctly identified. The trouble is that part of the 0.5% of wrong stuff includes some personal mail that is incorrectly classified as spam so I have to wade through pages of email headers for Viagra and harder erections!!!

What do other people do or am I suffering worse than most from the spam blitz?

mouser

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Re: SPAM reaching epidemic proportions
« Reply #1 on: June 08, 2006, 05:20:42 AM »
i am finding a similar situation to yours carol, things seem to be getting worse..
my strategy has been:
1) keep a variety of emails, some of which are only given out to real humans, etc. and some only for signing up places.
2) my spam filter throws everything into a folder that i scan once a week for real mail that is falsely marked for spam.

people using these things that require a real human to go to a web page and verify they are human seem like they would go along way to solving issues.. i wish i had the luxury to require people who email me to do this but i think it would be unfair to them to make them jump through such hoops.

i really wish we had some harsh laws penalizing spammers..

Carol Haynes

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Re: SPAM reaching epidemic proportions
« Reply #2 on: June 08, 2006, 05:33:38 AM »
The trouble with the 'real human' test is that it would kill email newsletters - how would you fancy manually verifying every DC newsletter that is posted ?

Carol Haynes

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Re: SPAM reaching epidemic proportions
« Reply #3 on: June 08, 2006, 05:40:58 AM »
Does anyone know a filter system (like MailWasher) that allows you to define complex rules ... if I could specify something like:

if header contains more than 3 copies of "carol" delete mail

it would be really useful as I could get rid of about 50% of my rubbish in one go.

Ampa

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Re: SPAM reaching epidemic proportions
« Reply #4 on: June 08, 2006, 06:11:14 AM »
Carol,

Mailwasher will allow such a filter as it handles regular expressions.  This page has lots of examples that may help you out.

Ampa

Carol Haynes

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Re: SPAM reaching epidemic proportions
« Reply #5 on: June 08, 2006, 06:25:29 AM »
Yes as I typed that message I rethought about mailwasher. I just need to learn how to write regular expressions again now - every time I try to write one it feels like I am starting again from scratch - a sign of age I think!

mouser

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Re: SPAM reaching epidemic proportions
« Reply #6 on: June 08, 2006, 06:56:27 AM »
i'm going to have to check into mailwasher it seems..

Eóin

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Re: SPAM reaching epidemic proportions
« Reply #7 on: June 08, 2006, 07:09:57 AM »
I'm lucky to have two accounts protected by tmda which is very powerful when you get the hang of it. As for the other I rely on Thunderbirds Junk mail scanners and look in the Junk folder periodically to check for false positives.

Carol Haynes

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Re: SPAM reaching epidemic proportions
« Reply #8 on: June 08, 2006, 07:36:35 AM »
OK I am stumped - how do I write a regex expression to match a string that has multiple occurences of the word 'carol' in it (preferably 3 or more occurrences)? Learning regex is like having your teeth pulled without anaesthetic !!

I tried using regexbuddy - but Mailwasher's regex flavour doesn't recognise all of the tokens regexbuddy generates !!

Mouser - there is also a server side Mailwasher system that is free/open source - it might be worth checking out. See this page http://oss.firetrust.com/home/ It seems you can set it up to filter all email coming in and then users can access any 'quarantined' mail via a web interface.
« Last Edit: June 08, 2006, 07:41:11 AM by Carol Haynes »

jgpaiva

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Re: SPAM reaching epidemic proportions
« Reply #9 on: June 08, 2006, 07:43:48 AM »
@carol: I'm not a big expert in regex, but i think that this should do it:
carol.*carol.*carol+.*
At least, it worked in farr's regex parser ;)

Carol Haynes

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Re: SPAM reaching epidemic proportions
« Reply #10 on: June 08, 2006, 08:06:19 AM »
Thanks - it seems to work ;)

I will give it a week or two!

JeffK

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Re: SPAM reaching epidemic proportions
« Reply #11 on: June 08, 2006, 04:58:12 PM »
I use Fastmail but, apart from the basic level account, it is not free.  Gmail's built in spam filtering appears to work well.

If you want to really get into this subject I recommend a visit to www.emaildiscussions.com, which is the forum associated with the site emailaddresses.com.  I moderate there.

Jeff

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Re: SPAM reaching epidemic proportions
« Reply #12 on: June 08, 2006, 11:50:31 PM »
A great place I go to practice my Regex to see if they work is Allen's ReReplace. Just enter in some sample text (e-mail headers) and try out the regex and see if it catches all of them.



app103

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Re: SPAM reaching epidemic proportions
« Reply #13 on: June 09, 2006, 01:47:42 AM »
The trouble with the 'real human' test is that it would kill email newsletters - how would you fancy manually verifying every DC newsletter that is posted ?

I used to use Choicemail One, which required people that sent you mail to 'register' with you and wait to be approved. (you can also turn that feature off and still get fantastic spam blocking)

It also allowed you to manually approve addresses & domains and keep them out of the filter.

It did work quite well and none of my mailing lists I am subscribed to ever got an email asking them to register and none of my newsletters or lists were ever trapped by it, not even ones where the mail can come from many unknown senders, such as Topica lists.

The only problem I ever really had with it was the fact that mail I sent out to others was proxied through Choicemail One's Izzymail servers and ended up being caught in other people's spam filters, even though I was approved by the recipients already.

The only reason I ever used Choicemail One in the first place wasn't for spam reduction. It was the only known way, at the time, to get and send email outside of the proprietary software required by my ISP. It also transforms some webmail like Yahoo and Hotmail into pop3 without the need of paying for a pop3 account. They have since changed the rules at my ISP and I have ditched the software since it's no longer needed to do what I want.

I have since found out that there is a Choicemail Free. It has less features than Choicemail One and can only be used with a single email account, but that might be all someone really needs and of course the price is nice (free).

Some people can get around the single email address restriction by forwarding all mail from one account to another, like Gmail users can. Then you just download it all from the one account and therefore only be using one email address with it. But all mail you send out will come from the one address you download the mail from and not your others. Might not be the best idea but if you have accounts that you recieve only with and not send mail, it's a thought to consider.
« Last Edit: June 09, 2006, 02:31:06 AM by app103 »

jgpaiva

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Re: SPAM reaching epidemic proportions
« Reply #14 on: June 10, 2006, 08:32:16 PM »
I've just found this page: http://www.billism.c...ndemail.html?yjq=xvo which has a bunch of random-generated e-mails for spam bots. I simply love these pages, they make me feel that at least, some people try to do something against it :)

JavaJones

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Re: SPAM reaching epidemic proportions
« Reply #15 on: June 11, 2006, 12:51:50 AM »
I have my own domain and have a catch-all address setup to filter into a specific folder which gets more heavily spam checked. I have a few specific addresses filtering into my main Inbox, the rest go in there. I can make up any address @oshyan.com any time I want and then later if it starts getting heavily spammed I can just file it straight into the trashbin. It's nice because I can make very descriptive addresses to help me determine who sells my info on, etc. I can make one for newegg, one for donation coder, etc. and if someone ever sends to newegg AT oshyan.com I know Newegg is either selling my info or has had a security breach.

- Oshyan

JeffK

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Re: SPAM reaching epidemic proportions
« Reply #16 on: June 12, 2006, 03:41:36 AM »
Having your own doamin for email is a very good idea.  And if you have you will probably find that the spam you get is adressed to info@yourdomain, wemaster@, support@, sales@ and so on.  You can safely block and/or delete all email to these addresses.

Jeff

Carol Haynes

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Re: SPAM reaching epidemic proportions
« Reply #17 on: June 12, 2006, 04:04:59 AM »
That's what I am doing now - I am filtering out everything that isn't delivered via specific addesses and it has certainly cut out a lot of crap. My biggest problem is that my ISP is heavily hit by spammers using dictionary attack techniques and so I get tons of rubbish just because my name is Carol !! Damn nuisance. The only trouble is I get some legitimate mail to this address too.

Edvard

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Re: SPAM reaching epidemic proportions
« Reply #18 on: June 14, 2006, 12:24:47 PM »
I sympathize heavily Carol. I get 300+ spam emails over the weekends and about 50 or so during the day. It doesn't seem like the future of spam is going to change anytime soon and for every spam fighting technique there is a matching anti-spam-fighting technique. For personal webmail use, I have gone with Bluebottle and Cashette. They both work with an "allowed" list and Challenge/Response filtering. Bluebottle can even act as a filter with their forwarding service, and Cashette has a pay scale for receiving advertising email (get paid for spam!). So far, for work, K9 has done a very good job at dumping the garbage and gleaning the gold, even though some of the commercial solutions appear to be better. I'm either too poor or miserly to try them out. One feature I use a lot is the "WhiteList" where I can put in emails that will be classed good all the time. Too bad it isn't automatic, it's a text file where you can define good addresses, subjects, regex's and stuff. Also for some reason it bogs my CPU at random intervals. Ah, the price you pay for a little peace of mind.

Carol Haynes

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Re: SPAM reaching epidemic proportions
« Reply #19 on: June 14, 2006, 02:15:50 PM »
Actually having gone back to Mailwasher (combined with FirstAlert and SpamCop) after a long break I am finding it very useful. The 'multiple cc to carol*' filter is quite effective against my ISP spam as it is usually addressed to at least 10 'carols' and so is easily identifiable. As I get legitimate mail to that address I'll move subscriptions to alternatives and then eventually I can just do a 'dump the lot' approach on that address.

JeffK

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Re: SPAM reaching epidemic proportions
« Reply #20 on: June 14, 2006, 02:25:26 PM »
If your prepared to pay for your email I'd also recommend Tuffmail.  You can host your domain there and it has very good spam controls. I also use fastmail which is very good.  To get the better spam filtering you have to pay approx $US20 per year.  They have a special on at the moment of $15 but it runs out in a few days.

Jeff

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Re: SPAM reaching epidemic proportions
« Reply #21 on: June 15, 2006, 10:03:47 PM »
@carol: I'm not a big expert in regex, but i think that this should do it:
carol.*carol.*carol+.*
Actually, placing the + in front of the "l" in carol will only cause the "l" to repeat.  You want to enclose carol in () so the whole word repeats instead:
carol.*carol.*(carol)+.*
I use Courier for my e-mail client, and it has very good regex filtering and such.  The only thing MailWasher has over Courier is that (1) the regex's are slightly better, (2) it can bounce messages back to the spammer, which you may occasionally want to do, (3) it knows about spammer IP addresses and spam sources, (4) you don't have to download the entire message body (including the spammer's gif attachment) if you only want to scan the message header.

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Re: SPAM reaching epidemic proportions
« Reply #22 on: June 16, 2006, 12:00:09 AM »
Hello Carol,
I find "MailWasher Pro" the best of the MANY I've tried over the years.  As my e-mail address appears in my publications plus several others (& on-line), I used to get over a thousand per week :( ... until I discovered "MailWasher Pro".  Now I get ONLY what I want plus the 'occasional SPAM' which is added to my BLACK LIST only once. 
BTW, MW clears 'unwanted' stuff BEFORE they are downloaded  :D
I recommend the "Pro" version for almost 100% satisfaction (and regular free upgrades  :Thmbsup: )
"Warmest" regards from tropical Malaysia  8)

Actually having gone back to Mailwasher (combined with FirstAlert and SpamCop) after a long break I am finding it very useful. The 'multiple cc to carol*' filter is quite effective against my ISP spam as it is usually addressed to at least 10 'carols' and so is easily identifiable. As I get legitimate mail to that address I'll move subscriptions to alternatives and then eventually I can just do a 'dump the lot' approach on that address.

Carol Haynes

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Re: SPAM reaching epidemic proportions
« Reply #23 on: June 16, 2006, 03:00:57 AM »
Actually, placing the + in front of the "l" in carol will only cause the "l" to repeat.  You want to enclose carol in () so the whole word repeats instead:
carol.*carol.*(carol)+.*

Thanks - I wish I could get to grips with RegEx but everytime I start to follow tutorials my eyes glaze and I have to go and lie down for a while.

I presume I can use:

carol.*(carol)+.*

for 2 or more occurences of the string?

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Re: SPAM reaching epidemic proportions
« Reply #24 on: June 16, 2006, 03:01:49 AM »
1) keep a variety of emails, some of which are only given out to real humans, etc. and some only for signing up places.

Unfortunately that doesn't work. If you email people, you will still get on spam lists. The problem is that some viruses/spambots/worms/malware (or whatever you want to call it...) harvests email addresses from inside of people's computers (i.e. their address book).  >:(

If you want that to work, you can only email responsible people that don't download everything they see, don't visit porn, games, gambling, or seedy sites, and that run a firewall as well as anti-virus software. That isn't many people  :(

Email is dead. There is no cure. It was developed in the 70's (or whatever - too long ago) in a different age and for a different purpose. It is outdated and IS DEAD as a viable means of reliable communication.  :mad:


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