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April 23rd, 2003

Spam Update

Since the amount of spam I’m getting/filtering seems to have made a dramatic increase in the last few months, here’s some recent reading about the scourge of the Net:

How to block spambots, ban spybots, and tell unwanted robots to go to hell by Mark Pilgrim. For those of you running web sites.

Why Am I Getting All This Spam?, a report from the Center for Democracy and Technology. Their findings: their munged test e-mail addresses received not a single spam over six months. While that doesn’t mean spambots totally miss encoded e-mail addresses (I know one or two have managed to pick up munged e-mail addresses that I know about), it does mean that, for whatever reason, e-mail harvesters can’t decode simple escaped characters. Very strange, because it’s one of those “features” that would take all of three minutes to add.

Web site operator agrees to stop flood of misleading spam, and his name is Paul McAleer.

Are We Loosing the War Against Spam?. I only point this one out to make fun of a conservative news source’s problem with spelling.

Spammers promise “shock and awe” for 2003 and beyond. Oh, good. (Cheeseball press release.)

For SPAM, subject line is key

New Spam Tactics. Yet another attempt by spammers to get past simple filters is discovered: now they’re using empty HTML tags in the middle of highly-filtered words in order to break pattern-matching. This might work for a month or two, but not much beyond that, I’d imagine.

Spam king lives large off others’ e-mail troubles… and then the geeks strike back.

Posted in Technology

FROM: Chris [E-Mail]
DATE: Wednesday April 23, 2003 -- 9:31:15 am
I installed PopFile about 10 days ago - I'm very impresed so far. It's properly identifying 95.16% of spam, and that includes the first two days when it was always wrong because it had no history to work with. I figure within a week or two I'll be confident enough that I can set a filter to not download spam at all - just leave it on the server and ignore it.

I've got Michelle's computer running a white list set up. All mail is left on server unless the sender is in her address book or its one of a few mailing lists that she is on.

FROM: Paul
DATE: Wednesday April 23, 2003 -- 4:00:22 pm
Looks like the "loosing" story has been fixed. I want to loose spam, somewhat.

FROM: dave
DATE: Wednesday April 23, 2003 -- 8:21:37 pm
Spam usually has a "loosening" effect on me...

Newsmax, on the other hand, produces a reaction in the other direction.

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