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Where Has All My Spam Gone?

kdawson posted about 6 years ago | from the yesterday-upon-the-stair dept.

Spam 597

An anonymous reader writes "I have my own domain, which has its own email server, where I receive all my personal email. I've been getting about 800 emails a day, of which perhaps 20 are real. Suddenly, Sunday or Monday evening, the spam pretty much stopped. My volume of mail has plummeted to less than 100 a day, and as far as I can tell, I'm not missing any real mail — I'm still getting the email list subscriptions I'm expecting, and every time I ask someone to send me a test message, it gets through. My domain host insists that it doesn't do any spam filtering before mail gets to my inbox, and that they've changed nothing about their configuration. I run SpamAssassin on my server to mark, but not delete, spam, and download the whole mess to my home client, and I'm still seeing the occasional message tagged by SpamAssassin. But it's virtually all gone. And I haven't changed anything about my own mail configuration, or the harvestability of my site (my personal email has been harvestable for almost a decade). So what's going on? I can't believe that several major botnets would have vanished overnight. Any ideas?"

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Hmm (5, Informative)

geminidomino (614729) | about 6 years ago | (#24614491)

*Checks mail logs*

Yeh, you need to ask the ISP again. No sign of slowing here.

Re:Hmm (4, Informative)

urbanriot (924981) | about 6 years ago | (#24614547)

Agreed. No changes in spam over here, my domain is still receiving the daily average of about 100 per day.

Re:Hmm (5, Informative)

Southpaw018 (793465) | about 6 years ago | (#24614891)

Thirded over here. Solid 7000/day for months (small business).

Re:Hmm (5, Funny)

ElizabethGreene (1185405) | about 6 years ago | (#24614837)

A group of the original SpamAssassin developers got together with a group of mercenaries and created SpammerAssassin. It's in alpha, and looks good except it seems to have started a teeny-tiny war in the eastern bloc. Oops. They have an open bug ticket on it.

:D

Re:Hmm (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24614953)

ROTFL!!

Re:Hmm (5, Funny)

oldspewey (1303305) | about 6 years ago | (#24615029)

Seriously though ... if spammers started turning up dead where would the police even begin their investigation? There's only a pool of what, half a billion suspects?

I'm getting it (4, Funny)

digitrev (989335) | about 6 years ago | (#24614497)

My spam has tripled over the past few days. So I'm not getting all of it, but I'm getting a chunk of it.

Re:I'm getting it (-1, Redundant)

Dekortage (697532) | about 6 years ago | (#24614845)

Clearly, you're getting all of the original poster's spam!

Re:I'm getting it (1)

0100010001010011 (652467) | about 6 years ago | (#24614895)

I've seen a huge increase in both spam and particularly spam that makes it past my spam filter.

Most of it in Russian too. Quite a bit of it is also "News" from CNN or MSNBC about the US leaving the Olympics or some other hot news topic.

And people wonder why I'm moving to IM or Facebook (or other site I'm on) messages more. This is just damn annoying.

Re:I'm getting it (4, Interesting)

ShadowBlasko (597519) | about 6 years ago | (#24615015)

Heh, we've got a virus running around the site lately that is titled "CNN Gold Medal tracker".

Sneaky ...

Okay (4, Funny)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | about 6 years ago | (#24614509)

And you're complaining because .... ?

Exactly. (3, Funny)

Lilith's Heart-shape (1224784) | about 6 years ago | (#24614529)

And you're complaining because .... ?

No kidding. I work as a sysadmin, and as far as I'm concerned, a spam-free day is an occasion to praise my patron demon and bring Him an offering of hookers and blow, not an excuse for an "Ask Slashdot" posting.

Re:Exactly. (4, Insightful)

Arimus (198136) | about 6 years ago | (#24614641)

Assuming a third party isn't dropping your email... if they are then that's almost as bad the spam deluge - I'd rather be the one to decide what is spam than a third party who may or may not have a clue.

Re:Exactly. (5, Insightful)

Minwee (522556) | about 6 years ago | (#24614773)

I, on the other hand, consider sudden, dramatic, and completely unexplained changes to the operation of systems under my control to be a reason to worry.

I'm just funny that way.

Re:Exactly. (5, Insightful)

Bandman (86149) | about 6 years ago | (#24615001)

Amen.

It's like we speak the same language.

Change is good. Unexpected change is very, very bad.

Re:Exactly. (1)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | about 6 years ago | (#24614793)

a spam-free day is an occasion to praise my patron demon and bring Him an offering of hookers and blow

That might work, but I'll bet implementing SpamAssassin or [insert your favorite spam filter here] is much, much cheaper. ;)

Re:Exactly. (1)

Bandman (86149) | about 6 years ago | (#24614937)

Oh come on, as a sysadmin, you know that any precipitated change is bad, or at least troubling.

Things like this are usually a sign of bigger trouble somewhere else, which may or may not be the submitter's problem.

Re:Okay (5, Insightful)

kinzillah (662884) | about 6 years ago | (#24614563)

Perhaps he'd like to leave it to systems he controls? I, for one, would rather a third party weren't silently dropping mail that could be false positives.

Re:Okay (5, Insightful)

qortra (591818) | about 6 years ago | (#24614629)

He isn't complaining. It isn't wrong to ask questions when things unexpectedly go well.

Re:Okay (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24614869)

I've been having sex about 800 times a day, perhaps 20 of which are consensual. Suddenly, Sunday or Monday evening, the rapes pretty much stopped. My volume of sex went down to to less than 100 a day, and as far as I can tell, I'm not missing any consensual sex. The cops insist that are doing nothing about it, and that they've changed nothing about how they do their job. I carry mace with me to mark, but not stop, my raper, and I'm still seeing the occasional rapper tagged by mace. But they're virtually all gone. And I haven't changed anything about my own rape prevention techniques, (my person has been rape-able for almost a decade). So what's going on? I can't believe that several major rapers would have vanished overnight. Any ideas?"

Re:Okay (4, Funny)

rbane3 (1284976) | about 6 years ago | (#24615031)

I carry mace with me to mark, but not stop, my raper, and I'm still seeing the occasional rapper tagged by mace. But they're virtually all gone.

I see what you did there! Subtle insight of your views concerning the Hip Hop "artist"?

Re:Okay (1)

bennybertow (903069) | about 6 years ago | (#24614809)

And you're complaining because .... ?

... he now doesn't know where to get more V14GR4 from?

Re:Okay (5, Funny)

camperdave (969942) | about 6 years ago | (#24615027)

And you're complaining because .... ?

Without having the spam to process, the server doesn't run as hot as it's "supposed to". This causes a power imbalance, sending more current to the other servers and tripping breakers. Also, because of the lack of that heat, the server room is too cold. The UPS batteries are not storing enough of a charge as they are less efficient when they're cold. If a power sag, brownout, or blackout happens during one of these spam free moments, well, the results could be catastrophic.

we are all doooomed (1)

snugge (229110) | about 6 years ago | (#24614523)

It must be a sign of the Apocalypse.

Re:we are all doooomed (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24614817)

It's because Obama is the Antichrist [blogspot.com]

Re:we are all doooomed (4, Insightful)

Ethanol-fueled (1125189) | about 6 years ago | (#24614863)

Naw, just that the Russians have shifted all their botnets' attacks toward Georgia.

Did you install Skynet 1.0? (5, Funny)

bugeaterr (836984) | about 6 years ago | (#24614525)

Did you install Skynet 1.0?

Hey, what's that siren going off for....

I can forward you some of mine if that helps... (3, Interesting)

mattMad (1271832) | about 6 years ago | (#24614541)

... just in case you desperately need to buy some cheap "medicine" :-)

Re:I can forward you some of mine if that helps... (5, Interesting)

Noexit (107629) | about 6 years ago | (#24614797)

That might actually be a not bad idea. Sending him something that can be confirmed as having been sent, and as being spammy.

cyber warfare (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24614545)

The spamming botnets are now being used to generate profit by aiming themselves at the government of Georgia.

Because... (4, Funny)

Capt James McCarthy (860294) | about 6 years ago | (#24614549)

When spammers took over your box, they didn't want to flood it with their own mail.

One down (5, Informative)

canderley (1234622) | about 6 years ago | (#24614553)

Per Ars, a 100,000 machine bot net was shut down recently. http://arstechnica.com/news.ars/post/20080814-police-nab-shadow-creators-force-botnet-to-commit-suicide.html [arstechnica.com]

Re:One down (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24614841)

Did you read that article?
"Shadow appears to have been mostly confined to the Netherlands, as the messages and phishing hooks were all sent in Dutch, but had apparently infected some US systems as well, as the FBI is credited for assisting on the case."

Aliens (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24614555)

??

Oops... (5, Funny)

bhamlin (986048) | about 6 years ago | (#24614557)

Sorry, we've been down for maintenance and it's taking a lot longer than we originally planned. You can expect normal service to resume by next monday.

ISP (1)

ClosedEyesSeeing (1278938) | about 6 years ago | (#24614573)

Perhaps the ISP installed an IronPort system.

So it's become real... (5, Funny)

Seakip18 (1106315) | about 6 years ago | (#24614581)

Spam Assassin is actually assassinating spam.

On another note, has anyone heard from cousin who is a Nigerian prince? He hasn't called in days and we're beginning to get worried.....

Re:So it's become real... (1)

LordEd (840443) | about 6 years ago | (#24614743)

Perhaps you should check the CNN news [net-security.org] reports?

Botnet (1)

mrbah (844007) | about 6 years ago | (#24614591)

It was probably all coming from one botnet. Maybe the spammers renting it didn't pay their bill.

Maybe.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24614597)

China imploded?

You're lucky for a few days? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24614603)

I'm still seeing 1000-1100 per day, mostly bounced mail where spammers have used my domain as the sender - tossers!

FBI (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24614609)

The FBI took down a large botnet not too long ago.

those chinese spam factories are shut down ... (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24614621)

... to save the health of the athletes.

The Russians are busy in Georgia... (5, Funny)

NMBob (772954) | about 6 years ago | (#24614623)

...and the Chinese are busy watching 13-year olds win gold metals. Bob

Totally OT: Chinese youth in Olympics (-1, Offtopic)

drachenstern (160456) | about 6 years ago | (#24614929)

Speaking of 13-year olds winning gold medals, wasn't that judging a little unfair in the women's gymnastics competition last night? Several of the chinese girls routines had obvious faults with practically no deduction, and when the romanian (i think she was romanian, white and blue suit) and the american girls (like NL) put on nearly perfect routines and got almost full point deductions, I was floored.

Now, I know this is pitifully OT, but still. WTF is up with the judges blindness last night? Three girls gave the best performances of the night, and yet the judges couldn't wait but to call the technical division and demand to know what the girls had done wrong so that they could deduct points; it was amazing. I'm pretty sure 4 or 5 somebodies got paid off two days ago...

Re:Totally OT: Chinese youth in Olympics (0, Offtopic)

Paranatural (661514) | about 6 years ago | (#24615039)

Not just the womens', the mens, while not as obvious, seemed really off to me as well.

In greco-roman wrestling one guy thought it was so blatant he threw away his Bronze Medal.

We Can Test (5, Funny)

awitod (453754) | about 6 years ago | (#24614625)

We're happy to help you solve this mystery.
What is your email address?

We got bored of the joke (5, Funny)

Bogtha (906264) | about 6 years ago | (#24614627)

Okay, here's the thing: nobody but you ever got spam. We all just thought it would be funny to fool you into thinking there was some kind of worldwide scamming epidemic. You don't seriously think people would be stupid enough to buy pills off strangers who email them out of the blue, do you? I thought we'd gone a bit too far and stretched the limits of credibility when we came up with the idea for the Nigerian scams, but I was wrong, you even fell for that! Nobody is stupid enough to send all their money to a "Nigerian prince".

Anyway, enough's enough. The joke's stale now, so we decided to stop sending it all to you.

Re:We got bored of the joke (1)

drachenstern (160456) | about 6 years ago | (#24614957)

Aw man, why'ld you have to go and tell him what the deal was. I thought we were going to wait till he had lowered his defenses and then offer to show him nude celebrities and celebrity sex videos for free. Sheesh, you spoilsport.

Don't Complain? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24614635)

That's my only suggestion

Spam has relatively few sources (4, Funny)

Toe, The (545098) | about 6 years ago | (#24614637)

A large chunk of spam comes from a very small group of spammers. It may just be that you are only targeted by one of them, and he took a break recently.

Hang in there... he'll come back from vacation soon, and you'll be able to mortgage your penis to Nigeria again.

I Stole It (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24614639)

I'm holding it for ransom. You can have it back for $1,000,000.

A "Shadow" of their former selves? (3, Informative)

DCheesi (150068) | about 6 years ago | (#24614649)

Were the missing spam-mails mostly in Dutch?

http://arstechnica.com/news.ars/post/20080814-police-nab-shadow-creators-force-botnet-to-commit-suicide.html

"Shadow appears to have been mostly confined to the Netherlands, as the messages and phishing hooks were all sent in Dutch, but had apparently infected some US systems as well, as the FBI is credited for assisting on the case."

...

"Once Shadow was secured, the police contacted Kaspersky Labs about providing a means to neutralize the malware."

Redhead (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24614651)

Perhaps it has somethign to do with [url=http://arstechnica.com/news.ars/post/20080814-police-nab-shadow-creators-force-botnet-to-commit-suicide.html]police nab shadow creators force botnet to commit suicide[/url]

What was your address again? (1)

jkc120 (104731) | about 6 years ago | (#24614653)

Post your email address here, I'm sure you'll start getting tons of spam again in no time. :-)

Obvious (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24614655)

I, for one, welcome our spam-eating overlords.

I can kinda confirm this. (5, Interesting)

suso (153703) | about 6 years ago | (#24614659)

I run a web hosting company and over the past couple weeks I've had a few customers report that the amount of spam has dropped. Of course, they thought that this was something wrong, but I couldn't find any evidence of increased failures, it was just that there was slightly less mail coming in.

No (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24614665)

It's the calm before the storm.

What's your email address? (2, Funny)

Junior J. Junior III (192702) | about 6 years ago | (#24614679)

I'll forward you some of my spam. Wouldn't want you to feel lonely.

Check (2, Funny)

DoofusOfDeath (636671) | about 6 years ago | (#24614681)

I'm not sure what's causing your lack of spam. What's your email address?

the russian business network is busy (0, Redundant)

circletimessquare (444983) | about 6 years ago | (#24614683)

they need the botnet resources for ddosing georgia

Re:the russian business network is busy (3, Insightful)

DCheesi (150068) | about 6 years ago | (#24614913)

they need the botnet resources for ddosing georgia

The sad thing is, you might be right...

Still the same old same old (3, Insightful)

Punker22 (844641) | about 6 years ago | (#24614689)

We provide a spam filtering service, and our volume hasn't really changed much in the past week or two so perhaps whichever botnet was sending you all the trash went offline or just... stopped sending to you.

Botnets current tasked to higher priority jobs (5, Interesting)

Wrath0fb0b (302444) | about 6 years ago | (#24614695)

http://it.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=08/08/12/191255&from=rss [slashdot.org]
http://bits.blogs.nytimes.com/2008/08/11/georgia-takes-a-beating-in-the-cyberwar-with-russia/ [nytimes.com]

When the crisis abates, I expect the botnets will be returned to their regularly scheduled duties. Quite a versatile tool those botnets -- pimping V!agr4, collapsing government sites, enhancing the male doodad, distributing pr0n, bullying your neighbors (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/6665145.stm [bbc.co.uk] ). For the cost of one M1A1 tank tread, Putin bought himself a whole lot of firepower.

Advantage: Putin.

Re:Botnets current tasked to higher priority jobs (2, Interesting)

Colonel Korn (1258968) | about 6 years ago | (#24614915)

For the cost of one M1A1 tank tread, Putin bought himself a whole lot of firepower.

This is so obviously the answer that the parent needs to get to +5 Insightful as soon as possible and that can be the end of the story.

I can confirm this (2, Insightful)

Simon (S2) (600188) | about 6 years ago | (#24614697)

This happened to me too about a week ago, and I was as surprised as you. I am from Italy, and I got about 200 mails a day, about 5 of them not spam. Now I get about 80/day. They are not vanished, but the volume of Spam mails dropped significantly the last week or so.

Reality... (3, Informative)

Capt James McCarthy (860294) | about 6 years ago | (#24614701)

Without seeing your logs, most folks would be guessing. They symptoms you provide are not enough to make an educated guess. I would say to bump up the verbosity of your email server, SpamAssassin, and the system itself and then go from there.

Easy (1)

eclectro (227083) | about 6 years ago | (#24614711)

China suspended spamming operations during the Olympics. Back next week!

Russians are busy attacking Georgia (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24614713)

The spammers are busy attacking Georgia with their botnets, turns out all the spam comes from Russia.

Noticed the same thing (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24614715)

with several webmails such as yahoo and hotmail, but rather I've noticed this in the past 2 weeks. I'm not winning foreign lotteries anymore or being asked to transfer millions of dollars. Bill Gates no longer wants to give me 500k pounds for being a random windows user . . . What gives?

Fake News Alerts (2, Informative)

pipingguy (566974) | about 6 years ago | (#24614717)

Fake news alerts seem to be the new thing for my inbox.

Oingo Boingo! (3, Funny)

TheMiddleRoad (1153113) | about 6 years ago | (#24614723)

When Slashdot has a real slow news day
Tell me where my spam's gone
When Nigeria no longer needs me
Tell me where my spam's gone
When trojan horse avoid my inbox
Tell me where my spam's gone
When penis pumps cease their pumping
Tell me where my spam's gone
When free porn streaming doesn't bug me
Tell me where my spam's gone
When people install virus checkers
Tell me where my spam's gone

I have it (1)

No2Gates (239823) | about 6 years ago | (#24614727)

I'm eating your spam, having it forwarded to me.

BTW, there's a lot of people in Nigeria who have money for you.

headless botnets (4, Interesting)

Lord Ender (156273) | about 6 years ago | (#24614731)

We've been seeing botnets changing desktop background to an image alerting people that they are infected with a virus. Obviously a real spam botnet operator would not alert people like that.

My theory is that some grayhat wrested control of a major botnet, and is shutting it down from the source (and alerting the victims in the process).

maybe they are attacking Georgia? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24614737)

Maybe the bot nets and the spammers are doing DoS attacks on Georgia right now?

they just gave up on you... (1)

whtvr (1213658) | about 6 years ago | (#24614739)

dude, have you bought any v14gr4 lately or enlarged your wilson? if not you're a lost cause to all online "retailers", there's no point of wasting good spam on you if you're not going to buy any stuff anyway...

The Spammers Went Down to Georgia... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24614747)

Well, if all the allegations of national origins for many spammers are true, those botnets may be busy taking down the Georgian government's internet presence.

We Apologize (4, Funny)

Sloppy (14984) | about 6 years ago | (#24614757)

Dear Sir,
We humbly apologize for the interruption in service. Please reply with your email address and our technical staff will get back to you.

spammer (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24614791)

The spammer's mom caught wind of his naughty deeds and kicked him out of her basement? The parasite will find it's new host soon enough, don't worry.

Russian botnets being devoted to other purposes? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24614807)

The usual lot of Cyrillic text, along with .ua and .ru domains names has been conspicuously absent from my spam folder the past day or so.

Spammers are busy (1, Offtopic)

El_Ehmenopio (701830) | about 6 years ago | (#24614811)

The Russian created botnets, that spammers use, are busy attacking Georgia. The good news, is that you'll never see spam again. These guys have nukes, and after WWIII, you'll actually be happy to find canned spam in the rubble. Sadly, If "W" was not in office, and our Army wasn't bogged down in a quagmire, those clowns would not have dared trying to stir up sh... er stuff. They're doing it now, because they won't be able to do it later, when we get a real president. And Yes, either Obama or McCain will probably be a real president. There is nowhere to go but up.

YUO FAILe IT (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24614821)

worthwhile.> It's (click Here

not on this end (2, Informative)

JohnCub (56178) | about 6 years ago | (#24614835)

our spam seems to be climbing.
# of spams / date (m/d)
16,037 8/15
17,385 8/14
17,287 8/13
16,352 8/12
15,171 8/11
16,505 8/10
14,344 8/9
12,157 8/8
12,465 8/7
11,942 8/6
12,265 8/5
10,124 8/4
11,437 8/3
13,417 8/2
12,858 8/1

Bill G. took care of it (0, Flamebait)

Tibor the Hun (143056) | about 6 years ago | (#24614847)

Finally, Bill Gates got tired of all the spam, and took care of it as promised.

Crazy theory: blame the Russians (1)

goodmanj (234846) | about 6 years ago | (#24614853)

Here's a crazy theory to explain it: Russian-controlled botnets were the source of a huge amount of spam volume. These botnets are now hard at work DDOSing the government websites of Georgia and its friends.

I'm not seeing any decline (1)

Animats (122034) | about 6 years ago | (#24614857)

I'm not seeing any significant decline in spam. Here are my spam log statistics, which combine mail received by about ten e-mail addresses at five domains:

  • Graymail for Aug 15, 543 new messages for animats.
  • Graymail for Aug 14, 631 new messages for animats.
  • Graymail for Aug 13, 645 new messages for animats.
  • Graymail for Aug 12, 566 new messages for animats.
  • Graymail for Aug 11, 469 new messages for animats.
  • Graymail for Aug 10, 465 new messages for animats.

I got them! (1)

knaapie (214889) | about 6 years ago | (#24614859)

Must've been some glitch in the system.
Good news is I saved them for you!
Just post your Email and I will forward them to you.

The spammers finally discovered... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24614867)

...That you're a deadbeat and your credit card is no good and your identity isn't worth stealing and your erectile dysfunction is cured and you have hair.

I got my first spam mail is almost 2 years (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24614897)

I have a private domain email address that I have been very careful never to put on the web or give out on sites/signups etc. I got my first spam in almost 2 years today.

So something is up.

RIP Spam King (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24614899)

Clearly, all of the Spam King's loyal subjects are in mourning over his death.

Help us help you (1)

Twisp (1122989) | about 6 years ago | (#24614905)

So I guess the key question here is: were most of the porn sites you visit frequently Dutch porn sites?

If so, I think we have you answer.

mod dO9wn (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24614931)

maagot, vomit, shit which don't use the

re where is your spam (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24614939)

The Russians are busy right now ddosing GA websites. When they are free you will be back in business.

Olympics (0, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24614945)

The Chinese spammers are too busy with the Olympics right now...

It's August. Spammers have gone on holiday.. (1)

Lord Grumbleduke (13642) | about 6 years ago | (#24614987)

.. soaking it up at the local caravan/trailer park due to all that money they're making from their get rich schemes.

Spam on newsgroups down too (2, Interesting)

Jens de Smit (1041964) | about 6 years ago | (#24614997)

Some newsgroup I regularly read got a lot of spam over the last month or so, but a couple days ago it just stopped. Possibly related...
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