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Tracking Spam to the Source

michael posted more than 12 years ago | from the hunt-the-wumpus dept.

Spam 366

cygnusx writes: "MSNBC is carrying a Wall Street Journal article on one reporter's attempts to track the spam she receives to the source. Armed with a few Hotmail and Yahoo accounts, reporter Stacy Forster actually responded to most of the barrage of spam she began to receive after a week or so. Not quite the best investigative jounalism ever seen, but still a good glimpse (or so I thought) at those who send us those unloved missives about "exciting business opportunities" and "millions of $$$ waiting"."

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366 comments

ep (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2980038)

This early post for Ida. I love you!

Re:ep (-1)

Ralph JewHater Nader (450769) | more than 12 years ago | (#2980107)

Ida is a filthy negro-loving jewish whore.

Re:ep (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2980125)

That is a filthy lie. Ida is a pure blood Swede. That means she of the most racially pure country on the planet. Futhermore there are no negros in Sweden as the country is too northerly for their sub-human physiology and they cannot survive in conditions in which Aryan people thrive.

Re:ep (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2980174)

If she's really hanging on Slashdot then I love her too.

...ummmmm now that I see her picture I don't think I love her anymore.

Spamcop in Time (1)

dickens (31040) | more than 12 years ago | (#2980041)

There's a good article on spamcop.net in time this week. They do seem a little slower lately.

AAAAAAARRRGH!!!! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2980044)

My dog just bit off my penis and I have an uncontrollable urge to post about it on slashdot! THE PAIN THE PAIN!!!!

Re:AAAAAAARRRGH!!!! (-1)

Fecal Troll Matter (445929) | more than 12 years ago | (#2980082)

Yowch! Were you dipping your member into clam sauce so your dog would lick it?

Re:AAAAAAARRRGH!!!! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2980105)

No I used some bacon grease. The paramedics just got it out of my dog and now they're going to take me to the hospital to have it reattached. I suspect that the talk with the doctor won't be a lot of fun :-(

All we need is.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2980046)

A beowulf cluster of these reporters to put a stop to all the spam!

Re:All we need is.. (3, Funny)

reemul (1554) | more than 12 years ago | (#2980057)

Bloody hell, is there any way to filter out all posts with the phrase "beowulf cluster of these"? I'd even give up my Jon Katz filter if I could turn off these mindless attempts at humor. "All your base" died months ago, why the hell is this still popular?

Taco, Hemos, anyone, is there some way to stop seeing these damn things?

Re:All we need is.. (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2980159)

All your beowulf are belong to us

personally, I want (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2980054)

to increase my penis size by 1-3 inches in just weeks.

Re:personally, I want (-1)

October_30th (531777) | more than 12 years ago | (#2980117)

Why would you want to do that?

An average female vagina is only 5" deep.

Re:personally, I want (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2980198)

An average female vagina is only 5" deep.

How long is the average male vagina?

Bellsouth = Spam (5, Interesting)

Renraku (518261) | more than 12 years ago | (#2980056)

When I signed up for their ADSL service, I used a very odd username which I haven't used before, nor have I ever seen. I checked my email a day (after the account was made, not after I got DSL) later and guess what? Two email from Bellsouth, one from some porn company. I posted my findings to DSL reports, and got fired from my tech support job at Bellsouth DSL for that.

Re:Bellsouth = Spam (4, Insightful)

Pituritus Ani (247728) | more than 12 years ago | (#2980122)

Did you contact an attorney about suing for wrongful termination? Can you provide a link to your post?

Re:Bellsouth = Spam (2)

Sc00ter (99550) | more than 12 years ago | (#2980136)

Wrongful termination for what? If you're working for a company, and you speak out about them, they have every right to fire you. I've seen it happen before.

Re:Bellsouth = Spam (2, Insightful)

Pituritus Ani (247728) | more than 12 years ago | (#2980157)

They may technically have a legal right, but they certainly don't have a moral one.

And laws aren't that cut and dried, and various states and localities have laws to protect workers from this and similar kind of capriciousness. In fact, some companies unknowingly tie their own hands with internal policies allowing grievances, etc. An attorney can help exhaust those options--a legal aid attorney can help a wrongly (legally or morally) terminated worker in this kind of situation at least cost their former employer some time and money, and maybe even obtain some severance in return for a promise not to sue. And if that doesn't work, he can always puruse an Office Space type remedy :).

Re:Bellsouth = Spam (1)

BlueUnderwear (73957) | more than 12 years ago | (#2980222)

And if that doesn't work, he can always puruse an Office Space type remedy :).

Please do! You'll be applauded by the zillions of Bellsouth spam victims worldwide. It's burning time!

Re:Bellsouth = Spam (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2980168)

IIRC, whistle-blowers get some protections, but only if the issue is with employee or public safety. This just sounds like a sign that they're a bad place to work with/for. Unfortunatly, it's impossible to NOT deal with BellSouth in some way (even with CLEC phone service: It's still BellSOuth's wirecenter and wires) in the States they service/scam. But at least they TRY to work with CLEC's, unlike Verizon, which just pays the FCC fines for non-compliance every time.

Re:Bellsouth = Spam (2, Interesting)

linzeal (197905) | more than 12 years ago | (#2980156)

Well until the tech workers unionize you are going to get shit on. I contracted for SBC and saw the same thing happen to a guy in project management who finnaly snapped and told a customer on a 700 million dollar deal that we can't get the VPN/DSL installs on time because we have no process or process engineer and no one wants to take responsibility for a 700 million dollar deal gone bad.

Re:Bellsouth = Spam (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2980195)

My ISP (hint: Eastern Canada, and they claim they can see the future from here) regularly sells the username list to spammers. Either they do officially, or one of their wonderful support folks do it on the side. Either way it doesn't matter, you set up a new email address with as wacky a name as you want, and within a couple of days it's getting spam.

Just use PINE and... (4, Interesting)

Colin Bayer (313849) | more than 12 years ago | (#2980058)

turn on "enable-bounce-cmd" in your prefs. Open the spam, hit "B", tippity-tap out the source e-mail address (or flex your gpm muscles if you're so inclined), and off it goes back to the sender; alternately, do your best to fudge a mailer daemon bounce. When they get the message, 9 times out of 10, they stop sending. Failing that, just redirect known bad domains (I do this with Yahoo and Hotmail because I don't know anybody who uses those accounts) into a spam folder; check it occasionally to make sure the signal-to-noise ratio is non-zero.

It's not worth getting all hot and bothered over some "INCREDIBLE MONEY MAKING OPPORTUNITY" someone felt like telling you about.

On another note, check out somethingawful's pranks section under spam for Lowtax's take on the whole thing. :)

Re:Just use PINE and... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2980065)

check it occasionally to make sure the signal-to-noise ratio isn't non-zero.

Oops, my mistake. :)

Re:Just use PINE and... (5, Insightful)

forkboy (8644) | more than 12 years ago | (#2980073)

I bet that works great when the source address is spoofed.

Re:Just use PINE and... (1)

Colin Bayer (313849) | more than 12 years ago | (#2980092)

Heh... should've included a YMMV disclaimer. The server that provides my e-mail is set up not to accept any incoming mail claiming to be from source addresses outside of the source server's domain.

Re:Just use PINE and... (2, Funny)

fatgraham (307614) | more than 12 years ago | (#2980096)

i just close my eyes and hope it goes away.

luckily outlook crashes before i open my eyes again. (karma whoring microsoft bashing there, i find it moderatly stable nowadays)

OS X Mail has this too (2, Informative)

stego (146071) | more than 12 years ago | (#2980180)

Select Message->Bounce to Sender, or Option-Command-B if you do this often...

Ironically, Junkbuster. (3, Interesting)

oregon (554165) | more than 12 years ago | (#2980059)

junkbuster [junkbusters.org] blocked 15 images from loading in that one article.

Re:Ironically, Junkbuster. (2)

Suppafly (179830) | more than 12 years ago | (#2980137)

yeh.. that site popped up a "you've won a free toolset from the american homeowners association.." ad..

My favorite part of the article? (2, Insightful)

Stinky Boy (107316) | more than 12 years ago | (#2980060)

The popunder for the "World's Largest Casino." (NOT)

Re:My favorite part of the article? (2, Interesting)

trentfoley (226635) | more than 12 years ago | (#2980201)

The popunder for the "World's Largest Casino." (NOT)

If by (NOT), you mean the popunder did not happen, then disregard this post. Otherwise... I tried loading the msnbc page several times from various boxes and could not get a popunder to appear.

Are you sure you don't have something installed inadvertently that creates these popunders? If you haven't already, give something like AdAware [lsfileserv.com] a try to see just what is lurking about.

If you are absolutely sure that you are getting popunders from msnbc, then why the hell am I not getting them! I hate feeling left-out.

Recommendation (5, Informative)

doorbot.com (184378) | more than 12 years ago | (#2980063)

The article says the FTC recommends that you forward all of your spam to uce@ftc.gov. I know I will be doing so from now on...

Re:Recommendation (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2980072)

I wonder what kind of pipe that is connected to? Anyone want to guess from the traceroute to their mailservers what kind of backbone they have?

Re:Recommendation (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2980130)

So, I'm taking this to mean that instead of having a nice procmail folder named .spam I should just use procmail to forward all that stuff on to the FTC. Maybe everyone else should do this too.

Re:Recommendation (1, Redundant)

linzeal (197905) | more than 12 years ago | (#2980133)

I wish I could do that for all the IRL junk mail I get as well. If the FTC is in washington that would probably require billions in additional mail radiation devices. Can you bankrupt the FTC, lol?

Re:Recommendation (1)

mmontour (2208) | more than 12 years ago | (#2980200)

I wish I could do that for all the IRL junk mail I get as well.

With junk mail that provides a postage-paid reply envelope, just throw out anything that has your name on it and mail the rest of it back to the sender. They can then re-use that material (saves trees), and it also creates jobs for the post office.

The man behind the curtain... (-1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2980064)

"Oh, my!" cried the reporter. "You, Bill Gates, are the Wizard of Spam?"

"Yes! I, Bill Gates, am the Wizard. The small-dicked like myself and Rob Malda need cheap ways of displaying supposed "power." Malda created Slashdot so he could bitchslap trolls, and I bought Hotmail so that I could spam people! I M TEH L337!!!!"

"No, Mr. Gates," said the reporter, as she pumped eight rounds of buckshot into Gates' wiry body. "You're teh dead. And Malda is next. I will protect the world from small-dicked assholes! To infinity and beyond!"

The End.

-- The_Messenger [geocities.com]

Click on the link to the article.... (1, Interesting)

Atrahasis (556602) | more than 12 years ago | (#2980071)

....and you get a pop-up banner offering you the best casino the net has to offer.

D'oh!

Re:Click on the link to the article.... (1)

attiladehun (469422) | more than 12 years ago | (#2980237)

and Mozilla prefs prevent javascript from opening windows by themselves! Unless you don't like mozilla.

Full text of the article (ie, karma whoring) (-1, Redundant)

Saeculorum (547931) | more than 12 years ago | (#2980075)

Tracking spam to the source
Finding firms behind junk e-mail is harder than just deleting
By Stacy Forster
THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
Feb. 7 -- "Lose 20 pounds in 8 days" ... "Your Million $$$$s Is Waiting" ... "Exciting Home Business Opportunity!!!!" Every day, we're deluged with junk e-mail, popularly called spam. Fad diets, home-refinancing offers, pornography -- you name it -- pile up in our in-boxes. We've never heard of most of the companies sending the e- mails, and many of the offers are for products and services we don't need. Almost all end up in the electronic trash can moments after we read the subject line. STILL, WE'RE curious. Who is sending this stuff? How did they get our e-mail boxes? Who runs the companies behind these offers? And what would happen if a person actually followed up and tried to buy something? Armed with a fresh batch of junk mail -- culled from a work e-mail account, a personal account and from a number of personal accounts created just for this story -- we set out to answer these questions.

E-MAIL HARVESTING
I get at least 25 spams a day in my personal account, advertising every business in the book. A good portion of it promotes online porn, but I also received a fair share touting business opportunities and herbal health remedies. Rarely did I get spam from companies that are household names. Using my name and a combination of six numbers, I created a few new accounts through free online services such as Microsoft Corp.'s Hotmail and Yahoo Inc.'s YahooMail. (MSNBC is a Microsoft-NBC joint venture.) I provided different registration information for each account, then sat back and waited for the deluge. It didn't take long. In only one of the e-mail accounts, I provided all of the information requested (name, address, demographics, etc.) during the registration process, and I used this e-mail address just one time -- to purchase a gift certificate from Borders.com. Less than a week later, the spam started rolling in -- jamming the in-box with more spam than the other new accounts I had created. Anne Rodems, customer-service manager for Borders.com, the online service run by Borders Group Inc., says its privacy policy prohibits Borders from selling or renting any of its customers' e-mail addresses, so it's unlikely that my e-mail address was passed along by them. Yahoo's privacy policy also bars selling or renting users' information, says Lisa Pollock, director of messaging products for Yahoo. I contacted one of the spammers, Dial Direct USA, a long-distance telephone provider in Fond du Lac, Wis., to ask how it acquired my e-mail address. Tom Johnson, the company's marketing director, says he gets e-mail addresses from an e-mail harvesting program called Target 2001, made by Microsys Technologies Inc. of Findlay, Ohio. E-mail harvesters are computer programs that scan Web sites and databases for addresses and gather them for spammers. Dial Direct's Johnson says e-mail has been an effective marketing tool for his small business, which competes with such telecommunications giants as AT&T Corp. and Sprint Corp. Dial Direct sends about 15,000 e-mails a day to potential customers in targeted areas, and the mailings net the company about 10 to 15 new clients a day, Johnson says.

NO LOVE LOST HERE
A spam from one of the other e-mail accounts that caught my eye was one after my own heart -- literally. A message from "lrichey@123goal.com" promised to provide me with an online place where I could meet thousands of other singles. "Find Your True Love Here," the e-mail beckoned, followed by a link to a Web site called Date.com. My e-mail reply to "lrichey" was returned as undeliverable. The online-dating site included lists of personal ads for singles all over the country. The site doesn't ask for payment to submit a profile, but when users convert to "premium" memberships -- which allows other members to contact them -- they must pay $25. New York-based Date.com says the e-mail I received didn't come from it, but instead was generated by one of its Web affiliates that gets paid for driving traffic to the Date.com Web site. Although the company does send e-mail marketing pitches to people who have opted in to receive them, Date.com Chief Executive Meir Strahlberg says the company has a zero-tolerance policy for spammers. "[Date.com] is a real, legitimate company that has a legitimate service," he says, noting that the site signs up 7,000 to 10,000 new users a day. Date.com is the fifth-largest personals site, with 1.2 million unique visitors in December 2001, according to Internet research firm Jupiter Media Metrix. The company pays affiliate Web sites a commission of $25 for each free user that registers with the site, then Date.com works to convert them to paying members. Getting them to pay for that second month is where Date.com makes its money, Strahlberg says. E-mail marketing to people who have opted to accept sales pitches is part of a larger advertising strategy that also includes banner ads. But the equation is dependent on relationships with the other Web sites that drive traffic to Date.com. "Sometimes these Web masters go beyond the terms and conditions that we set forth," Strahlberg says. "They send it and we have no way of controlling it other than cutting off their accounts." A peek at the Date.com site's privacy policy revealed that to register for the site, users must give "personally identifiable information" such as Social Security numbers or bank- account information. Not what I'd call privacy. Strahlberg says individuals are asked to supply the "personally identifiable information" only when making a payment, and that the company guards that information closely and doesn't sell or rent it to third parties. I called the Better Business Bureau of Metropolitan New York, which had started a file on the company in mid-January. The BBB had received some inquiries about Date.com and had sent a questionnaire to the Web site for more information, says Susan McMillan, a spokeswoman for the BBB. No one from Date.com has responded; Strahlberg says Date.com hasn't received the questionnaire, but the company's legal department is now looking into it.

REAL_BUSINESS_AT_HOME
Facing a two-hour-each-way commute these days, working from home is sounding better every day. A message from "thefutureisnow4u" boasted its service could help me make $2,000 a week from my home using just a computer and telephone, and wouldn't require me to do any selling. Sweet. I called "Mel & Jan" at the toll- free number listed at the bottom of the e-mail. A recording said I could earn up to $5,000 as long as I was "coachable and teachable," and it instructed me to leave some basic details to receive more information. I left my phone number and area code, twice, after being instructed to by the recording ... which also said the company's decision about calling me back would hinge on my ability to follow directions. Later that day, a woman who would identify herself only as "Jan" returned my message. When I told her I was a reporter and wanted more information, she said she didn't have time to talk at length about her business because more than 4,000 people had responded to her electronic ad. Jan said she and her husband run a consulting firm called MJ Enterprises, which helps people set up home offices. She declined to provide more details on how the business works. "I help budding entrepreneurs find the right opportunity for them," she said, before abruptly hanging up on me. Further calls to the toll-free number went unreturned. These work-at-home offers aren't confined to the Internet, but can reach a broader audience there and therefore have become more prolific, says Jennifer Mandigo, a staff attorney for the Federal Trade Commission in Washington. She stressed that not all work-from- home opportunities are scams, but consumers need to pay close attention to the claims being made. "If the advertisement is making promises about how much you can make doing this work at home job, it's probably not going to pan out," she says. Sigh. Guess I'll keep my day job.

'NON-ACCREDITED UNIVERSITY'
Tracing that e-mail proved a lot easier than spam sent to some of my other Hotmail accounts. One message, from "AdamGreenpea@excite.com," offered to sell me a diploma from a "prestigious non- accredited" university for an undisclosed cost. I tried to respond to the address provided in his e-mail, but the message was returned to me as being undeliverable. The e-mail also included a phone number in Chicago, but the same solicitation sent to one of my colleagues directed me to a phone number in New York. I made a quick call to both offices of the "University Degree Program," and was instructed by voice mail to leave my name and two phone numbers for more information. A company representative from the New York number phoned me back the next morning. After I explained the reason for my call, the suddenly highly agitated woman rushed me off the phone but promised to have someone call me back to explain the program. A person claiming to be associated with the University Degree Program returned my phone call, but declined to be interviewed by telephone for this story. I decided to check the Better Business Bureau to see if any complaints had been filed about the company. The only listing for a company with that name was based in California City, Calif., and a call to the BBB chapter there turned up nothing but a report that the company was classified as a school or academic institution, and was entered in the system in November 2001. Vicky Phillips, chief executive of GetEducated.com, a distance-learning research and consulting firm in Essex Junction, Vt., says that in general "degree mills" like these are an old scam. "The Internet has made it easier to target people," she says. Companies that offer diplomas or degrees for a fee, and don't require purchasers to submit transcripts or take any tests -- neither of which were a pre-requisite in the spam I received -- are tipoffs that the degrees are worthless, Phillips says. Having a degree from a college or university that's not accredited is "sort of like having a luxury car with no engine," she says. So much for higher education.

SLIM CHANCE
Running down an e-mail that promised a "healthier, slimmer and more vibrant" me turned out to be harder than losing those last 10 pounds. According to the ad, the diet product, called "2-Day Slim Down," is made with aloe vera and "a futuristic blend of thermogenic herbs" that burn fat. It also claimed to have 100 percent of the required levels of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants that an average person needs in a day. For $39.95, I'd get a bottle of the 2-Day Slim Down and a bottle of PermaSlim Fat Burning Capsules to help keep the weight off. But all attempts to track the e-mail proved futile. There is no company name, phone number or contact information anywhere on the Web site, even in the area where customers are asked to place an order. Buyers can either pay by credit card or send money electronically from a bank account. The 2-Day Slim Down diet Web site was a subdirectory of a main site called "www.1monthfree.biz." A domain-name registry search for that URL indicated that someone named Josh Lambert was the contact for "1monthfree." I tried calling the phone number in the registry, but it had been disconnected. E-mails to Josh Lambert went unanswered. Roxanne Moore, a registered dietitian in Baltimore, Md., and a spokeswoman for the American Dietetic Association, said the 2-Day Slim Down product would likely work as a laxative, cleansing your body's systems but not really doing anything to change eating habits or add nutritional value -- the cornerstones of a healthy weight-loss plan. "The weight is off Monday and Tuesday, but it's back on by Saturday," she says. "These [products] are always on the market and if one was successful, it would be the only one." The FTC encourages consumers to forward unsolicited commercial spam to uce@ftc.gov.

Re:Full text of the article (ie, karma whoring) (0, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2980078)

I expect msnbc.com can handle the load.

-1 redundant all round.

maybe if we stop answering it... (5, Insightful)

spacefem (443435) | more than 12 years ago | (#2980079)

One spammer interviewed in the article says he sends out about 15,000 spam messages a day and gets 10-15 new customers out of that. So I guess the message about spam we send to these people is that's it's worth it.

It feels like we're kinda stuck - it's annoying and stupid, but spam is here to stay. That 1/1000 is a good enough target for these businesses, and e-mail addresses are so cheap to get they might as well go for it. The only thing I can think of is being extra careful to NEVER look into an e-mail that even looks like spam - don't go to the website, don't buy the product, even if it could be interesting.

I once asked a telemarketer if he hated his life, he said he did. I thought it was kinda funny that he admitted it straight out - it was proof that the underbelly world of cheap advertising is evil.

Re:maybe if we stop answering it... (5, Informative)

oregon (554165) | more than 12 years ago | (#2980093)

NEVER look into an e-mail that even looks like spam

Absolutely, these HTML mails are dangerous with their 1x1 gifs with a custom URL so "they" know you've read the message.

I check the source and add the urls to junkbuster's list. If the filters don't get the mail, then the images still don't get requested.

Re:maybe if we stop answering it... (1)

Pituritus Ani (247728) | more than 12 years ago | (#2980139)

And if you're condemned to use Outlook at your place of employment, and don't want to let the spammers know of your apparent interest in "Busty and Hung Transexual Bestiality Porn" or "Earning a Non-accredited University Degree in Offshore Internet Gambling and Investing" when Outlook dutifully loads their fingerprinted URL, you can get NoHTML [ntadvice.com] which will strip the HTML from your messages before that happens.

Re:maybe if we stop answering it... (2, Insightful)

bonzoesc (155812) | more than 12 years ago | (#2980170)

Or you can take the Thinking Man's solution and turn off the automatic preview pane.

Re:maybe if we stop answering it... (1)

Pituritus Ani (247728) | more than 12 years ago | (#2980184)

Turning off the preview pane is a good idea (I do), but there's always the possibility that you'll inadvertently open the message. (Lots of spam has subject lines that are intentionally misleading, and not all of them are obvious about it. Also, it's possible to get "on a roll" when going through email, and bam, you've opened a spam). NoHTML is meant to protect from these situations. In fact, the page describing it cautions users to turn off the preview pane, since the message will be rendered in it before NoHTML processes it.

Re:maybe if we stop answering it... (1)

bonzoesc (155812) | more than 12 years ago | (#2980209)

Sounds valuable, but with the volume of spam I get, it's easier to get "on a roll" deleting spam than reading messages.

Re:maybe if we stop answering it... (1)

blibbleblobble (526872) | more than 12 years ago | (#2980140)

I get quite good results with my anti-spam filter, just by deleting (i.e. not downloading) anything with "<html" "<HTML" or "<img" in it.

Seriously, has anyone ever received a "real" email which contained HTML formatting? I've not yet got any false-positives by deleting HTML emails.

My gf (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2980181)

She uses hotmail w/html.

Re:maybe if we stop answering it... (2)

Cruciform (42896) | more than 12 years ago | (#2980230)

There are quite a few people in offices who use annoying things like the stationary feature of outlook which generate HTML messages.
If you have to be ready to accept email from any one of your clients or companies you deal with, filtering out the VPs home email (which you didn't add to your exclusion filter) just because he likes a puce background might get you canned.

NoHTML sounds like a good dll to me :)

Re:maybe if we stop answering it... (1)

balloonpup (462282) | more than 12 years ago | (#2980102)

I was once a telemarketer...it was the worst thing I ever did in my life. My advice to all: if you're ever approached to do such, run...run away and never return!

Re:maybe if we stop answering it... (5, Interesting)

javilon (99157) | more than 12 years ago | (#2980150)

I have got a better Idea.

Somebody writes an e-mail system where sending messages cost money. Lets say 50 cents per message. That looks like a lot, but bare with me...
You read the message, and, if you want it, you accept it and the operator cancels the charge. Otherwise the sender gets charged.
You don't charge your friends, or any wanted mail but you do charge commercial entities and spammers (if you want).
Money from charges goes to the mail operator, so it does make some $$$ from the service. But this $$$ don't come from you, unless you are adept to send unwanted mail.
Now lets see how much do this 10-15 new customers cost: 15,000 cents x 50 cents / 10 new customers = 600$.
That would be a day. For a year he would be charged about 200,000$.
That would stop most spammers.

Re:maybe if we stop answering it... (2)

Cruciform (42896) | more than 12 years ago | (#2980239)

what happens when one of the spammers spoofs YOUR email address? :)
Ouch.

Re:maybe if we stop answering it... (5, Funny)

dangermouse (2242) | more than 12 years ago | (#2980169)

The only thing I can think of is being extra careful to NEVER look into an e-mail that even looks like spam


I looked at the trap, Ray.

Re:maybe if we stop answering it... (1)

linzeal (197905) | more than 12 years ago | (#2980175)

I once asked a telemarketer if he hated his life, he said he did.

When I was poorer than shit I took a telemarketing job selling credit card protection to senior citizens in states without consumer protection laws for elderly. I did 4 calls, took a cigarette break, and walked out. The people that are good at telemarketing are a bunch of evil fucks or desperate junkies in my exp, take your pick.

My solution to stop spam... (5, Informative)

Flavio (12072) | more than 12 years ago | (#2980080)

... was to install Spambouncer [spambouncer.org], which is a large set of procmail filters.

Before installing it, I got ~20 spam messages a day. Now I get at most 1-2 a week. Spambouncer does come with very restrictive default settings, though. For example, you must specify if you want to receive email from free web mail services like Yahoo and Hotmail, otherwise it'll filter those out.

It also logs everything it does and has the option of sending blocked email to a file instead of /dev/null in the case it filters something it shouldn't.

In my case the only inconvenience was it blocked legitimate email from Amazon.com and eBay -- these are filled with disclaimers and have HTML, which Spambouncer doesn't like to see. In any case, it's easy to mark those domains as safe and start receiving their email again.

We all know that they all originate... (1)

Nesdroc (555646) | more than 12 years ago | (#2980083)

...from the same source. Sure, there may be several (ie millions) of people that make these wonderful worthwhile e-mails, but they are part of the same entity I like to call "space wasters". What we need to do is band together, perhaps form some sort of "anti-spam" group, and eradicate the space wasters forever! Mwa ha ha ha! JOIN ME! Oh, and you can prevent your inbox from being cramed with that crap by just filtering out the words "free" "offer" "you've won" etc.

Re:We all know that they all originate... (1)

Colin Bayer (313849) | more than 12 years ago | (#2980100)

Oh, and you can prevent your inbox from being cramed with that crap by just filtering out the words "free" "offer" "you've won" etc.

That tactic doesn't work here, since I subscribe to the dri-devel ML, which has a lot of messages about XFree86. ;)

Re:We all know that they all originate... (-1)

Serial Troller (556155) | more than 12 years ago | (#2980166)

Idiot. And that's why grep has a -w option. Go fuck ANAL COX in his ass, you wanker!

Harris Poll/MS spam (2, Informative)

dickens (31040) | more than 12 years ago | (#2980090)

Anyone else received an unsolicited email inviting them to participate in a Harris Poll for Microsoft ? Sort of a "how are we doing" type of thing ?

It took a little guts, but after 2nd and 3rd thoughts I reported it via spamcop.

Not sure if I'll take the poll anyway. I think it sucks that MS has me on their list. Maybe they scraped microsoft.public.???.

mail Headers (1)

ZaneMcAuley (266747) | more than 12 years ago | (#2980094)

I run eMailTrackerPro on my spam and send em a nice image of the location to theyre ISP and them.

http://www.visualware.com/emailtrackerpro/index. ht ml

Tracking spam or not... (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2980098)

...open source programmers are poor lusers either way :)

full p twquilaracr (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2980099)

jag är full oåde dewtuqlö-.e tequliua. judyt ja. patyeqtiks asjak som lawer salöshdot på kvöäaalen då man suer med kompisare

use filters.. (2)

josepha48 (13953) | more than 12 years ago | (#2980103)

to remove some of my spam I added filters. basically filter your email on your email address. This filters out email sent to friend@friend.com mail messages. This alone reduced my spam. Next make sure you set your default email user in your web browser to boo@foo.com or something fake NOT your real email address. Next setup a free web account and when you hand it out to places on the web that require email addresses use that one. Also try filtering out mail that has no subject and or no date in it, this is often spam. Lastly don't post your email address on the web.

fristy post? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2980106)

Hey, I have a lot of respect for all you guys who like to eat pussy because there are too few of you out there. And I'm not the only woman who says this. Furthermore, some of you guys who are giving it the old college try are not doing too well, so maybe this little lesson will help you out. When a woman finds a man who gives good head, she's found a treasure she's not going to let go of him too quickly. This is one rare customer and she knows it. She won't even tell her girlfriends about it or that guy will become the most popular man in town. So, remember, most guys can fuck, and those who can usually do it satisfactorily, but the guy who gives good head, he's got it made. [oralse.cx]
Most women are shy about their bodies. Even if you've got the world's most gorgeous woman in bed with you, she's going to worry about how you like her body. Tell her it's beautiful, tell her which parts you like best, tell her anything, but get her to trust you enough to let you down between her legs. Now stop and look at what you see.
Beautiful, isn't it?
There is nothing that makes a woman more unique than her pussy.
I know. I've seen plenty of them. They come in all different sizes, colors and shapes; some are tucked inside like a little girl's cunnie and some have thick luscious lips that come out to greet you. Some are nested in brushes of fur and others are covered with transparent fuzz. Appreciate your woman's unique qualities and tell her what makes her special. Women are a good deal more verbal than men, especially during love-making. They also respond more to verbal love, which means, the more you talk to her, the easier it will be to get her off. So all the time you're petting and stroking her beautiful pussy, talk to her about it.
A little noise on your part usually doesn't hurt, and sometimes it helps. Some women are very hung up on cunnilingus, determined to believe that, no matter how much you say otherwise (and she claims to believe you), it may be at least a little unpleasant for you. If you're excited by her responses, or by the act itself, don't try to stay quiet about it. The same kind of sounds that will reassure and excite a lover when they're pleasuring you will often work when you're pleasuring them, too. This could be considered a secret weapon in sex in general, because most guys are rather quiet, and yet women almost always find responsiveness very exciting. The contrast between someone who's responsive and most of the other guys makes it even more effective than it would already have been.
Now look at it again.
Gently pull the lips apart and look at her inner lips, even lick them if you want to. Now spread the tops of her pussy up until you can find her clit. Women have clits in all different sizes, just like you guys have different sized cocks. It doesn't mean a thing as far as her capacity for orgasm. All it means is more of her is hidden underneath her foreskin.
Whenever you touch a woman's pussy, make sure your finger is wet. You can lick it or moisten it with juices from inside her. Be sure, by all means, to wet it before you touch her clit because it doesn't have any juices of its own and it's extremely sensitive. Your finger will stick to it if it's dry and that hurts. But you don't want to touch her clit anyway. You have to work up to that. Before she becomes aroused, her clit is too delicate to be handled.
Approach her pussy slowly. Women, even more so than men, love to be teased. The inner part of her thigh is her most tender spot. Lick it, kiss it, make designs on it with the tip of your tongue. Come dangerously close to her pussy, then float away. Make her anticipate it.
Now lick the crease where her leg joins her pussy. Nuzzle your face into her bush and breathe through your mouth onto her genitals. Brush your lips over her slit without pressing down on it to further excite her. After you've done this to the point where your lady is bucking up from her seat and she's straining to get more of you closer to her, then put your lips right on top of her slit.
Kiss her, gently, then harder. Now use your tongue to separate her pussy lips and when she opens up, run your tongue up and down between the layers of pussy flesh. Gently spread her legs more with your hands. Everything you do with a woman you're about to eat must be done gently.
Tongue-fuck her. This feels divine. It also teases the hell out of her because by now she wants some attention given to her clit. Check it out. See if her clit has gotten hard enough to peek out of its covering. If so, lick it. If you can't see it, it might still be waiting for you underneath. So bring your tongue up to the top of her slit and feel for her clit. You may barely experience its presence. But even if you can't feel the tiny pearl, you can make it rise by licking the skin that covers it. Lick hard now and press into her skin.
Licking doesn't have to be as simple as it sounds, either. You can keep your tongue soft, and gently caress it, or tighten your tongue to something of a point and rhythmically lick at it.
Gently pull the pussy lips away and flick your tongue against the clit, hood covered or not. Do this quickly. This should cause her legs to shudder. When you sense she's getting up there toward orgasm, make your lips into an O and take the clit into your mouth. Start to suck gently and watch your lady's face for her reaction. If she can handle it, begin to suck harder. If she digs it, suck even harder. Go with her. If she lifts her pelvis into the air with the tension of her rising orgasm, move with her, don't fight her. Hang on, and keep your hot mouth on her clit. Don't let go. That's what she'll be saying too: 'Don't stop. Don't ever stop!'
There's a reason for that - most men stop too soon. Just like with cock sucking, this is something worth learning about and worth learning to do well. I know a man who's a lousy fuck, simply lousy, but he can eat pussy like nobody I know and he never has trouble getting a date. Girls are falling all over him.
But back to your pussy eating session...There's another thing you can do to intensify your woman's pleasure. You can finger-fuck her while she's enjoying your clit-licking talents. Before, during or after. She'll really like it. In addition to the erogenous zones surrounding her clit, a woman has another extremely sensitive area at the roof of her vagina. This is what you rub up against when you're fucking her. Well, since your cock is pretty far away from your mouth, your fingers will have to do the fucking.
Take two fingers. One is too skinny and three is too wide and therefore can't get deep enough. Make sure they're wet so you don't irritate her skin. Slide them inside, slowly at first, then a little faster. Fuck her with them rhythmically. Speed up only when she does. Listen to her breathing.
She'll let you know what to do. If you're sucking her clit and finger-fucking her at the same time, you're giving her far more stimulation than you would be giving her with your cock alone. So you can count on it that she's getting high on this. If there's any doubt, check her out for symptoms. Each woman is unique. You may have one whose nipples get hard when she's excited or only when she's having an orgasm. Your girl might flush red or begin to tremble. Get to know her symptoms and you'll be a more sensitive lover.
When she starts to have an orgasm, for heaven's sakes, don't let go of that clit. Hang in there for the duration. When she starts to come down from the first orgasm, press your tongue along the underside of the clit, leaving your lips covering the top. Move your tongue in and out of her cunt. If your fingers are inside, move them a little too, gently though, things are extremely sensitive just now.
If you play your cards right, you'll get some multiple orgasms this way. A woman stays excited for a full hour after she's had an orgasm. Do you realize the full impact of that information? The potential? One woman was clocked at 56 orgasms at one sitting. Do you know what effect you would have on a woman you gave 56 orgasms to? She'd be yours as long as you wanted her.
The last advice I have for you is this: After you've made her come, made her your slave by giving her the best head she's ever had, don't leave her alone just yet. Talk to her, stroke her body, caress her breasts. Keep making love to her quietly until she's come all the way down. A man can get off and go to sleep in the same breath and feel no remorse, no sense of loss. But a woman by nature requires some sensitivity from her lover in those first few moments after sex.
Oral sex can be the most exciting sexual experiences you can have. But it's what you make it. Take your time, practice often, pay attention to your lover's signals, and most of all, enjoy yourself.
The G-Spot
This does exist. And in over half of the women out there, it works better than anything else you can do to cause a strong, prolonged orgasm. The original name is the Grafenberg spot, after a doctor, Earnest Grafenberg, who documented the area (which may have been known by people here and there throughout history) in the fifties.
This "spot" is a small "mound" of tissue inside the vagina, between a penny and quarter in size, which responds to being pressed upon. It's almost certainly not the skenes glands, (which are located around the urethra, which is behind the G-spot area), as has been suggested by a few people. In fact, the G-Spot is the tissue in that raised area of the vagina, which has a higher concentration of sexual nerves, and produces hormones similar to those made by the male's prostate gland.
A sort of map to the area -- Imagine your lover lying on her back, legs spread. Your position is between her legs. You would slide a finger inside her vagina, palm up. With your finger straight back, middle finger is best, you would curve it toward yourself, gently, as if you were gesturing to someone to "come here". In doing so, the area you press on should be pretty near her "G-Spot" area. If you know enough to follow the urethra (the tube that leads from the bladder to where the pee comes out), along the inside of her vagina, you may feel a slight swelling (if she's excited) at the point where the g-spot is.
She must be excited, especially if either you or she is new to the g-spot, for the g-spot to have any real effect at all. It's not the ideal area for getting your lover aroused.
But when she is excited, this area (more often than not) is the best way to bring her to orgasm. You work your way back to it gradually, teasing her (typically, this works best) with your fingers, slowly and gently. It's easier to hit the right area with two fingers, but this may not be comfortable for her, depending on how "tight" she is at that moment. When you have your fingers around the right area, try gently pressing, not too quickly. The movement should be fairly rhythmic. It's typically best if you're licking her clitoris (or near it, depending on the woman) at the same time...don't make a big deal out of the "quest", this will often make her feel self-conscious, or distracted. The licking should seem to be the primary activity.
When you find the right area, she should respond by getting more excited. Most of the vagina's inside surface isn't really that sexually sensitive, believe it or not...most of the excitement of randomly inserting fingers is more psychological than from the actual stimulation.
While more complicated techniques work with some women, some of the time, the best basic technique, upon finding the g-spot, is to continue to slowly, rhythmically press on it, while licking her clitoris (for a few women, the labia (lips) are sensitive to licking, too).
This should cause her to build up to an orgasm.
A G-Spot orgasm is different (always, when it works at all) than any other kind women have. It is possible, with some women, to have different qualities and kinds of orgasms from vaginal, clitoral, anal, and even breast stimulation...but with other women, those kinds of orgasms are all pretty much the same. But the G-Spot orgasm not only feels different; it also causes her body to react in a different way.
First, it often causes a "push out" orgasm. The area around, or "above" (farther inside, that is) your fingers seems to swell up or to contract toward the opening of her vagina.
If you find the right combination of pushing back when this happens, and slacking off to let it push out, you can cause (in perhaps half of the women) her orgasm to continue happening, long after normal ones would have subsided. In some women you can even keep her at a "plateau" (raised level) of sexual excitement, like a prolonged orgasm (or a little less than one) afterward, building up to an even bigger climax. I've managed to keep this pattern of build-up, orgasm, plateau, orgasm, build-up, orgasm for over four hours, with one lover. We stopped when, though she wanted to go on, she was so exhausted that she really had to stop.
That brings me to another important point; G-Spot orgasms sometimes causes a huge amount (relatively speaking) of lubrication (juices, wetness)...far more than even the most excited woman gets from "conventional" stimulation. It's a good thing, too, because otherwise g-spot orgasms can only be prolonged for as long as she does not get raw/sore from it...which is yet another reason to be gentle. When that extra wetness combines with the push-out orgasm, you get actual ejaculation...like a guy, but much better tasting. The built up juices can shoot out in such volume that you, or she, may be afraid that she lost control of her bladder. That is (almost always) not what happened. The fear that she peed can be enhanced by the fact that the urethra is behind the g-spot, so that in rare cases the woman can sometimes get the feeling that she needs to pee, even though she does not.
In reality, in both men and women, enough sexual excitement prevents peeing, unless you try really hard. This is a built-in reflex, because urine is something of a spermicide. The "pee hard-on" that men get in the morning is partially his body taking advantage of this reflex, to keep him from accidentally wetting the bed with the urine that built up while he was sleeping.
Licking the Alphabet
Believe it or not, licking the alphabet, one letter at a time, on and around her clitoris/vulva actually works. The real goal is to be able to keep regular, rhythmic motions going, but to change them in some gradual pattern that isn't so different it throws her off, but isn't so redundant that she grows insensitive to it. The alphabet is probably the longest chain of shapes that you can be sure to repeat smoothly and rhythmically, without loosing track of where you are. Unless you are a victim of public education, I suppose, in which case you may have to stick to the letters of your name, or the numbers one through nine (being too confused by where to put the zero).
I would not suggest combining this with the g-spot stimulation, at least not with the intention of really giving her g-spot orgasms. The two techniques conflict a bit, as the focus of arousal is so different.
Around the World -- or the Sea, Anyway
Once you have your lover "used to" the whole g-spot stimulation thing (she will actually get "better at" cumming from g-spot stimulation, the more it's done to her), you can try, occasionally and for variety, stimulating her g-spot until she starts to really respond, then switching back and forth between pushing (as gently as normally necessary for that particular lover) her g-spot and pressing the length of your finger on the opposite side, as per the last section. Sometimes you can even get to the point of doing one press on one side, one on the other, back and forth, which can feel amazing and a bit "what on earth are you doing? No, I didn't say to stop" to her. Most likely, though, it'll work better if you switch every several seconds, not every time you press.
I should not fail to mention the cervix. You may not have even noticed it, by touch, but it's there and once you find it you'll wonder how you missed it (unless your lover has had histerectomy, in which case it's missing, no big deal). This is yet another area where you definitely want to build up to stimulating, as it can actually be painful to even touch if she's not excited enough...but, despite assumptions to the contrary, it can be very useful for stimulation, done correctly.
As I said, issue #1 is that she must be very aroused. Well, bearing in mind that everyone's different, of course.
The Cervix is also about 180 degrees around from the g-spot, but it's in much deeper (typically). It leads back to the rest of her reproductive organs, like the womb. If she's pregnant, don't mess with this at all. Watch out, too, for IUDs and diaphrams and the like. Hopefully you are on good enough terms with her to already know if she's using one of these contraceptive devices, which fit over the cervix.
The cervix is not an abtract "area", it actually juts up, like a little flesh mesa or something. It has an opening at its very "peak", but this is normally closed pretty tightly.
The best way to start is to gently caress around the sides and base of the cervix. Remember, she should already be very "hot" before you even start this part. Eventually, build up to circling it with one or two fingers, around and around, gently staying in contact with it so she can feel the motion through the cervix itself. How hard you can press depends a lot on the specific woman. This is also something that probably works better as a change of pace, not the "main course" of the cunnilingus session...unless she really gets into it.
That circling motion may get another round of "what on earth are you doing...hey! Don't STOP doing it!".
You may even, and in my experience this rarely works, but works well when it does, be able to press directly on the tip, with your finger or fingers, pressing it the way a penis might if one happened be entering her at the right angle to hit her cervix.
Taste
Anyone who likes, say, coffee or beer should have no room to complain about the way most women taste. No, I don't mean it tastes like coffee or beer, genius...I mean that beer and coffee are, at best, acquired tastes...they are not naturally pleasant to a human being, no matter how much your addiction to one or both has convinced you otherwise. Most people, whether they remember it or not, had to learn to like the taste of beer/coffee, and had the desire to be Like the Adults to help them along. Well, I'd list taking pleasure in cunnilingus above drinking addictive beverages on the list of things that prove maturity. Aside from that, there's the fact that many people who give it an honest try genuinely enjoy the taste/smell.
Rest
If you do have a lover who can experience repeated, extended orgasms from g-spot stimulation, and you (for some reason) need to take a break, the absolute best way to do this is to give her a clitoral orgasm. This can be as simple as pushing even more gently and slowly on her g-spot, while giving her clitoris more attention (it can often take more direct and firm stimulation by that level of arousal), so that her next orgasm is really caused by the licking, not the pressing of your finger(s). This works because, with many women anyway, clitoral orgasms leave her feeling very sensitive, and momentarily satisfied (or at least wanting to take a breather).
There is, on the other hand, a very interesting trick for staying "in the game" when your tongue is getting tired. Switch from moving your tongue directly, to using your whole jaw to move your tongue, by slightly opening and closing it. If you tire of this, move your entire head, so that it's doing the actual work that makes your tongue move. When even your neck tires, it's on to the final backup-plan, but the one that works the longest; gently rock your entire body back and forth, at the same speed that you were doing each of the other, so that it's your body that's actually doing the work to move your tongue. For someone who hasn't built up the mighty endurance that's useful with a lover who can have hours of orgasms, this is a great trick. Of course it mainly works when you're going simpler, rhythmic motions...save the fancy tongue stuff for when your tongue's doing all of the work (you should be able to switch back to tongue-only motion regularly, as it gets rested).

An alternative approach to SPAM filtering (5, Interesting)

chrysalis (50680) | more than 12 years ago | (#2980114)

Instead of using SPAM filters (accept everything by default, deny some mails according to filters), a new and very efficient approach is to do like firewalls :
  • Deny everything by default
  • Only accept mails from known sources.

Software like TMDA [sourceforge.net] implements this. When a mail comes from an known source, an automatic confirmation mail is sent by the script. If the sender acknowledges, his address will be added to the 'whitelist'. No more confirmation will be needed.
This is extremely efficient, and it basically reduces the SPAM actually delivered to your mailbox to zero.
Just don't forget to manually add mailing-lists you're subscribed to, to the 'whitelist'.


Re:An alternative approach to SPAM filtering (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2980248)

I like TMDA a lot. The biggest problem I have is that a surprising number of people have trouble understanding they need to send a confirmation for their first message to be delivered.

When a mail comes from an known source, an automatic confirmation mail is sent by the script.
That should have read "from an unknown source"

I want to know HOW they got her address... (5, Interesting)

writermike (57327) | more than 12 years ago | (#2980121)

I want to know about one more part of the story.

She says she signed up a Yahoo account, bought one book from Borders.com and promptly received spam thereafter.

Sooooo.... if Borders _and_ Yahoo both say they there's no way the e-mail could have been sent out by either of them -- (and if the reporter is completely accurate about her sequence of events) -- how did the company get her e-mail address?

Either someone's lying, is mistaken, or her e-mail address was "created" through some sort of bruteforce e-mail address creation application.

Cheers,

Mike...

Re:I want to know HOW they got her address... (2, Informative)

oregon (554165) | more than 12 years ago | (#2980148)

Borders and Yahoo just said they didn't sell the address.

The spammer said he used "an e-mail harvesting program called Target 2001 ... [which] ... scans Web sites and databases for addresses ."

So it is possible that neither Borders or Yahoo are lying ... but that there is a security/privacy flaw in one or both of the sites which lets the address be harvested.

from the story.. (2, Informative)

Suppafly (179830) | more than 12 years ago | (#2980123)

The FTC encourages consumers to forward unsolicited commercial spam to uce@ftc.gov.

Guess I have someone else than abuse.net to forward unsolicited spam to now..

I want server configured from client (5, Interesting)

GCP (122438) | more than 12 years ago | (#2980131)

I think we should have a server feature that is configurable from the client. The client would be able to tell the server that if a message has certain characteristics, the server should respond to the sender in the same way it would respond if the address didn't exist at all.

Any message that your client would filter into the trash, your client should be able to tell the server to bounce.

Perhaps we could also use the "plus convention" to allow users to effectively manage their own email address(es). Many servers are set up so that if my assigned email address is fred@foo.com, then fred+[anystring]@foo.com is still sent to fred. Tell your friends to address you as fred+friend@foo.com, and then have your client sort the "+friend" messages into a friends folder.

Why not be able to create a list of valid plus extensions in your client, which would then post them to the server? Why not be able to create your own rule for messages that arrive with no extension? You could instruct your client to instruct the server to accept them or to bounce them back to the sender as simply nonexistent addresses.

You could create an extension in your client and specify an expiration date. Your client informs the server. Then you post your email address publicly, a Usenet question perhaps, and your server would accept responses until the date you specify, and then bounce everything thereafter as spam.

With so many addresses expiring quickly and users able to get their servers to hide their non-expiring addresses from mail with certain characteristics, the spammers databases would become much less usable.

Re:I want server configured from client (5, Interesting)

Saeculorum (547931) | more than 12 years ago | (#2980219)

GCP says: Perhaps we could also use the "plus convention" to allow users to effectively manage their own email address(es). Many servers are set up so that if my assigned email address is fred@foo.com, then fred+[anystring]@foo.com is still sent to fred. Tell your friends to address you as fred+friend@foo.com, and then have your client sort the "+friend" messages into a friends folder.

I think that's a good idea, but only a short-term solution. If it ever becomes wide-spread, spammers will just use brute force and send emails to fred+%dictionary_word@foo.com. It wouldn't even be that hard - most likely, people would somewhere accidentally post their "secret" email address (which happens right now) and a spambot would pick that up. Above that, most people would use common words, "secret", "spam", "free", etc. There would be huge incentive to break the system for the spammer - if they're the first to find out how to bypass the secret system, their spams are able to be read by everyone, while other spams will be filtered out. It'll simply be a race to be the first spammer to be "heard".

The solution must inevitably be, in my mind, to make spam cost something. Not necessarily money, but some sort of tangible resource. Various solutions have been proposed, all of which in my mind are not completely up to the task. However, they're the only effective long-term solution. So long as spam is free, there's no disadvantage to sending 1,000,000 emails to get one responce. I personally like Adam Backs' Hashcash program, which is at www.cypherspace.org/~adam/hashcash/> [cypherspace.org]. However, the site seems to be down at the moment, so one can use Google's quite convinient cache of it at http://www.google.com/search?q=cache:-g8yVfQ3vFwC: www.cypherspace.org/~adam/hashcash/ [google.com].

Don't you think... (5, Funny)

whipping_post (521700) | more than 12 years ago | (#2980134)

...the reporter could have gotten more info if she didn't keep telling these people that she is a reporter?!?!

How's this for investigative journalism?
1. Locate Spammers
2. Call and explain to spammers that you are a reporter
3. Determine if spammer has hung up
4. If step 3 is yes, call spammer back and leave message
5. Repeat

Re:Don't you think... (1)

Suppafly (179830) | more than 12 years ago | (#2980147)

Yeh she should have borrowed some money from her boss and acted legitimately interested when she called these people.. then she should have got a bunch of info about them and posted that in her story..

Slop! (-1)

Serial Troller (556155) | more than 12 years ago | (#2980138)

More SLOP on the Slashdot front page. SLOP!! When are you idiots going to get around to posting that anus-fetish site I sent you a link to? Or do you have a problem with pictures of a bent-over ANAL COX taking it up the butt from a penguin?

...Complete SLOP!!

Email is becoming worthless (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2980143)

At the current rate of spam increasing everyones mail accounts will be made unusable with in the next 2 year or less.

So people should just bounce all html mail. What ever mail client that you use. As almost all porn mails require to download images from somewhere or try run some Javascript.

Report spam to ISP concerned and ask politely your ISPs to start implement RBL lists.

If people do not stand up a shoud we dont want this junk, email will die.

RIP 2002 Email accounts the world over.

Track down the scum (2, Interesting)

www.sorehands.com (142825) | more than 12 years ago | (#2980149)

Put terms of use on your websites to prohibit email collection. Use a unique email address on the site, so it can be tracke.


Then when the spammer emails to it, track them down, file a large lawsuit for copyright infringment, tresspass to chattel, computer tresspass and fraud.

Bankrupt a few spammers, others may think twice before spamming

Re:Track down the scum (1)

AntDaniel (553730) | more than 12 years ago | (#2980240)

I tried a track down once. Had a nice hotmail account, no numbers!! Eventually the amount of spam outweighed the useful content. So I got active. I don't know what went wrong, either a idiot sysadm got one of my replies or I got targeted by one of the spammers, but hotmail closed my account. They would only tell me that 'sending of unsolicitated email was against their usage policy' then refused to reply to any further emails from me!! Idiot's just didn't understand. Glad I did it from hotmail, I could have lost my ISP account!

She needs a better way to fight spam (1)

jsse (254124) | more than 12 years ago | (#2980152)

say, procmail+spamassassin

"SpamAssassin is a mail filter which attempts to identify spam using text analysis and several internet-based realtime blacklists."

In short, it analysis incoming mails and throw spam away.

Of course, that's not something a layman could setup, even though I found it easy.

cccccunts...... (-1)

mackga (990) | more than 12 years ago | (#2980153)

you motherfucking assholes. and what's with these fucking marbles. huh? y'know, you all eat shit and, unfortunately, don't die. please try harder. :):):):):)

Beware spammer dictionary-attack (4, Informative)

Seth Finkelstein (90154) | more than 12 years ago | (#2980154)

Quoth the writer:

In only one of the e-mail accounts, I provided all of the information requested (name, address, demographics, etc.) during the registration process, and I used this e-mail address just one time - to purchase a gift certificate from Borders.com. Less than a week later, the spam started rolling in - jamming the in-box with more spam than the other new accounts I had created.
The writer seems to think spammers couldn't get the address unless they got it from Borders.com. This may be unfair. What spammers sometimes do is to dictionary-attack ISPs, trying lists of usernames (after all, what do they care if the mail bounces - it's not like it's THEIR problem ...). Once they find an address works, (by not having it bounce), they sell it to other spammers as a "verified" address. I saw something similar happen where an account I only used to received a few mailing lists (never send) suddenly received a huge upsurge in spam. The list-maintainers were above reproach, they hadn't sold the user list. What seemed to have happened is that spammer found the address in a dictionary-attack, and then it was all over ... :-(

Sig: What Happened To The Censorware Project (censorware.org) [sethf.com]

Re:Beware spammer dictionary-attack (3, Interesting)

sqlrob (173498) | more than 12 years ago | (#2980204)

What spammers sometimes do is to dictionary-attack

That's one hell of a dictionary attack. From the article(emphasis mine):
Using my name and a combination of six numbers, I created a few new accounts through free online services such as Microsoft Corp.'s Hotmail and Yahoo Inc.'s YahooMail.

Give those SPAMMERs a taste of their own medicine (2, Interesting)

BillTheKatt (537517) | more than 12 years ago | (#2980160)

I've been sending SPAM to abuse/postmaster/uce@ftc.gov for months, but most ISPs will just terminate the account if they even bother.
We should be encouraging hackers to point their skills towards a noble goal: shutting down SPAMMER websites. SPAMMER's would take notice when their sites were hacked and redirected to Spamcop. And ISPs would really start to check accounts if their service became a transport for DDOS attacks against a SPAMMER.
Come on hackers it's easy. Create a hotmail account and post just once to USENET. I'm still getting SPAM 4 years after posting 1 message to USENET with a real address. Do something positive to the Internet community for a change. Get to work hacking those jerks' sites!

Re:Give those SPAMMERs a taste of their own medici (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2980247)

And who's going to complain when a few spammers website are shut down?

NOBODY!!!

It wouldnt be so bad... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2980172)

...if only the spam I recieved was actually targetted to me. I dont want or need viagra/work/a degree/porn adverts, they are by default wasted money. If on the other hand I'd get cheap hardware/palmpilot/cool tech toys/gadget adds, I would probably be a little poorer :)

Email harvesters: an answer? (2, Interesting)

FyRE666 (263011) | more than 12 years ago | (#2980189)

I've been thinking about this...

Facts:

The only way to stop spammers is to make spamming unprofitable.

Their profit depends upon harvesting usable email lists, so there's a chance some idiot will buy something after reading their garbage.

Solution(?):

Dilute their mailing lists with so much garbage they'll only actually send out one or two emails to real addresses for every X thousand mails sent to fake addresses.

Method idea:

What if I put together a quick CGI to generate pages with fake text (just paragraphs full of random picks from a dictionary + punctuation) plus randomly created email addresses. Then linked to the chain of 1000's of fake pages from one of the real pages of my sites? What if I allowed anyone to use this tool for their own sites, to generate 1000's more, or made an online tool to generate pages and email them on to people to upload for their websites?

Anyone think this is a good idea? Obviously it's a trivial piece of scripting, but I think if major sites used something like this, it would seriously piss off a lot of these lowlifes...

Idea for getting removed from e-mail databases. (5, Interesting)

e_n_d_o (150968) | more than 12 years ago | (#2980193)

This is probably old news, but its just a thought.

What if it were required by law that every company must track WHERE and WHEN they obtained any e-mail address that they send bulk messages to. If you requested to be removed from their list "recursively" the offending company would have to notify its provider. Each company would have to notify any company they bought the address from that you want your information kept PRIVATE. The recursive notification would only go UP the chain. I'd love if it they had to notify everyone they sold it to as well, but this might not be practical. Each provider would send you a message as they removed you from their list. Each company would have to keep your e-mail address on a black list for a period of time you specify (such as "until hell freezes over") and not send you further mesasges until that time elapses.

You would have as evidence the date/time you were removed and would have grounds for damages in the event that someone repurchased your address from a provider or they didn't remove you.

Until then, I'll just continue to give my email address out as myname_companyimgivingitto@mydomain.com
So far, 99% of the spam is coming from myname_usenet@mydomain.com, which is about to be automatically filtered and deleted.

We need to pass a law... (0)

Floydian123 (317261) | more than 12 years ago | (#2980196)

We need laws that allow us to sue people if they don't stop spamming us - such as with the "take my off your caller list" idea with telemarketers - since some of my spam has no "remove" at the bottom :/

At least I can dream :D

A (partial) solution... (2, Informative)

Tabercil (158653) | more than 12 years ago | (#2980215)

My dad was complaining bitterly about the volume of spam he was getting as a result of signing up to get a online greeting card (no I don't remember which site) since he's on a dialup account with fixed number of free hours each month. Downloading and deleting the spam effectively ate into his hours. A quick installation of Mailwasher [mailwasher.nett] (which serves to send messages back marking it as undeliverable) served to quiet him afterwards since he now feels like he's doing something to stop it.

What I think I might want to check is to see if it can't also directly forward the original email to that ftc mail address...

I love you (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2980249)

Back by unpopular demand, more random letter, number, and punctuation crapflooding! 1 1 5 a 3 f v b s a d b f 6 4 5 h y t r 4 3 ! 3 ) 6 j ? g 3 r t g G Q B C R T P v f f R B W q n c s 4 5 y h j u 4 5 0 4 ' 1 a f z n a q e g n m j f a z a d p i u g e v ` k j m , b v c d q 1 q w s c v b n m h t t 6 y u k l G F D D S A X C V B N d f b f d 7 4 4 g b d f g d f g 4 f d s a c v b n h g f e f g h j 9 k , j p [ j f v d d w d f g b c d d s f g 2 3 r f g s g f d s f g d 2 f v r 5 b f q 1 e d f v r 5 b f q 1 1 5 7 4 g f d g d 2 f v r 5 b f q 1 e d f g b h j m l , . ; o t e 6 j m l , . ; o t e 6 d 1 5 7 4 g f d s f g d 2 f 1 5 7 4 g f d s f g d 2 f v r 5 b f q 1 e d f g b h j m l 1 5 7 4 g f d s f g d 2 f v r 5 b f q 1 e d f g b h j m l , . ; o t e 6 , . ; o t e 6 v r 5 b f q 1 e d f g b h j m l , . 1 5 7 4 g f d s f g d 2 f v r 5 b f q 1 e d f g b h j m l , . ; o t e 6 ; o t e 6 g b h j m l , . ; o t e 6 1 5 7 4 g f d s f g d 2 f v r 5 b f q 1 e d f g b h j m l , . ; o t e 6 d 5 7 4 g f d b f w d f d s f g d 2 f v r 5 b f q 1 e d f v r 5 b f q 1 1 5 7 4 g f d s f g d 2 f v r 5 b f q 1 e d f g b h j m l , . ; o t e 6 e d f g b h j m l , . ; o t e 6 d 1 5 7 4 g f d s f g d 2 f 1 5 7 4 g f d s f g d 2 f v r 5 b f q 1 e d f g b h j m l 1 5 7 4 g f d s 4 g f d s f g d 2 f v r 5 b f q 1 e d f g b h j m l , . ; o t e 6 , . ; o t e 6 v r 5 b f q 1 e d f g b h j m l , . 1 4 g f d 5 7 4 g f d s f g d 2 f v r 5 b f q 1 e d f g b h j m l , . ; o t e 6 ; o t e 6 g b h j m l , . ; o t e 6 1 5 7 4 g f d s f g d 2 f v r 5 b f q a b y t f 4 3 e d v g h n m j u t r e w q a s e r e w q w r 4 5 5 6 l 1 u . h z e d f g b h j m l o t e 6 d a [goatse.cx]
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