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Why Blacklisting Spammers Is A Bad Idea

timothy posted more than 10 years ago | from the painting-with-machine-gun dept.

Spam 396

Roland Piquepaille writes "For the last two months, an eternity in Internet time, I was unable to reach -- and to contribute to -- Smart Mobs, the collective blogging effort around the next social revolution initiated by Howard Rheingold. Why that? Because an unknown customer of Verio decided it was a spamming site and asked the company to blacklist the site. Verio complied -- probably without even checking it -- and my problems started. It took me dozens of e-mails and phone calls and two visits to the headquarters of my french ISP, Noos, to fix the situation. More about this horror story is available here."

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Most Spammers Are American (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7430308)

God Bless America

God Bless America, with the worst crime levels in the first world
God Bless America, where "democracy" means a rich, white male as President
God Bless America, the biggest consumer of the world's natural resources
God Bless America, so happy to violate international laws
God Bless America, where "freedom of speech" means race-hate groups like KKK
God Bless America, and its massive and ever-growing poverty gap
God Bless America, with barely 300 years of dire history and culture
God Bless America, all its appalling "sitcoms" with no grasp of irony
God Bless America, with the highest obesity levels in the developed world
God Bless America, because corporations should be allowed to run amok
God Bless America, wasting billions to attack foreign countries

God Bless America, and thank God I don't have to live there.

-

Re:Most Spammers Are American (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7430334)


God Bless America, and thank God I don't have to live there.
allow me to express my thanks for you not living here, too ... your absence from within our borders is truly a gift to us all.

Re:Most Spammers Are American (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7430338)

You realize you are posting this to site of PRO-AMERICANs? They b elive America is all-great and All powerful.
Your posting about a country that wants to send its chnildren to death in the name of "Democracy." Not the true reason of money. No Bush doesn't want money, he wants freedome just like his rich...dad.

Fuck Bush, Cheny, and the other Repbulicans.

Re:Most Spammers Are American (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7430504)

You forgot one. FUCK YOU

Re:Most Spammers Are American (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7430554)

Isn't it amazing how Americunts will always stand up and defend leaders which actually hurt them and waste their money and lifes? The most brainwashed society ever after the Muslims.

Whatever, we'll just wait until their little fake economy collapses and see what they'll have to say then. Until then, enjoy watching Georgie Bush begging our governments for help in Iraq, because the little war is not profitable anymore.

Re:Most Spammers Are American (-1, Flamebait)

shaneb11716 (451351) | more than 10 years ago | (#7430351)

It's a good thing you're such an anonymous coward or we would Bless you with our nuclear might.

Re:Most Spammers Are American (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7430411)

You should stop masturbating to Bush speeches and do a little reality check. You don't have nuclear might. You probably don't even have a fast car or a girlfriend. And you can be glad if you're mighty enough to actually get an erection.

Re:Most Spammers Are American (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7430446)

yeah. that man should stop trying to blame his lack of brains and personal hygiene on the europeans! instead of leading a meaningless life as a little frustrated geek he should get out more, meet some nice ladies and have a few glasses of fine wine, like we do in france! :-)

Re:Most Spammers Are American (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7430429)

Dubya will never be held accountable because he makes his primitive followers feel proud. Face it:

  • Liberating poor countries from their oil is cool. It makes citizens with a low self-esteem feel like THEY PERSONALLY rule the world.
  • Firing a few hundred missiles from a safe distance is very heroic.
  • All of the soldiers who killed their own comrades and allies were heroes (of incompetence).
  • That blonde chick who failed her mission because she was too dumb to find her way is definitely a hero.
  • You don't need to be worth something to be accepted. You just need to wave a flag and shout "God bless America!", that's all!
  • Every failure can be a hero in Bush's America!
  • Seeing Dubya in a flight suit on board a carrier makes Republicans shoot their load in seconds!
And as long as all of the above is true, the lies will go on.

Run your own mail server on your own domain (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7430310)

And control the blacklists yourself. It's what I do.

Re:Run your own mail server on your own domain (4, Informative)

bhtooefr (649901) | more than 10 years ago | (#7430347)

RTFA. Verio was doing blacklisting on ALL PROTOCOLS for this ISP. The guy could not even GET TO THE SITE.

Still easy to get around (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7430364)

Just get an account with ssh access, and tunnel requests through it. Unless they also use Verio, you'll get through. No biggie for a geek.

Re:Run your own mail server on your own domain (2)

CowboyMeal (614487) | more than 10 years ago | (#7430373)

Where was this in the FA? I'm interested in the technical details, but I can't seem to find any.

Re:Run your own mail server on your own domain (2)

bhtooefr (649901) | more than 10 years ago | (#7430399)

http://radio.weblogs.com/0105910/categories/sideba rs/2003/11/09.html

Read that.

Re:Run your own mail server on your own domain (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7430485)

Moderation: Funny=4, Overrated=4
Funny mods don't give karma, overrated takes away karma.
Net karma change: -4


Yes, Slashdot is punishing controversial humor this way - hell knows, why. You can burn as much karma as you like by posting an intelligent joke here, i.e. a joke that 50% of the moderators can't unterstand. Just watch the +1 funny, -1 overrated waves roll over you. The -1 overrated moderators will not even get punished by metamoderation, because "overrated" isn't metamoderated. And you can't discuss these things, because they will be rated "offtopic". This will be metamoderated, but the metamoderaters have to agree that the dissent was offtopic, because otherwise they will be removed from the metamoderation-pool temporarily. The system works, just watch me disapear!

Re:Run your own mail server on your own domain (1)

AndroidCat (229562) | more than 10 years ago | (#7430386)

That's very rare--so far. Certainly a complete block shouldn't block wide ranges unless an ISP really really isn't playing nice with the rest of the Internet.

There must be more to this, I can't imagine Verio (of all people) suddenly dropping all packets from a /16 range simply for spammer pages.

Re:Run your own mail server on your own domain (1)

bhtooefr (649901) | more than 10 years ago | (#7430391)

It's not blocking wide IP ranges. It's blocking wide port ranges.

Re:Run your own mail server on your own domain (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7430496)

Blacklisting is a great idea. Implimenting it blindly, however, is not.

second post (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7430312)

cocks!! i love you boys and girls

Re:second post (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7430330)

You FAIL it!

i'm a loser (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7430316)

a-yah

why slashdot is a bad idea (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7430317)

si teh vary ghey

Serves you right for using a fronsay ISP (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7430329)

So use noos, "nwa" for your courriel, and wonder why you get blocked. Thats what you get for being a cheese eating surrender monkey.

That's an insult to French people (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7430336)

Some of them don't really like cheese.

Re:Serves you right for using a fronsay ISP (1)

cscx (541332) | more than 10 years ago | (#7430352)

for your courriel

Now THAT is funny!

ORBS (5, Insightful)

olman (127310) | more than 10 years ago | (#7430331)

And other RBLs require usually multiple reports from multiple sources. And you have fairly straightforward way of getting de-listed, too.

What's with the current boo-hoo over blacklists? Do we have some kind of spammer astroturf going here?

Overzealous users (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7430344)

I use blacklists to mark probable spam, but still generally see it. Recently, some people had reported an email from GoDaddy (domain registrar) that was only sent to customers, and it was asking them to very information. If, say, my ISP was blocking email from them based on this, I'd never see it. ISP's should err on the side of caution, let users take more risks if they personally desire.

Re:ORBS (2, Funny)

John Paul Jones (151355) | more than 10 years ago | (#7430380)

I don't necessarily think it's astroturfing; it's a legitimate problem, and will continue to happen. OTOH, there are possible solutions, not only to this problem, but others as well. DBP, anyone? [jpj.net]

!0th Post! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7430333)

Eat Shit and Die Motha Fucka!

Just (4, Funny)

SargeZT (609463) | more than 10 years ago | (#7430335)

Break into the lobby of the ISP, guns in hand, and force them to remove the site from the blacklist. It's what I do when I'm pissed.

Why Blacklisting Spammers Is A Bad Idea (5, Insightful)

wo1verin3 (473094) | more than 10 years ago | (#7430343)

This article should have been called...

"Why it's important to have good policies and procedures in place when blacklisting spammers"

Re:Why Blacklisting Spammers Is A Bad Idea (4, Insightful)

sweetooth (21075) | more than 10 years ago | (#7430369)

No kidding. The primary problem is the ISPs and thier upstream.

Re:Why Blacklisting Spammers Is A Bad Idea (1)

Bilestoad (60385) | more than 10 years ago | (#7430479)

Absolutely. And even if those policies and procedures fail, the inconvenience of a very small number of unfortunate victims is a small price to pay if SPAM can be controlled SPAM. When all ISPs worldwide implement these procedures SPAM will be controlled.

Social what? (1, Offtopic)

davie (191) | more than 10 years ago | (#7430345)

Yet another confusing explosion of tiny letters with a bad color scheme. Yeah, this is going to change the world. Or something.

Hyperbole much?

Re:Social what? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7430395)

Heh. Typical whining French bastard. Good call on the site, it's a migraine-inducing monster. The content looks like a cross between socialist nonsense and comments from tinfoil hat wearing nuts.

Re:Social what? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7430516)

French ISP.... thats the secret. What the fuck do you expect from the frogs??? The country is full of cunts, run by cunts who dont give a fuck about anything other than their cunty country....

Just to clarify (4, Insightful)

Nachtwind (686907) | more than 10 years ago | (#7430346)

"blacklisting" in this article refers to completely block an ip address. This is not a "bad idea", but complete nonsense. First time I've heard of something like that. This is not to be mistaken for using an open relay blacklist or similar, which only blocks mail from a certain address. I bet those "network administrators" clicked on some fancy "block site" button, not knowing what they were doing...

Re:Just to clarify (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7430465)

Actually, when the RBL's were first implemented, they were blackholed by having ISP's take the list of networks and null routing them by injecting into their routing tables via BGP.

Pot/Kettle (3, Funny)

AndroidCat (229562) | more than 10 years ago | (#7430349)

Verio blocking HTTP access to other people's spam pages? I have I wandered into another universe again?

Non sequitur (5, Insightful)

ScottSpeaks! (707844) | more than 10 years ago | (#7430362)

The fact that a strategy (such as blacklisting) can be mismanaged and that it is not invulnerable to abuse does not necessarily make it a "Bad Idea". It just means it needs to be managed more carefully, and better secured from abuse.

Improperly done blacklist (4, Insightful)

DaEMoN128 (694605) | more than 10 years ago | (#7430363)

Why is the blacklist being done on a domain level. Spam is usually email....so block the email address. That is simple enough to do with intrusion detection systems, some application level firewalls, and if your really bored....an access list on a router. Whoever decided to block ftp or http to stop spam was not all there. They should have stopped smtp traffic from there instead and been done with it.

Black listing of spammers is a good idea, we just have to make sure we are only blocking them and not innocent bystandards.

Re:Improperly done blacklist (4, Interesting)

PReDiToR (687141) | more than 10 years ago | (#7430381)

I'm still pissed that AOL won't let me send email to any of their customers, just because I run my own SMTP server.

That sucks ass royally.

Re:Improperly done blacklist (5, Insightful)

spicedhamhawg (718466) | more than 10 years ago | (#7430450)

Speaking as someone who fights spam for a living, effective blocking requires a combination of techniques. You need to filter on sender (both envelope and From:), sender domain, sender IP, and content filters.

Your statement that whoever decided to block ftp or http was not all there completely misses the point, I think. If a site is known to spamvertise, blocking *all* traffic to/from that site is actually a pretty good idea. Why? Consider why spammers send spam: to generate traffic to a web site, an email address, a phone number, some way to contact that. Since they know any email address they use to spam probably won't last as long as fart in a room full of air purifiers, the contact link is usually URL, whether by domain name or IP address. If they spam and you put in a filter for that spam, they may never get that spam through again, but they may still get some buyers from among your (stupider) customers. However, if your policy is to block all traffic to/from that IP address, they get zero traffic and zero business from your netblock and you really hit them in the wallet.

Verio's idea is good, but someone dropped the ball on implemenation in this case by not checking the facts before blocking.

What I'd like to know, though, is why the author of the article uses an ISP as bad as Noos. They sound so bad they make even wanadoo.fr (gee, speaking of spam!) sound good in comparison. Someone at Verio apparently made a mistake, but if so many people at Noos weren't so incompetent (did the PHB character come from their, I wonder?) the situation probably could have been resolved in a day or two.

Horror story my arse (4, Interesting)

pauldy (100083) | more than 10 years ago | (#7430366)

Use some common sense editors when presented with a story that seems unusually slanted please take it at face value. This is why corporations such as verio need to be made aware of their policies not working not that black lists do not. Blacklists are the only thing that works against spammers and they know it. So how do they fight back by using the blacklists against regular sites to try and disrupt users service so that people might think twice about using them.

Instead this article should be title "Why Blacklist Do Work" and what spammers are doing to try and disrupt them.

Re:Horror story my arse (1)

bhtooefr (649901) | more than 10 years ago | (#7430412)

Excuse me, but the editors didn't write that. That was all the OP.

That's what I'd call costumer care... (5, Informative)

rune.w (720113) | more than 10 years ago | (#7430367)

Quoting from the article:

  1. Technical support people don't have access to Internet;
  2. They are not allowed to phone to customers;
  3. And they are not allowed to send them emails.

Maybe it is a good time to change ISP?

Re:That's what I'd call costumer care... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7430542)

In all fairness, some of this does make sense. 50% of calls are "When I click on the E thing I can't see the Internet.", the "Internet" being your ISP's home page. The first questions from technical support is usually your number, your name, what kind of cable modem you have, and how many lights are on. Fixing basic connectivity solves over half the problems.

40% of calls deal with email issues, of which half are actually connectivity problems, the rest are customers with a new computer that need to have their settings switched over to their new machine. This can be checked by having the customer email themself.

This leaves us with 10% viruses, spam, malware, browser settings, router settings, bricking, QOS/server issues, and the occasional kook that insists the ISP is blocking access to some obscure site.

I was blacklisted (1)

Cavalkaf (656724) | more than 10 years ago | (#7430368)

The school system of my county (MCPS) blacklisted all the .com.br domains as spammers, just because I was sending about 10 e-mails per week, talking to one of my teachers. And they didn't even notify me. Can't they have some smart system such as spamassasin in a organization that has a traffic of about 1000 messages/day? What a crappy system they have.....

Re:I was blacklisted (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7430392)

Sounds like you need to bring this issue up in the next school board meeting. It needs to brought to the attention of the board that their systems administrator has taken such extreme steps and is effecting the productivity of everyone who uses the network. If that falls on deaf ears then get your local media involved as they will take it to the people. It is an issue of someone abusing the idea of the blacklist not the blacklist not working.

Re:I was blacklisted (1)

AndroidCat (229562) | more than 10 years ago | (#7430438)

I doubt that your 10 email/week had much to do with blocking all .com.br. More likely it was the large amount of spam coming from 200/8 with very few legit emails.

They should have informed people that they were doing this and allowed a procedure for whitelisting. Why is your teacher using a .com.br connection?

Re:I was blacklisted (1)

Wooky_linuxer (685371) | more than 10 years ago | (#7430493)

So someone blocked all (or almost all) of brazilian internet cause you sent 10 mails a week? Where do live in, Nazi's German? Not even Chinese do this. I guess it has much more to do with prejudice towards brazilian people (come on, how can someone NOT be a spammer and be a brazilian at the same time?) than anything else. And no, this is not a flame. It's one thing to say that some countries deal with spam poorly. Another is saying that blacklisting said countries is a solution.

Am I understanding this correctly? (5, Insightful)

orthogonal (588627) | more than 10 years ago | (#7430375)

From the article: My ISP has a partnership with Verio to handle its traffic in the U.S. When Verio blacklisted Smart Mobs, any request from Noos went unanswered -- sorry, there was the (in)famous 404 error.

I want to be sure I understand this correctly. Verio wasn't (only) discarding mail from Smart Mobs, because they thought it was spamming site, they were refusing to pass through http (or other) connections to it?

Discarding mail is one thing, but blocking an IP address is quite another. What's the justification for this? To prevent the (supossed) spammer from profitting from the spam, by preventing anyone from connecting to it to (presumably) buy the product touted in the spam?

Discarding mail from a spammer can be justified, by, among other things, the argument that spam mass-mailings strain system resources. But connecting to sites happens all the time -- an ISP should should be set up to handle that traffic, and can traffic to sites touted in spam really increase the volume that much?

To me, this seems like a dubious policy on Verio's part -- even without the problem of mis-identifying sites as in the case of Smart Mobs.

Re:Am I understanding this correctly? (2, Insightful)

sirket (60694) | more than 10 years ago | (#7430401)

Discarding mail is one thing, but blocking an IP address is quite another. What's the justification for this?

Null routing of address blocks with a significant number of known spammers has been done for years. This is hardly new so please do not act so shocked.

-sirket

Re:Am I understanding this correctly? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7430409)

can traffic to sites touted in spam really increase the volume that much?

It's not about saving bandwidth -- it's about taking away the spammer's source of income. If you block email from a spammer, you've wasted a minimal amount of his time, and he'll quickly move to another mail server. If you take out his web site, he can't sell anything online.

Re:Am I understanding this correctly? (1)

RollingThunder (88952) | more than 10 years ago | (#7430458)

Discarding mail is one thing, but blocking an IP address is quite another. What's the justification for this? To prevent the (supossed) spammer from profitting from the spam, by preventing anyone from connecting to it to (presumably) buy the product touted in the spam?
Bandwidth costs.

When you can completely block a rogue IP/network/country/etc from accessing your network at all, you save that network cost.

You also cut out the processing time that filtering would have used up, in a more efficient way.

Justification: it works (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7430460)

If a domain supports spammers, blacklisting all protocols from that domain gets their attention really fast!

As others have noted, why else would spammers be targeting blacklists?

Yup, I was RBL'd (3, Insightful)

kwerle (39371) | more than 10 years ago | (#7430377)

I left an HTTP proxy on on an open port - on the same machine that does SMTP. I didn't even know that spammers could relay via an http proxy using a PUT to the local SMTP server. mea culpa.
I fixed it in 3 days (too long, I know).
I contacted mail-abuse.org and submitted a removal request. It took them 2 weeks to take me off the list.

It frustrates me that their site is so unresponsive to removal requests, and that they fail much of their process. They were supposed to send email at several stages, which they did not do. The email they did send was badly formatted (broken urls, urs that weren't relevent).

I won't ever use an RBL because they just don't seem responsible.

Yeah, I know - pot kettle black. But I'm not supplying a service to thousands of users.

Re:Yup, I was RBL'd (3, Interesting)

sirket (60694) | more than 10 years ago | (#7430428)

First off, mail-abuse.org is notorious for their response times.

That said, you left a relay open for 3 days, and potentially tens of thousands of spam emails, and you are going to sit their and complain that it took two weeks for you to be removed from the black list? What about all the individual admins that added you to their personal blacklists and just never bothered removing you?

-sirket

Re:Yup, I was RBL'd (3, Insightful)

fmaxwell (249001) | more than 10 years ago | (#7430452)

It frustrates me that their site is so unresponsive to removal requests, and that they fail much of their process. They were supposed to send email at several stages, which they did not do. The email they did send was badly formatted (broken urls, urs that weren't relevent).

Almost all of the RBLs are run by private individuals who make no money for their efforts. Why do you believe that they owed you anything? All that you did was make work for them by your misconfiguration of your mail server. They don't owe you nicely formatted e-mails, prompt responses, or open lines of communication.

Yeah, I know - pot kettle black. But I'm not supplying a service to thousands of users.

No, but you may have been supplying spam to that many -- easily.

Re:Yup, I was RBL'd (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7430457)

I left my car at the top of a hill with the wheels turned out from the curb. I didn't know that the breaks could fail. It took weeks to get my car back after it was impounded...

Re:Yup, I was RBL'd (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7430468)

Yeah, I know - pot kettle black. But I'm not supplying a service to thousands of users.
Not anymore. But with all due respect, for those three days, you were supplying a service to any spammer who stopped by. Conversely, you were supplying a disservice to all recipients of any spam proxied through your server.

2 weeks is a bit much, I'd rather see immediate removal for secured hosts, and I don't use MAPS either for this and other reasons. On the flip side, think about the number of records that MAPS is having to keep track of; even with automation, it's going to take awhile to retest.

...not supplying a service to thousands of users (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7430470)

You certainly were if a spammer used your open relay.

Care to tell us how many spams were relayed via your site

Had the same problem.. (3, Interesting)

Chicane-UK (455253) | more than 10 years ago | (#7430378)

Someone anonymously submitted our MS Exchange server (I don't blame em *grin*) as a spam relay, despite the fact that it is not. As said in the original post, they didn't even check the server they just blacklisted it.

The first thing we know about it is when members of staff come to us and complain that they are getting error messages such as 'denied' when trying to email important people.

Sigh.. in fact I have that very same problem waiting to be tackled when I get back on Monday morning. And its always such a ballache to get your mail servers removed from these block lists... :(

Re:Had the same problem.. (3, Interesting)

sirket (60694) | more than 10 years ago | (#7430454)

I know of no blacklist that does not first verify that you are indeed an open relay. If you know which service did this, then please let the rest of us know so that we can be sure not to use them.

-sirket

Thought for today (1)

EdMack (626543) | more than 10 years ago | (#7430382)

Isn't 'Smart Mobs' and oxymoron?

Oh, I hate that (1)

Dan Connor (719249) | more than 10 years ago | (#7430383)

I had my site black listed by Spam Cop and they were imposable to work with regarding the issue.

Details? (2, Informative)

Dimensio (311070) | more than 10 years ago | (#7430486)

I love hearing these "horror stories" about people listed by some well-known DNSbl like SpamCop or SPEWS, telling us how unfair it was and how impossible it was to work with the list maintainers, but they never provide any details so we can't investigate their case.

Of course, in one case a company did provide extensive details that, when looked into, showed that their listing was perfectly justified.

Hypocrisy (4, Interesting)

sirket (60694) | more than 10 years ago | (#7430384)

First of all, the idea of Verio blocking spammers is laughable. They have always been a haven for spammers and everyone here probably already knows that.

The real issue, however, seems to be this guys ISP. I mean honestly, what the hell is wrong with them? If I had called Speakeasy with this sort of problem, it would have been taken care of that day.

-sirket

Re:Hypocrisy (1)

yoshi_mon (172895) | more than 10 years ago | (#7430469)

The real issue, however, seems to be this guys ISP. I mean honestly, what the hell is wrong with them? If I had called Speakeasy with this sort of problem, it would have been taken care of that day.

Exactly, what kind of 2 bit ISP is he dealing with anyway? Why when this happened did he not instantly start shopping around and then demand to speak with a manager and tell them that unless they got a clue about the diffrences between protocals that he was leaving?

I'm gonna mod his ISP as -1 Clueless and him -1 You Need To Get More Pissed At Clueless People.

Blacklist the whole world (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7430385)

and have a whitelist for those that you give permission to send email...

That's a really popular site! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7430393)

Comments(0)...
Comments(0)...
Comments(0)...
Oh hh! Comments(2)!!!

Is it possible that they just blacklisted it because it's crap? Get a life dude.

solutions (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7430394)

blacklist black-hat blacklisters
blacklist bad blacklists

Why blacklisting won't work (1)

slobber (685169) | more than 10 years ago | (#7430396)

At first glance, blacklisting spammers might seem like a good idea, and it even might produce positive results in a short term, just like prohibition did. In a long run, however, it will make things worse because "hardcore" spammers will adopt to get around blacklisting while countless businesses will suffer from being blacklisted in error. One other dangerous side effect is that blacklisting may be used as a tool of political censorship.

It is clear that more fundamental solution is needed. How about making use of micropayments [slashdot.org] so that sender's account is charged some nominal amount that goes into receiver's account? Otherwise, e-mail gets bounced. This should have almost no impact on the average Joe user who sends a few dozen e-mails per week. However, it might wipe out spammers profit margin since real spammers need to send millions of e-mail out to make a decent living.

Re:Why blacklisting won't work (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7430443)

AND it would have the benefit of stopping those goddamn forwards that people just HAVE to send about some "sick dieing child who's last wish was the annoy the shit out of a million people"

Re:Why blacklisting won't work (2, Insightful)

NSash (711724) | more than 10 years ago | (#7430531)

How about making use of micropayments so that sender's account is charged some nominal amount that goes into receiver's account?

How about not? Of all of the proposed solutions to the spam problem, micropayments are the worst.

incorrect title (2, Interesting)

TekZen (611640) | more than 10 years ago | (#7430397)

The tite should read: "One of the many problems with spam blacklists" -Jaxn

My own slashdot horror story... (5, Funny)

Sun Tzu (41522) | more than 10 years ago | (#7430405)

I have an earthlink.net account and a couple of weeks ago I was issued an IP address in the dreaded slashdot BANNED! file. Pity poor me, getting the big orange screen telling me about the terms of use and how, as a BANNED! IP addy, I was unable to even read them. Fortunately, the evil orange BANNED! page quoted me a few of the offenses that might have gotten 'my' IP banned. I must have spammed the input queue or posted a PWP (page widening post) or somesuch.

Of course, it wasn't me. It was some other Earthlink customer who, sometime in the past, was issued that same dynamic IP address and committed the unpardonable offense. That customer has moved on to a new IP, but /. never forgets.

It was hell. I spent *hours* unable to access /. -- can you imagine the suffering that such a fate would cause *you*??!

Eventually, I was issued a new IP address from earthlink and was back online as the ageless Sun Tzu once more. But I still live in fear that someday, perhaps when I least expect it, the evil orange BANNED! page will return to haunt me. This is the personal hell that I inhabit and it is here that I shall remain, until I get a clean static IP address of my very own. I live for that day.
--
Send us your Linux System Administration [librenix.com] articles

Re:My own slashdot horror story... (1, Informative)

Guppy06 (410832) | more than 10 years ago | (#7430439)

"It was hell. I spent *hours* unable to access /. -- can you imagine the suffering that such a fate would cause *you*??!

Eventually, I was issued a new IP address from earthlink"


And you couldn't manually request a new DHCP address because... ?

Re:My own slashdot horror story... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7430500)

Why is that relevant? The point is that an address is being blocked erroneously. So, obviously, both Verio and Slashdot are incompetent in their administration of blacklists. Or, more to the point, blacklists simply do not work: The spammer moves to a new address and some poor slob is left to clean up someone else's mess.

Re:My own slashdot horror story... (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7430521)

And you couldn't manually request a new DHCP address because... ?
If he's using Earthlink Cable, it's because he can't.

Back when they issued CybrSurfr cable modems, the DHCP server assigned you an IP based upon the MAC address of your NIC. If you wanted a new IP, all you had to do was ifconfig yourself a new MAC, do a network restart, and voila... Brand new IP, usually in a totally different /16 and occasionally in a different /8 (24.0.0.0/8 vs 6x.0.0.0/8).

Now, they've migrated everyone to SurfBoard 4x00 series modems. DHCP assigns an IP to the modem based upon its HFC MAC, not based upon your NIC's MAC. As best I can tell - believe me I've tried - there is no way to change the MAC of the modem, at least not without physical tampering. Unless the DHCP server itself is rebooted, or runs out of IPs to assign and needs to cycle through, you WILL get the same IP every time on the SurfBoard 4x00's. When I had a 5-day outage over the summer, after the connection was fixed I came back up with the same IP.

In other words, short of getting a different modem, it's nearly impossible to proactively request a new DHCP lease with a new IP.

Rights Online (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7430408)

When the hell did being able to send mail become a right? Sorry but nobody has the right to place email on my mail server if I don't want it. This entire article is stupid.

I should be in charge (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7430410)

Flutie shoulda been starting for weeks. I know he's relatively new, but Brees is just not that good, and won't be. He's scared in the pocket, he's impatient, jumpy, and he makes terrible decisions. Oh yeah, and he doesn't know how to manage to the clock.

Ghyea, Chargers are tearing Minnesota a new one. Flutie is on fire.

User vs. Customer (2, Interesting)

Buran (150348) | more than 10 years ago | (#7430415)

The last time I checked, being a user of an ISP or the company that carries the packets means you're a customer of that ISP/provider ... your money is used to pay for their services.

In Soviet Russia, (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7430419)

Spammers blacklist YOU!

Re:In Soviet Russia, (-1, Troll)

Kyn (539206) | more than 10 years ago | (#7430515)

Wouldn't that be a good thing though?

Are we always silly? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7430421)

Looking at the title, why do people make decisions like:

"There is such a bad smell in this room - we should stop breathing!"

And then reply with

"We cant do that - we will die. So - nobody stop breathing bad smells. Its a bad thing to stop breathing." (mmmkay)

Why cant they look past TWO OPTIONS and maybe look at leaving the room/purifying the air/opening the window etc, instead of just doubling back on ideas/opinions that dont work.

BLOCK SPAM.
Entire domain and all protocols blocked.
Whoops - Make sure only SPAM is blocked.
Ok everyone - Happy Smiles.
PROBLEM FIXED

Answering the question. (4, Insightful)

_Sprocket_ (42527) | more than 10 years ago | (#7430431)

So the question presented by this article would be "WHY is blacklisting spammers a bad idea?" Unfortunately, it doesn't answer the question.

The blurb mentioned by the article submitter is the entire coverage of any such activity. The rest of the piece then goes on to complain about the user's ISP. Those who haven't RTFA'd can feel comfortable in skipping this one.

I'm sure this submission will provide nice fodder for expressing annoyance over spamming and horror stories of "collateral damage". But then - we've had plenty of those before. It would have been nice if an article had provided some framework around this kind of conversation.

This article doesn't.

nothing wrong with blacklisting (1)

penguin7of9 (697383) | more than 10 years ago | (#7430433)

There's nothing wrong with blacklisting as long as each customer can choose which blacklist they want to use (if any). That's the way most blacklists work: they are opt-in.

What is wrong here is that the ISP itself makes the decision unilaterally and uniformly for all its customers.

Re:nothing wrong with blacklisting (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7430511)

NO: Most blacklists are imposed by an ISP or company without the input or approval of the end-user.

Why Blacklisting Is a Bad Idea (1)

psifishdot (699920) | more than 10 years ago | (#7430442)

Blacklisting spammers is a bad idea. Hey, I hate spam just as much as the next guy but it sets a dangerous precedent. Blacklisting gives one entity, such as an ISP, the ability to censor what others can read. Rather than trying to eliminate spam, we should be trying to manage it. For instance, my university quarantines all messages that are likely spam and sends me a daily report. I quickly scan the report to make sure the software didn't snag a legitimate piece of e-mail. In fact, the software has, on occasion, quarantined legitimate e-mail. Now, if the sender had been blacklisted, I would never have gotten it. However, I was able to rescue my poor e-mail from quarantine. It may be just a coincidence, but the e-mail that was unjustly quarantined was of a political nature. Thus, there is a fine line between what the governing body considers spam and what I do. If the sender had been blacklisted, it would have been equivalent to political censorship. That is why blacklisting is such a bad idea. We need to manage spam, not blacklist.

Re:Why Blacklisting Is a Bad Idea (1)

Dimensio (311070) | more than 10 years ago | (#7430512)

Thus, there is a fine line between what the governing body considers spam and what I do.

Spam is very clearly defined. It is unsolicited, impersonal (having a bot that tries to tack on the recipient's name based upon their USENET postings does not count) e-mail sent as a means of advertising (whether for commercial or non-commercial purposes is irrelevant).

Comparing false-positives in spam-detection tools to political censorships is a stretch at best.

why ignoring stuff that matters is not a very good (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7430455)

idea.

well, there's the notion of how many phonIE fauxking shillbot billyonerrors do we need anyway?

then there's the more insidious notion that pretending/ignoring, will make yOUR problems seem to disappear.

there's never been a better time to investigate the creators' newclear power, & planet/population rescue initiatives.

this stuff is unbreakable, wwworks on several (more than 3) dimensions, & there's never a liesense feechurn/cover charge to restrict yOUR progress.

the daze of the greed/fear/ego based felonious payper liesense ?pr? ?firm? hypenosys stock markup fraud execrable, is WANing into coolapps/the abyss, at the (increasing) speed of right.

talk about pressure? those fauxking foulcurrs on wall street of deceit/capitollist hill, are having a whoreabull time attempting to hide the news (buy use of phonIE scriptdead ?pr? ?firm? hypenosys) of their felonious payper liesense billyonerrors' latest softwar gangster hostage taking attempts, &/or the adolescent dictator megalomania of the georgewellian fuddites/walking dead perpetraitors of the greed/fear/ego based life0cide against humankind.

there's a real risk of overheating (peacing off) the main processor. you don't want that?

for each of the creators' innocents harmed, there is a badtoll that must/will be repaid by you/US, as the aforementioned walking dead will not be available to make reparations, when the big flash occurs.

the lights are coming up now. consultations are in order. you know where to look/who to trust? see you there? tell 'em robbIE?

My banned story (1)

TerryAtWork (598364) | more than 10 years ago | (#7430462)

I once tried to subscribe to a mead mailing list that I found on a web page with my rogers.com Address.

I got a letter saying 'YOUR SPAM HAS BEEN REJECTED!'

I wrote the guy who ran the web page and told him and he laughed and subscribed me.

Still - to have the whole domain rejected because of BS is wrong, IMO.

Interestingly enough, very shortly afterwards Rogers adopted a policy of having to have a password to get on the mail server, and my excellent mailer PMMAIL already had a new version that could handle it.

Re:My banned story (1)

Dimensio (311070) | more than 10 years ago | (#7430527)

Still - to have the whole domain rejected because of BS is wrong, IMO.

I agree, if by "BS" you mean dubious reports of spam-friendlyness. However, I have no problems with blocking mail or all IP traffic in general from known crime-ridden providers (such as Cogentco, Verio, Qwest or any ISP in South America).

Wrong. Not perfect != "bad." (5, Insightful)

the_dreadnought (678956) | more than 10 years ago | (#7430467)

The good it does is far outweighed by the bad. Just like everything else in life, mistakes will be made. You can have a problem with the process to correct mistakes, but advocating RDNS blacklisting should go away doesn't make sense.

More about my horror story? (0, Troll)

ellem (147712) | more than 10 years ago | (#7430482)

get a life.

Running out of Guinness is a horror story

Getting ass raped by Iraqis is a horror story

not being about to get to some crap site is NOT a horror story.

what a douche'

Blacklists and filtering only works so well. (2, Interesting)

Chanc_Gorkon (94133) | more than 10 years ago | (#7430494)

The thing we all forget is that spammers are human. If a single address is being blocked, then they change the addresss. If they are spoofing, there's a chance you can incorrectly block a whole domain because of one idiot who setup an open relay. Case in point, at work, all e-mail on the .biz top-level domain is blocked because of the amount of spam taht is recieved from it. What if someone we'd like to do bisness with is on that domain? Alot of the typical comapnies you do musiness with have the .com tied up but if your starting a new business, sometimes the only one available might be the .biz. I personally have given up and try to filter as much as I can knowing that even that won't help.

Hate the Noos web site (1)

heironymouscoward (683461) | more than 10 years ago | (#7430502)

This is totally off topic and I hope it gets modded as a troll or -1 Ignorant.

But... the Noos web site really pissed me off. The fronsay is no big deal, je le parle comme tout le monde. But what is the deal with the animated text, the little blinking lights saying 'clickez ici, you big dumb user you', the text highlighting gizmo, and that terrible, terrible logo that looks like a genetically-modified O with extra ears.

I mean... an ISP like that and you expect service? What the fuck?

OK, I had to say it. I'm feeling calmer now. You can mod me down, thanks.

Black listing is STILL a good idea (1)

GOPWillC (720979) | more than 10 years ago | (#7430530)

I believe that generally blacklisting still works, heck I'm filtering out all emails from Russia, and Hong Kong, places I know that I won't get email that I care about. If properly enacted, blacklisting is a great idea, we can't just declare it a bad idea since Verio implimented it wrong. I bet other places we haven't heard of are having wonderful success with blacklistings.

Spam Debate Goes On (1)

Tacoguy (676855) | more than 10 years ago | (#7430548)

So many times /. takes on the spam issue. Sometimes it is whitelists, sometimes blacklists, sometimes legislation, sometimes filters. The only answer is education of the public to not patronize. It seems to me that /. readers could mount a campaign (perhaps in the form of public PSAs)or possibly getting politicians (this is an election year coming up) to include in their message "we all hate spam and until we can (heehe) regulate, do not read or respond to spam e-mails."

Long shot for sure but grassroots campaigns have worked before.

TG
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