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One Third of Email Now Spam

CmdrTaco posted more than 9 years ago | from the nobody-really-knows dept.

Spam 431

Himanshu writes "The volume of spam received by business has doubled over the last two years and it's going to get worse. Analysts IDC reckons that spam represented 32 per cent of all email sent on an average day in North America in 2003, doubling from 2001. That figure is less than the 50 per cent or more junk mail statistic commonly cited by email-filtering firms like MessageLabs and Brightmail but it still represents a serious problem,"

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Oh no! (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#8917888)

One-third of e-mail is spam? But nine out of ten of my e-mails are spam... Nobody loves me. :~(

Re:Oh no! (5, Funny)

Mateito (746185) | more than 9 years ago | (#8917946)

> One-third of e-mail is spam? But nine out of ten
> of my e-mails are spam... Nobody loves me. :~(

Post your email address to slashdot, and we will all send you friendly emails.

Re:Oh no! (1)

tomhudson (43916) | more than 9 years ago | (#8918032)

Post your email address to slashdot, and we will all send you friendly emails.
Post it to a newsgroup, and you'll get a LOT.

Maybe it's 1/3 by number of pieces, but in terms of actual volume, it's gotta be more than 90% (executables take up a LOT more space than legit emails, in my experience).

I use KMails' "create filter" function to send them to the trash automatically - it's really easy to create rules that work.

Mind you, I kind of wonder how stupid spammers are when they keep sending me "Critical Windows Updates", when, if they had bothered to read the headers to my postings, they would know I'm not running Windows.

Re:Oh no! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#8918028)

Other than mailing lists, I would say it is more like 99 out of 100 or worse for me.


Re:Oh no! (0, Redundant)

EpsCylonB (307640) | more than 9 years ago | (#8918037)

Actually I am really surprised that it is only 1/3. Seems so much higher based on personal experience.

Re:Oh no! (1)

SomeOtherGuy (179082) | more than 9 years ago | (#8918072)

One-third of e-mail is spam? But nine out of ten of my e-mails are spam... Nobody loves me. :~(

Man I could only wish for 1 legit email out of 10. I am more in the 1 out of 100 range.

Re:Oh no! (1)

Vihai (668734) | more than 9 years ago | (#8918073)

97.4% of all e-mail received at my e-mail address this week has been SPAM.

I receive an average of 1100 SPAMs/day but in the last two days the flow bumped to more than 5000 SPAMs/day.

Luckily, my installation of SpamAssassin has a false-negatives ratio of 0.07%. Nice uh? :)

Graphs are available at [] , sorry for the italian text, tought the meaning of the graphs should be clear.

Re:Oh no! (1)

October_30th (531777) | more than 9 years ago | (#8918125)

I receive an average of 1100 SPAMs/day but in the last two days the flow bumped to more than 5000 SPAMs/day.

Any idea why?

I noticed a significant increase in the amount of spam I received last week.

Re:Oh no! (1)

mj2k (726937) | more than 9 years ago | (#8918076)

lucky dog! I can't remember the last time I received a legitimate email.

Re:Oh no! (1, Funny)

JaxWeb (715417) | more than 9 years ago | (#8918179)

Meta Moderation Results


And one third of Slashdot posts are First Post (5, Funny)

turnstyle (588788) | more than 9 years ago | (#8918228)

And one third of Slashdot posts are First Post

I get tons. 1 in 3 ha! (5, Interesting)

titaniam (635291) | more than 9 years ago | (#8917890)

I get a ton of spam, check out some of my recent spams [] and a frequency plot [] . starting from when I began saving and filtering them. Many thanks to Paul Graham for his plan for spam [] , or I would be buried by 350 spams per day by now. It is only going to get worse! Based upon how many I get, the probability is more like 95% percent of my email is spam.

Re:I get tons. 1 in 3 ha! (4, Informative)

liquidpele (663430) | more than 9 years ago | (#8918005)

Hell ya. Has anyone noticed the tripling of spam in the last couple weeks?
I had it down to 5 a day bouncing them with mailwasher, and now I'm getting like 30-50 a day.
I guess some new spammers came into the field?

Re:I get tons. 1 in 3 ha! (5, Insightful)

spellraiser (764337) | more than 9 years ago | (#8918132)

Note that the analysis says that 1/3 of all email sent is spam. This can easily be coincide with many users receiving lots more spam than this.

For instance, there might be many users which receive a larger slice of the other, legitimate 2/3, thus making up for those who receive less of it.

How to you do... (3, Funny)

markan18 (718118) | more than 9 years ago | (#8918205)

to get that much spam???

I tried to get as much spam as possible in order to test spamassassin. I posted my email address on usenet and on all porn sites i've found. I have also tried installing spyware and toolbars. Internet explorer now crash on all sites but no spam so far.

Now, i resort to post my address on slashdot

Re:I get tons. 1 in 3 ha! (1)

gmhowell (26755) | more than 9 years ago | (#8918215)

If not for Paul Graham, I would have either switched to Yahoo (or similar) or simply said 'fuck it' to email entirely.

Spam.. (1, Funny)

Bryan Gividen (739949) | more than 9 years ago | (#8917893)

The only thing more annoying then people who post just to say they got the first post.

Oh, I don't know about that (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#8917958)

People who FAIL it are pretty annoying.

ASSERT (3Y3 == R0X0R!!!!) (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#8918150)

Firstus postus, beeeeeeotchae!!!!

Bow down and worship my 1/3" "spam"!!!!


Quite Strange... (2, Interesting)

kronak (723456) | more than 9 years ago | (#8917897)

By using filters and mail forwarding, I haven't gotten any spam in the past 2 months, so the increase in spam is certainly news to me.

OKay then (5, Funny)

schnits0r (633893) | more than 9 years ago | (#8917899)

Then who is getting the other 66.6% of my email?

Re:OKay then (1)

daxomatic (772926) | more than 9 years ago | (#8917961)

You mean the Penis enlargements, they come into my mailbox

Re:OKay then (0, Flamebait)

No. 24601 (657888) | more than 9 years ago | (#8918164)

Then who is getting the other 66.6% of my email?

Your mother.

Only 32%? ? ? (5, Informative)

David E. Smith (4570) | more than 9 years ago | (#8917901)

Only a third? Gosh, I wish I had that little spam...

From the logs of our anti-spam appliance [] , over the last six weeks or so:

Total emails received 27900189
Blocked (Spamhaus lists) 22450665
Quarantined (probably spam) 4449044
Viruses 117518
Allowed 882962
That's right, about 96% of our email is spam, viruses, or otherwise ungood.

I'd be delighted if the spam dropped off so it were only 32% of our mail. Think of all the things I could do with that extra bandwidth...

In fairness, the study says they were looking at businesses, and this is at a small ISP, mostly residential customers. But it's a good number to chew on nonetheless.

Re:Only 32%? ? ? (1)

tverbeek (457094) | more than 9 years ago | (#8918001)

Only a third? Gosh, I wish I had that little spam...

Same here. At least now I know that I'm doing some good in this world, because if I'm getting 99% spam, that means I'm siphoning it off from a bunch of other people who are subsequently getting a lot less.

Re:Only 32%? ? ? (1)

Mister Transistor (259842) | more than 9 years ago | (#8918045)

I quite agree. I get about 10-20 emails a day, and at least 90% are for pecker pills, or from colleges that can't spell.

Re:Only 32%? ? ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#8918055)

My thoughts exactly.

181308 / 227366 messages over the past 24 hours for our mail server have been classified as spam. That is almost 80% of the mail.

This isn't counting the virus messages.

Re:Only 32%? ? ? (4, Interesting)

hackstraw (262471) | more than 9 years ago | (#8918168)

Right now the mail server that I admin, which has only about 7 active users, we catch about 25% spam.

I've got spamassassin installed, and it does a good job. One thing from the article that reinforces something that I've been thinking about implementing is reducing the time spent dealing with spam. Since I have a good spam filter, I was thinking of deleting the obvious spam, and then delaying the more questionable spam to be spooled until one time a day and then put in the users' mailboxes at one time. That way the user would only have to go through the scan the inbox and delete spam once a day instead of incrementally throughout the day. This will also reduce the "You've go new mail" at all if the only new mail is spam or possibly spam. The only false positives that I've seen have been solicited mass mails like newsletters, and sometimes a mail in the spamassassin mailinglist will get flagged as spam for obvious reasons. Having these false positives mailed with the other questionable spam with a delay would not be a problem.

Well, in that case, (5, Funny)

imadork (226897) | more than 9 years ago | (#8917902)

spam really needs to catch up. I know that over half the snail-mail I get is junk mail...

Almost there... (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#8917906)

... another 2/3 to go then our job is done.

Sanford Wallace

Bah. (5, Insightful)

Kenja (541830) | more than 9 years ago | (#8917911)

I've had the same domain name for around ten years with a catch all email acount. 1 in 3 is nothing, for me its closer to 99 out of 100.

Ditto (almost) (1)

bsd4me (759597) | more than 9 years ago | (#8918155)

I know what you mean. I have had my permanent email address since 1993 or so, and I am not going to change it. I imagine it was on one of the first email address CDs that were for sale. I get so much SPAM that I don't bother obscuring my email address for netnews, etc, since I doubt it would help at all.

Re:Bah. (2, Insightful)

Jin Wicked (317953) | more than 9 years ago | (#8918159)

Same here -- I've had my domain name for about 4-5 years now, and while it wasn't bad for a long time because I was careful to always muddle up my address, at some point this year my address got on some big spammer's lists and that was it. My catchall default account for non-existent addresses and the "default" address gets around 300 pieces of junk mail a day, and that's constantly increasing, and SpamAssassin catches another 300-500 a day over and above that. It's awful. When I first installed SpamAssassin it did a good job of cutting down my spam to 3-4 making it to my actual Inbox a day, but now the volume has gotten so high that I'm starting to get about a dozen or two making it through, and that's just getting worse.

It isn't as simple as changing addresses... I have a business people need to contact me for, business cards, letterhead, and everything has my email address on it. On my site for every 1 real email I get there's at least a dozen spams. What is going to happen when 50 or 75% of ALL email is spam?? Filters just aren't cutting it anymore... if I am losing legitimate business mail in my filters there's no way to know it. The volume of filtered mail is too great to check one by one, and without the filters, my entire email is virtually worthless.

Re:Bah. (1)

Kainaw (676073) | more than 9 years ago | (#8918163)

I have a similar setup: ancient domain name and catchall email account. I used to get over 90% spam. Then, I started using ferriera to block spam and now it is around 10%. I guess you could say that ferriera gets 90% spam and 10% email, but the point is that *I* only get 10% spam without the worry that a real email was misfiled as spam.

Re:Bah. (5, Informative)

Animats (122034) | more than 9 years ago | (#8918211)

Me too. I'm getting about a thousand spams a day to the default inbox for four domains.

Filtering is removing about 97% of the spam, but even after filtering, I'm getting more spam than real mail.

Most of the spam seems to be selling prescription drugs. It's clear the Bush Administration doesn't want to do anything about this; there's plenty of authority for stopping illegal sales of prescription drugs on-line. Prescription drugs are traceable, after all.

Lucky them... (0, Redundant)

sisukapalli1 (471175) | more than 9 years ago | (#8917912)

I am tilting the scale the other way... My spam is more like 10 spam 1 normal mail. I guess I don't send so much email -- quite a bit of IM, phone, and the age old, walk to the person :)


I would believe (3, Interesting)

dolo666 (195584) | more than 9 years ago | (#8917917)

... that 1/3 of email is *not* spam. Where do they get these figures from? Is there a computer that tallies all the spam up, and if so, why can't it just kill the spam along the way?

So what? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#8917921)

One third of my regular mail is junk mail, and it's been that way ever since I can remember. Why should email be any different?

Wow! It's down to 1/3? (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#8917922)

It's about time it started going down.

600,426,974,379,824,381,952 ways to spell Viagra (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#8917933)

"After I received 80,730 different emails trying to sell viagra, I started to wonder: How many different ways are there to spell Viagra?"

Re:600,426,974,379,824,381,952 ways to spell Viagr (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#8918136)

The only problem is that it doesn't take into account "Viarga" and "Vagira", for which I get advertisements all the time.

1/3 seems very low (5, Funny)

theManInTheYellowHat (451261) | more than 9 years ago | (#8917935)

I think that they goofed. 1/3 of it is virus infected, another 1/3 is spam, and the remaining 1/3 are jokes from people that you barely know that are not that funny.

For Our CEO it's more like 98 out of 100... (2, Interesting)

bc90021 (43730) | more than 9 years ago | (#8917938)

Though he seems to get most of the spam in the company. (Thankfully, the rest of us aren't as plagued.)

Anyone know a good challenge/response program that works with Exchange? (And before you suggest a free alternative, he refuses to migrate, so I have to work with what he wants.)

Re:For Our CEO it's more like 98 out of 100... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#8918018)

Because we all know challenge/response systems WONT WORK and nobody really thinks of what happens when both sides just send challanges to eachothers challanges, I absolutely never click on a URL when I receive one from a legit email or at home.

Conversely, I have a perl script running on a server that only sends spam and receives bounces, that automatically fetchs a list of challenge URLs for me to periodicly manually validate, so our spam can get through.

Re:For Our CEO it's more like 98 out of 100... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#8918069)

Uh, plenty of people have thought of what happens when both people use challenge systems. Usually the solution is to whitelist email from the person you're sending to.

For example, say I and this CEO both had challenge/response systems. I send him an email, his address goes into my whitelist, and then his system sends back the challenge which I get since he's in my whitelist.

Re:For Our CEO it's more like 98 out of 100... (5, Funny)

azadrozny (576352) | more than 9 years ago | (#8918083)

Funny, here 98% of spam comes FROM our CEO. :)

Re:For Our CEO it's more like 98 out of 100... (5, Informative)

stevey (64018) | more than 9 years ago | (#8918149)

Stick a mail proxy between the internet and Exchange, that way he still gets to keep using Exchange, and you have a simple proxying machine that can do arbitary scanning and filtering.

You can scan all incoming mail with spamassissin and clamav before it reaches exchange, bounce or drop bad mail and forward "passed" mail into the Exchange server

You could also hookup a challenge response script there too.

I do the same thing for a company mail server running Lotus Notes.

So bad my spam filters are too strong (5, Funny)

reverendG (602408) | more than 9 years ago | (#8917943)

I get about 2500 spams a week to my work address, and I can't change my work email. It's on my business cards, and as a DB geek they won't get me new ones :(

Because of the extreme amount of spam that I get, my Bayesian spam filters are pretty strict. I lose valid email all the time!!!

Why just this morning, I came in and was going through my spam folder, and found that my good friend Gooshot Moneyface has been trying to get in touch with me! I was wondering why I hadn't heard from her for so long.

Re:So bad my spam filters are too strong (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#8918058)

Has he said the front end has to be exchange, or just what he connects to?

Have a *nix box do all the filtering and forward it to the exchange box.

Even more (3, Informative)

ChaserPnk (183094) | more than 9 years ago | (#8917955)

According to this article the problem is worse []

Virus sent spam (5, Interesting)

Outosync (214525) | more than 9 years ago | (#8917956)

I'd like to have a statistic on how much of that spam is do to worms relaying themselves from infected networks. 80% of the spam I now filter has a worm or trojan attached. I rarely get the marketing spam anymore.

expect more of it (4, Interesting)

lobsterGun (415085) | more than 9 years ago | (#8917962)

As more spam gets sent, the rate of response to spam will decrease. Which means spammers have to send EVEN MORE spam emails to get the same return on investment that they did a few weeks before.

I'm surprised it took this long for the ratio of spam to real to reach the level it has.

In other news.... (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#8917964)

A recent study finds two thirds of the Internet is pr0n, and penis enlargement does not work as advertised...

Re:In other news.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#8918198)

A recent study finds two thirds of the Internet is pr0n, and penis enlargement does not work as advertised...

I have some Vic@d1n that might help you out with that.

One third! ONE THIRD!! Gawwd you're lucky (1)

Space cowboy (13680) | more than 9 years ago | (#8917967)

They must really love you
They must think the sun shines right out of your arse, sonny!
I'd love to only get 1/3 of MY mail as spam
Ooh ooh ooh, my idea of heaven is to only get 1/3 of MY mail as spam
What I wouldn't give to have only 1/3 spam.
Nail them up I say!

(With apologies to MP :-)


Che4p V1agr4!!!! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#8917976)

Ch34p |-|3rb4l v1agr4 [] !!!!11!

(Sorry. A discussion about spam wouldn't be complete without some actual spam, would it? :-))

Better? (5, Interesting)

CGP314 (672613) | more than 9 years ago | (#8917978)

So things are better than the last time [] slashdot ran this story?

I doubt it.

-Colin []

I don't get some of them (3, Funny)

Dark Paladin (116525) | more than 9 years ago | (#8917979)

OK, so some I can understand, like how to make millions of dollars by investing in some guy in Nigeria. Or increase the size of your sexual organs (though I'm disturbed by the ones that state "I went from 2" to 6"!" I mean, my 2 year old son is 2", you know? What of freaks are in these testimonials?)

But the ones I really don't understand are the "stop spam with this email!" It's like the phone company selling you caller-ID systems that block unlisted or telemarketers numbers - then sell the telemarketers systems to get through those.

That would never happen, right?

Re:I don't get some of them (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#8918089)

Dear Freak,
Please stop measuring your son's penis.

Child Protective Services

Re:I don't get some of them (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#8918218)

mean, my 2 year old son is 2", you know?

That's disturbing... How do you know?

Offended (0, Offtopic)

andy666 (666062) | more than 9 years ago | (#8917981)

As a person who likes to eat spam, I am offended!

compared with snail mail? (4, Interesting)

StevenHallman76 (455545) | more than 9 years ago | (#8917982)

anyone know how these stats compare with standard mail?

Re:compared with snail mail? (1)

metlin (258108) | more than 9 years ago | (#8918153)

All my snail mail is spam.

Nobody loves me :(

Re:compared with snail mail? (5, Funny)

gmhowell (26755) | more than 9 years ago | (#8918172)

anyone know how these stats compare with standard mail?

Pretty well. I get nearly 100% spam in my snail mail box. Marked with things like 'Past Due', 'Gomer's Collection Agency', 'We Know Where You Live'. I just chuck it all in the trash.

IDC reports; Mainframes built everything (0, Offtopic)

DR SoB (749180) | more than 9 years ago | (#8918000) 4

What kind of crappy article is this? IDC has an article labelled "40 years of mainframe", and the only OS they mention is s/360? And a quote from this article:

" As it works to raise processor utilization rates to acceptable levels, the mainframe environment has been able to prioritize and balance the workload needs through well-established operational automation and virtualization techniques."

To acceptable levels? You won't find a single OS that is as capable of processor utilization then z/OS.

IDC says SPAM will increase? WOW, what an amazing prediction, do they have Nostradomus working for them or what??

it ain't fair (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#8918004)

i don't understand why free email servers like hotmail don't do more to avoid spam. Firstly, i think the way hotmail asks it's users to identify and then block spam mail is seriously flawed. One, on an average 1 in 2 mails are spam. Two, and then identifying and blocking that mail is a serious inconvenience to the user. Thus, most spam mail goes through the inbox.

Alternatively i like microsoft's idea: to charge a penny for every email sent. I'd gladly use such a system. It gets so frustrating to just delete the spam mail everyday and everyhour of the day. I've almost stopped using hotmail because of the spam.

Re:it ain't fair (2, Insightful)

meganthom (259885) | more than 9 years ago | (#8918177)

I am really tired of all our calls for spam protection, whether it be through an ISP, the government, or anyone else. In my experience, companies and groups that try to filter spam unwittingly filter out true messages that were important to their clients. With increasing volumes of spam and more clever spammers, this problem is just going to get worse. On the other hand, when I set up my own filters, I manage to collect all of my spam into the same place, which I can then glance through to check for an important (missed) email. As much as I don't like spam, I want to be the one charged with protecting myself from it. As much as people dislike spam, to the best of my knowledge, at least, it isn't breaking any laws (and should even be protected under the first amendment here in the States). Caveat emptor, I say. We ought to protect ourselves.

one third spam if your lucky (1)

KDN (3283) | more than 9 years ago | (#8918007)

I get between three hundred and four hundred spams a day. I get, 50-100 valid emails a day. Thank god for Spambayes.

I wish for 1/3 (1)

martin (1336) | more than 9 years ago | (#8918008)

currently running around 70% at my work domain - and that's not counting the fact I don't process email for non-existant users. When I do it's more like 85%.

Oh I wish I only 1/3 of my email spam..

That's all? (0, Redundant)

christurkel (520220) | more than 9 years ago | (#8918010)

One of three? Seems awfully low!

My big money-making idea (2, Interesting)

British (51765) | more than 9 years ago | (#8918022)

Here's my idea that I don't have any capital for:

Run an Internet backbone that lets all traffic through except for mail. Nope, sorry, we can't transfer mail packets over. You'll have to use some other company.

Okay, so it won't make me tons of money, but think of how stress-free the support staff will be. Or maybe not.

Not True (2, Informative)

conner_bw (120497) | more than 9 years ago | (#8918024)

Just because 1 in 3 email is spam, doesn't mean you have to receive the 2 that are [] . There are plenty of free spam solutions like the on I just hyperlinked. Use them.

Re:Not True (1) (547663) | more than 9 years ago | (#8918109)

There isn't much I hate almost as much as spam, but using authentication in anti-spam solutions is up there.

From []
E-Mail Authentication Service ensures your email was sent by a real person. When someone emails you for the first time they are asked a very simple question that only a human can answer. Once they answer, they can send you email without a hitch and they never have to authenticate again.

Newsflash: Spammer's fake the return address! ... So by using authentication you're just pushing the problem to other people, in effect spamming then! About the selfiest behaviour found on the net today.

Re:Not True (2, Informative)

conner_bw (120497) | more than 9 years ago | (#8918194)

That's an *OPTION* and it's not mandatory. Some people chose selfishness, others don't. Why not have all the tools to fight spam at your disposal?

Thanks to previous raves about Mozilla (5, Informative)

JohnnyComeLately (725958) | more than 9 years ago | (#8918042)

For those who, like me, thought they would have a hard time replacing Outlook Express (*puke*), check out Mozilla Thunderbird [] .

I heard about it here on /. and installed it the same day. At first it marked ALL my mail as spam because I'm on a few list servers, but the adaptive learning function of it is getting much better. After I "unlearned" my list mails as spam, it'd still let about 60% of spam through. Now it gets about 40 out of the 42 spams I get a day. I don't mind deleting two (or hitting "j" for junk), and recent searches through the junk folder show no false positives.

Check it out...

RE: Make millions with a better spam filter? (2, Interesting)

physick (146658) | more than 9 years ago | (#8918046)

If spam is costing corporations millions every year, there is a HUGE opportunity for arbitrage between the amount spam costs them and the amount one could charge for a, effective spam filter.

Yes, yes, I know about baysian filters etc, but no current solution is near 99.9% perfect.

I presume the problem is that a solution requires cooperation among a lot of people (ISPs, advertisers, users) who are not naturally likely to work together, and for whom as individuals there is not a significant gain from blocking spam. It's a bit like litter: few people like it, but lots of people drop it, and everyone has to live with it.

1/3 of slashdot postings are now trolls (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#8918053)

Free crack today! Mod away !!!!

News? (3, Insightful)

dj245 (732906) | more than 9 years ago | (#8918059)

This hits slashdot so often its not even funny. This is not news, it is simply trumpeting of the Messagelabs name for some reason or another. Spam is bad. Its getting worse. We know. We're working on it. Get back to us in a month.

Happy Spamiversary! []
Celebrating Spam's Ten-Year Anniversary []
U.S. is World Leader in Spam []

This is by no means a good list of all the spam stories that have hit slashdot, just a list of the ones that seem to have no point, are glaringly obvoius, or are redundant.

What is SPAM? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#8918066)

What's all this stuff about Han shooting first? It doesn't make any sense.

Thank goodness for filters, BUT... (5, Insightful)

Not_Wiggins (686627) | more than 9 years ago | (#8918067)

Filtering doesn't mitigate the problem.

So what if I don't have to see the mail? That doesn't mean my mailserver isn't using cycles to talk to some originating server, transfer, store and eventually delete that spam. The only saving grace is I don't have to pay for bandwidth on a usage basis (cable modem is still, happily, "flat rate").

But what happens if that volume gets to be high enough that it starts to affect my ability to use the bandwidth for other things?

What we have available are basically work-arounds; we need a concrete solution that addresses the basic problem.

So what is the problem? People soliciting without you opting in? Deceitful mail designed to make you open it thinking it is from a friend? The sheer volume?

The real problem is we haven't found an effective way to trace this crap back to the people supposedly "making money" with these schemes.

Solve *that* issue... put a name, address, and bank account to that spam, and we'll clean this stuff up in a hurry!

I get no spam (1)

DR SoB (749180) | more than 9 years ago | (#8918074)

My work email accounts have never recieved a spam message. Why? I don't forward crappy joke emails, I don't accept crappy joke emails, etc. I have a "spam" email account setup so I can use it for registering on websites, etc., but the funny thing is, THAT email address only gets about 1-2 spam emails a week! I have no idea why this account gets so little spam?

Re:I get no spam (1)

akintayo (17599) | more than 9 years ago | (#8918171)

Try setting up a sourceforge account.

96% at home (1)

rlp (11898) | more than 9 years ago | (#8918079)

Currently running 96% spam at home! Fortunately, I'm running POPFile which identifies 99% of it. Then Eudora moves it to my trash folder. Still, it's VERY annoying - I'm thinking of moving to a white list.

I run our corporate mail server and . . . (1)

Lightman7 (524419) | more than 9 years ago | (#8918082)

we run about 52% spam (measured what our spam filter catches and the server rejects as invalid recipient), so I think their statistics are a bit off.

Wouldn't it be nice... (1)

mlcolosimo (712247) | more than 9 years ago | (#8918104)

if they at least spell checked their spam??

Exact quote from my latest spam:

we ever meds people of stuff Miracles it don't stuff the saw that Miracles catch stuff is all where alot overlook u alot of me best make more is happen don't want later later be meds of do Don't best self saw do Belive products told is is Don't u sure yourself best this . them is miss believe don't man later life told make be u alot things don't is be sweety sweety peace the is later of stuff is at want man the thing this peace of Disrepect Belive meds best life things should of want believe happy

New Spam Filter (5, Funny)

kelseyj (398409) | more than 9 years ago | (#8918108)

Deletes every third email. No mess, no fuss.

Huh? 32% vs 50%? (1)

AltGrendel (175092) | more than 9 years ago | (#8918121)

Probably because that other 18% is bounce messages and virus reports going to innocent addresses.

How to eliminate spam (3, Interesting)

jd (1658) | more than 9 years ago | (#8918123)

Ok, that's a little optimistic, but it's possible to reduce the impact. Mostly by backbone providers. They need to install class-based queueing, such that e-mail is given a lower priority on the backbone than all other traffic.

Internet providers need to configure their mailservers to accept e-mail from authenticated servers and hosts only.

Finally, digitally-signed messages should become the norm, not the exception, where it's easy for Joe Newbie to check the signature against known databases.

where do they get their numbers... (2, Informative)

Sfing_ter (99478) | more than 9 years ago | (#8918138)

where do they get their numbers... I have been working closely with my isp and thy are seeing 80% to 90% of the email they get throught their mail server as know spam/spam-bounce traffic, this they round-file immediately, in the 10% left over, we the users still recieve spam, albeit not in the MASS QUANTITIES as before, eh Beldar.

both numbers could be right (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#8918154)

It could be that 33% is correct, as there are some lucky souls like myself that don't get spam, but do process a lot of email.

But for those who use filters, it is likely to be >50%, since why would they be using filters if they didn't have a spam problem? I don't use a filter b/c I don't get spam, but others who are overwhelmed with it will be using filters.

1/3 is a magic number (0)

Duck of Death (189129) | more than 9 years ago | (#8918156)

1/3 of TV is advertising
1/3 of my mail is junk
1/3 of my paycheck disappears
1/3 of the day is spent sleeping
and now 1/3 of email is spam

Proof of a higher power that is laughing at us.

Too low of statistic (1)

kyoko21 (198413) | more than 9 years ago | (#8918160)

My email account of nearly 10 years old receives about 300 email messages a day. I would have to say at least 90% of the messages that come in are SPAM. I guess I shouldn't have signed up for all that free crap back in the mid to late 90's. *sigh*.

Changing "block" lists to "allow" lists (2, Interesting)

Wiseazz (267052) | more than 9 years ago | (#8918174)

The CIO of the company I just left always claimed that sooner or later, all professional email correspondence will take place by allowing recognized correspondence as opposed to blocking known spammers. Presumably, a person would have to go through some process to request the ability to communicate via email with someone within another company.

I don't claim to know everything, but this seems a bit far-fetched to me. Not to mention crippling a technology that has the potential to be an effective collaboration tool. I'd be interested to hear what you folks think, though.

Re:Changing "block" lists to "allow" lists (1)

October_30th (531777) | more than 9 years ago | (#8918229)

I think the future will be something along those lines.

These days I cannot rely on e-mail when it comes to critical information. I have to fax the information as well to ensure that it is received. The situation is intolerable and is further exacerbated by vigilante blocklist action like SPEWS.

Volume...received by BUSINESS (2, Interesting)

robvs68 (560549) | more than 9 years ago | (#8918180)

For those who are thinking that 32 percent is a low number, note that the original post says, "...spam received by business". This actually makes some sence since business email throughput will be a lot higher than personal email throughput. For example, I typically send/receive around 3 legit emails per day from home, but I that number jumps to around 10 emails at work. If each address receives the same amount of spam, the business address will show a significantly lower percentage.

I don't know how they squeeze those big tins... (1)

ErnstKompressor (193799) | more than 9 years ago | (#8918184)

...of spam through those tiny little wires...

I have enough to feed all of China... You'd think those Chinese spammers would wan't to keep all the spam to feed their families...

It reminds me of a Spaulding Grey line..."Once I was in Russia, and before I went on stage, I was told the audience might throw tomatos at me... I got up and mentioned the fact that I was flattered they would waste such precious items on me..."(or something like that)...

I wouldn't know... (2, Informative)

praedor (218403) | more than 9 years ago | (#8918192)

My mail provider is Yahoo. Boo all you want but I do have to say that Yahoo does a superb job in spam filtering. It is a very rare spam that gets past their filtering. I have quit looking at my bulk mail folder when on the webmail interface anymore because I have seen virtually no false positives there either.

On my home systems I NEVER see the spam at all. I have postfix, procmail, and spamassassin setup to handle it and handle it they do. First off, procmail directs ANY email that has the Yahoo X-filtered-bulk header in it to /dev/null. Anything that gets past this is handled by one of several handy procmail recipes and gets /dev/nulled. Anything that gets past that is handled by spamassassin and gets /dev/nulled. I might see 1 or 2 spams a month, TOPS, that manage to run the entire gauntlet...but then doing "sa-learn" on it brings those particular guys to the /dev/null world.

My wife gets dozens of spams a day at her job, where the network nazis require her to use outlook and wont allow her to install any personal filtering software ala spamassassin. They tell her "Sorry, we feel your pain but we are doing our 'best' to handle spam..." I encourage her to get a laptop to take to work upon which I would install linux for her AND set it up so that she rarely ever gets any spams ever again. When she gets tired of penis enlargement or breast enlargement messages to delete she may take me up on the offer.

On spam filtering, does Snotmail not do something similar to Yahoo with its bulkmail/spam filtering?

My tool (5, Interesting)

TwistedSpring (594284) | more than 9 years ago | (#8918210)

Well, approximately 95% of my e-mail is spam. I hacked together a tool called POPgun that takes a real basic approach to spam checking. None of your Bayesian filters and all that nonsense. It sits transparently between my mail client (which connects to localhost) and my mail server, captures the mails as they come in and rewrites them.

It does eight (yes, eight) tests on the subjects of every message. I havent even added body checking yet, and it catches most spam. I even tried replacing these 8 tests with the SpamAssassin engine [] and found that it was less good at detecting spam mails. The tests are so simple:
  1. Is The Subject Capitalized Like A Headline?
  2. Does the subject contain too many non english-alphanumeric characters?
  3. Is the subject a duplicate of another subject in the same POP retrieve job?
  4. Does the subject contain 4 or more spaces anywhere?
  5. Is the subject more THAN HALF CAPITAL LETTERS
  6. Does the mail have no subject at all?
  7. Does the su-bject con+tain obvi!ous obfuscation?
  8. Finally, does the subject hit on the blacklisted words?

The blacklist is checked after first collapsing spaced-out words like "V I A G R A" and removing the above-mentioned obvious obfuscation. It's regex-based and contains the typical stuff like "meds" "medication" etc, but also a test for a subject that ends in 3 or more spaces followed by a string of random consonants.

When it detects SPAM, it simply changes the subject line to indicate that the message is spam.

In addition to spam-checking, it also removes all HTML mark-up (removes the tags leaving plaintext behind), deciphers MIMEd messages and recompiles them into multipart/mixed format (so images etc. are attachments) and renames many-extensioned attachments, so girl.jpg.pif becomes girl.pif.

It's still in dev, but it'll be available on in the next week or so for Win32 (as an exe) and UNIX platforms. It's written in Perl.

I would have guessed much higher (5, Interesting)

dre23 (703594) | more than 9 years ago | (#8918232)

Maybe 99%. More people should be reading all of these documents [] .

If every Linux and Windows machine ran Postfix with CRM114 by default (and with manpages and documentation), this would help. Maybe a new anti-spam Linux distribution is needed. MacOSX ships with Postfix, but not CRM114.

Do you have any idea how many open-relays still exist? Why does SMTP software allow '*' open-relays in the first place? Do you know how many proxy servers are out there on the Internet? How many SOCKS4&5 proxies that just allow any SMTP to be bounced? How many are seemingly closed but available with the CONNECT method? Let's close some of our holes, and prevent software from opening them in the first place.

Also - know your enemy. Why haven't people dissected the software these creeps are using. The majority of spam comes from a program called DarkMailer or DM. Let's reverse engineer this application and figure out how it works, so our defenses can be built around the enemy's weapons and not just generalizations about spam.

Finally, let's set some ethics and procedures about how to deal with spammers. Too many is the case that people just want to beat their heads in with baseball bats or delete all their files on all their computers. This activity is not productive. It's my firm belief that if you take away their tools and educate them, less spam will be out there. You make it a war -- and that's what you'll get. Passion drives creativity and efficiency.

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