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Thread: Big spam firm shut down

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    Silver Member Vincent's Avatar
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    Big spam firm shut down

    Now you should be receiving 50% less spam. I doubt that will happen.

    One of the biggest senders of spam, the McColo Corporation, which was based in California, was shut down. Within days, the volume of spam worldwide (normally 150 billion emails a day) had fallen to 64 billion.
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    The problem is most of my spam comes from the far east, so I can't read the spam even if I wanted.
    Vincent Marino
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  2. #2
    Platinum Member Marq's Avatar
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    Now you should be receiving 50% less spam. I doubt that will happen.
    I can report back that my spam level has dropped considerably. In fact I thought that had some sort of problem - now it appears I suffered initially from spam withdrawal and that maybe all my problems that they said I had, have now been resolved by osmosis. Another peek though and I see that I am still not going to get that part in Debbie does Dallas. Then I thought maybe they have oversold all those blue pills and enhancing equipment and that if I was considering that, I was now too late - imagine that - every hot blooded male out there, stuck with the equipment they were born to carry from birth with no potential to triple its size or keep it up for days on end without failing the hundred mistress's that had been lined up...........
    The cost of living hasn't affected its popularity.
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    Site Caretaker Dave A's Avatar
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    Anyone into a touch of irony?

    As most members that are subscribed to the newsletter will know by now, I'm in the middle of the newsletter distribution run. There have been only two spam filter related bounce issues in the run. The biggest one has been Spamhaus who give this report:
    Sorry, rejected because of spam. SpamHaus(72.14.207.191)=127.0.0.2 http://www.spamhaus.org/SBL/sbl.lasso?query=SBL61021
    The problem IP referred to belongs to blogspot.com. So why is the email bouncing? It took me a little while to figure out the problem - I've got a link to Vincent's blog in the newsletter

    Something new to add to the checklist before sending an email

    Moving on...
    It's reckoned that all the spam in the world comes from just 200 senders. Around a third comes from America.
    I've always had the notion that the real source of spam is an incredibly small number of individuals/organisations and never really understood why someone big like Google, Microsoft or Yahoo didn't have a full go at shutting them down.

    Not so long ago I went fishing on a few forum webmaster sites checking the level of interest in trying to push the big guys into launching a legal assault on this small core of spammers responsible for most of the spam. The idea was to threaten to blacklist every free email service in the world if they didn't do something about the (obviously robotic) abuse of their email systems. There was interest, particularly as many forums were under heavy bot attack by spammers at the time, but unfortunately I haven't had the free time to drive that further.

    Maybe now the need is over if serious direct legal assaults are underway.

    I don't think I've talked much about the measures taken here to keep spam out and to protect members' email addresses from crawlers, but we do a lot. Obvious stuff is the PM system - you don't have to publicise your email address (and risk it being harvested) to get the message or enquiry. But there is some not-so-obvious stuff too.

    For example, one of our measures to prevent bot registrations rejects between 30 and 50 bot attempts a day, and that is just what is reported from that one sub-system. How do we know they are bots? Can you complete the registration form in under 2 seconds?

    Finally, I don't recommend publishing your email address in a post or using it as your username - There is a way I could protect them from crawlers, but it is incredibly server intensive. I'm afraid there are some limits.
    The trouble with opportunity is it normally comes dressed up as work.

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    Site Caretaker Dave A's Avatar
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    I contacted Spamhaus about the issue.
    Hi,

    I've sent emails containing multiple links including one link to a blog on blogspot.com and they are being bounced by Spamhaus with reference to your listing http://www.spamhaus.org/SBL/sbl.lasso?query=SBL61021

    Are you seriously bouncing emails from clean IP addresss because they've got a link to a blog hosted on blogspot?
    And the response was
    Yes. Because Blogspot hosts tens of thousands of fake blogs setup by spammers to evade domainfiltering. These fake blogs then redirect to the real spammer websites.
    Since Google is not cleaning up their act we are forced to list this service, as the number of fake blogs mentioned in email outnumbers the number of real blogs by far.

    Regards,

    --
    The Spamhaus Project (SR22)
    http://www.spamhaus.org
    Frankly I'm surprised. Spamhaus has a very reasonable policy on bulk mailing. So the GESTAPO approach on links to any blog on blogspot is a little unexpected.

    After thought: Thinking about it, I might just be reaping what I've sown here. The casualties of war are difficult to predict.
    Last edited by Dave A; 09-Dec-08 at 08:20 AM.
    The trouble with opportunity is it normally comes dressed up as work.

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    Platinum Member Marq's Avatar
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    Collateral damage.......sort of blogged if you do and blogged if you don't.

    I would have thought, through a process of basic cross referencing of email addresses and simple security joining up/registration processes - fake blogs would be highlighted and removed from the system or a non starter from the beginning. My limited knowledge of this area thinks that it should be a fairly easy process with return email activations and moderation involvement and later referencing those same activation emails against a spammers database.

    It seems the automation of systems is the culprit and the need to get millions of people active in a short a space as possible. Blogspot is a free service - why?? The ads and clicks side cannot raise any more income if they have thousands of fake bloggers - why not concentrate on the real ones and get some quality rather than quantity. Is blogspot's run by the spammers?

    Is it as simple as this or have I missed a point somewhere?
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    Site Caretaker Dave A's Avatar
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    The trouble is in most instances you don't need to reference an existing email account to open a new one on these free services. So there is no confirmation process and nothing to cross-reference. Now with your new email address you set up a blog with the redirect. And you keep doing that as often as it takes to keep ahead of the blocklists. It's robotic so the chasers are always far enough behind for you to remain viable.

    You can't block the IPs because they are using open proxies.

    From a spam measures point of view, I could understand scoring penalty points against emails with links to blogspot. Add the penalty points for phrases associated with spammers and mission accomplished. But this is a total shut-out which is extreme.

    There have been times when I've wondered if some of what these spammers do is a form of cyber-terrorism. Some actions seem to have no real reason - unless your aim is to break down the actual structure.
    The trouble with opportunity is it normally comes dressed up as work.

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    Email problem Superscenic's Avatar
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    some rough estimates...?

    75 million emails at about 5 kilobits in size, a day.

    about 400 gigs of outgoing mail a day.
    Include bounce backs, incoming hate mail, replies from suckers and outgoing address harvesting bots.

    I guess were looking at about a terabyte a day.

    If it takes 2 seconds for somebody to recognize and delete a spam mail (if it wasn't filtered) it works out to about 5 years of lost productivity daily.

    Gee all that from one company!

  9. #8
    Platinum Member Marq's Avatar
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    I would definitely class it as cyber-terrorism.

    I don't why, if their location is known, there is not a physical attempt to close them down. Confiscate equipment. Take out the people in charge and give them jail time. The spammers are only going to relocate and start up again. Hopefully not soon though. Tackle the ether crime/cyber-terrorism with real law and order. Like I said most of my spam has disappeared and its great - I can actually get to my emails and work through stuff quickly, so not surprised if the calc of lost productivity time is correct.
    The cost of living hasn't affected its popularity.
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    Email problem Superscenic's Avatar
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    Oops I forgot this was actually really good news.

    Sorry guys I get negative, now I realised this thread is actually about a really huge victory over spam! wow that's 75 billion of potentially annoying emails people wont be getting. Thats a lot of happier people. More time to read threads and smile.

    Thanks for keeping me posted with GOOD NEWS!!!

  11. #10
    Site Caretaker Dave A's Avatar
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    Not much wrong with your numbers, though.

    Yeah! It's a victory, alright. Add to this even Brian Jude has backed off a notch. I'm almost down to getting only interesting spam in my spambox nowadays.
    The trouble with opportunity is it normally comes dressed up as work.

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