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Thread: How to stop spam.

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    Site Caretaker Dave A's Avatar
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    How to stop spam.

    Apparently spam has become incredibly organised and is increasing dramatically. But here's an observation I can buy in to:
    It is difficult to fight spam because the problem crosses international borders, said a spokesperson for the UK Information Commissioner's Office, the body which enforces the law.

    Some believe laws and filters won't defeat spam.

    It will only end when people stop buying diet pills, herbal highs and sexual performance enhancers, said Dave Rand, of Internet security firm Trend Micro.

    "The products they are selling by spam are exactly the same products that they sold in the Middle Ages," he said. "This really is a human problem, not a computer problem."
    from M&G article here
    The trouble with opportunity is it normally comes dressed up as work.

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    Silver Member Graeme's Avatar
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    The bit I don't understand is that there used to be a Norton's routine whereby all incoming e-mails were tested against the address book and if the originator was not there, the mail did not get through. Neat, simple, and it used to work so well. But now certain originators (a pox upon them) simply elbow their way past this routine. How do they do it?

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    Silver Member Candy Bouwer's Avatar
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    I have observed recently these emails are coming in with a personal name ...something common like rose or Ann ahead of the address and i think the computer is only recognizing this and not checking further.
    Sparrow
    "NETWORKING" is a "CONTACT" sport!"
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    Site Caretaker Dave A's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Graeme View Post
    The bit I don't understand is that there used to be a Norton's routine whereby all incoming e-mails were tested against the address book and if the originator was not there, the mail did not get through.
    That feature occassionally causes a little havoc with some of the registrations on this site. On this side I get an error message that goes something like "Sender not on recipients table."

    And then I start getting Contact Us messages saying the confirmation email didn't get through. Here's a news flash (just in case one of these poor folk get to read this) - no matter which one of my email addies I use, your server is bouncing the mail.

    So if you've got aggressive spam protection, just make sure you have set it to OK emails from domains you want to hear from - like theforumsa.co.za

    To answer Graeme's original point, either the feature is disabled or the undesirable has been added to the approved senders list. It is a very aggressive form of spam protection anyway. Like refusing to answer the phone if you don't recognise the caller's telephone number. Could be the hospital advising you that a loved one is need... And the way some of these spam filters work, you don't even know you got the call.

    I think removing the economic incentive would do it in the end. If everyone just didn't buy most spam would die a natural death.
    Last edited by Dave A; 06-Dec-06 at 02:44 PM.
    The trouble with opportunity is it normally comes dressed up as work.

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    Silver Member Graeme's Avatar
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    No - it's not quite like not answering the 'phone - mail not recognised by the address book is diverted to a separate heading and may be viewed there and any genuine messages acted on. Happens quite often. Before the pests found a way 'round this the real beauty was being able to delete everything left, i.e. all the real spam, at just one touch of a button; a great feeling! Why is it called spam anyway?

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    Site Caretaker Dave A's Avatar
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    Ahh. That's slightly different. The junk mail folder.

    The ability of spam generators to beat something as elegantly simple as the junk mail folder is a large part of what all the fuss is about. Spam just isn't low-tech anymore. Arguably this is a techno war, complete with viruses, trojans, hijacked computers and identity theft.

    At times I think the best way to view the internet is as the Wild West way back when. It is the new frontier and society is struggling to come to terms with what is essentially a new order.

    Where did the term "spam" came from? My guess was it's shorter than baloney, but apparently we have Monty Python to thank.

    The term spam is derived from the Monty Python SPAM sketch (see video in External Links), set in a cafe where nearly every item on the menu includes SPAM luncheon meat. As the server recites the SPAM-filled menu, a chorus of Viking patrons drowns out all conversations with a song repeating "SPAM, SPAM, SPAM, SPAM... lovely SPAM, wonderful SPAM," hence "SPAMming" the dialogue. The excessive amount of SPAM mentioned in the sketch is a reference to British rationing during World War II. SPAM was one of the few foods that was widely available.

    From wikipedia here
    The trouble with opportunity is it normally comes dressed up as work.

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    just me duncan drennan's Avatar
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    From another article on the SPAM issue,

    A study released last month by the security firm Postini found that unwanted messages now account for 91% of all e-mail, and over the past 12 months the daily volume of spam rose by 120%.



    "Spammers are using advanced mathematical and graphical techniques like random modification of image pixels and dynamic construction of images from multiple components to bypass spam filtering tools," he said.

    Full story on M&G Online
    Another technique that I've read about is the use of SPAM to un-train filters (certain SPAM filters learn what is SPAM by what you mark as SPAM). This new type of SPAM works against the filter to result in it marking fewer real SPAM messages as SPAM.

    It's high-tech, it is profitable, it's war. Only you can make the difference.

    Uncle SPAM needs you!
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    Site Caretaker Dave A's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dsd View Post
    Uncle SPAM needs you!
    roflmao

    Oh. That was good!!
    The trouble with opportunity is it normally comes dressed up as work.

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    Silver Member Candy Bouwer's Avatar
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    lol
    Uncle SPAM needs you!
    excellent!!!
    "NETWORKING" is a "CONTACT" sport!"
    Alcocks Electrical Entomological Hygiene

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    just me duncan drennan's Avatar
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    And another article from the New York Times which goes through some of the details of the advanced (what they call SPAM 2.0) attack tactics.

    It kind of makes me think about the various ways of communicating. We've got email, telephones, face-to-face, online forums, blogs, instant messaging and so forth.

    I think by it's nature email is very open and very useful, and by the same token most open to attack.

    Would it be possible to drop email totally from a company's communication methods? The biggest issue to me is ensuring that clients can communicate with you without having any significant barriers to entry....hmmm...I wonder...
    [SIGPIC]Engineer Simplicity[/SIGPIC]
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