I'm just a guy at a house

It's a long story. :)

[Update: I am quite pleased to report that this post is either #1 or #2 in Google when you search on any of the 3 spam company names listed below. I'm also happy to report that over the last few days I've blocked literally thousands upon thousands of junk emails from these companies.]

I swear! Spammers really are the bane of my existence. I am constantly spending time these days combating them. I must admit, though, that few things at work give me as much pleasure as:

1) Monitoring the incoming mail queue,
2) Seeing a big batch of spam begin to come in,
3) Finding something in the message that is easy to setup a blocking rule on,
4) And then blocking that crap before it gets to my users.

Ha! Haha! Take that you spam-bastards!

Now, we do have automated content filtering, and that catches about 80,000 junk emails per day, but some do still slip past. The ones that get in are the ones without the typical spam keywords like "FREE" and "VIAGRA" and "CIALIS."

Here's an example of one that gets past our filter, and that I'm working to be able to block:

Hey Anne
This is for Tuesday Tue, 24 Oct 2006 15:37:38 +0900


Been a long time, anyways just wanted to drop in a line and tell ya bout this new Co I just found. This one is called Apparel Manufacturing Associates, Inc, its symbol is at APPM. The company is currently at 10 cents a share, Doubt it will there long. Basically they are a designer company and they are focused in the arena of all that is "Fashionable". Be it the latest "Trend" in fashion, the latest "Sound" in music or that "Must Have"/"Status Symbol" accessory. They span the globe searching and researching each industry, looking for those missing pieces of the fashion and music puzzle. All while keeping an eye on the bottom line.

Reason I am sending you this email now is because they are expected to come out with huge news come Monday / Tuesday and when that happens the 10 cents will be history. Take a Look buddy you don't wanna sit out this one. Suggest you get in APPM come Monday. Keep in mind no investment is 100% safe but the risk reward ratio on APPM is phenomenal.

Anyways I gotta run.
Hope you're doing well
Take care
________
A thing of beauty is a joy forever. Spring forward fall back. Spring rain, Fall gold. There is always next year. Rise and shine. Watered down. She's a mother hen. Water doesn't run uphill. Some like carrots others like cabbage. As uneasy as a cat near water. Survival of the fittest. Useless as tits on bull. Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness. That's a whole new can of worms. Up one side and down the other. We hung them out to dry.


It looks to the spam filter to be normal person-to-person communication, so it is allowed in. Pesky spam! I am amused by the fact that they always put some throwaway text at the end to try and confuse the spam filter. I've even seen some Shakespeare appear there.

I am happy to say that some spammers are stupid and put the same text at the foot of all their messages. That's what I can quickly set up a rule to block. I would guess that the names are fake, but they are still easy to trap. Here are some example footers:

This is a commercial message. You are receiving this message because you have either opted into a website that is owned or controlled by vdrm network services or owned or controlled by one of our marketing affiliates. If you feel you have received this message in error or: If you would like to stop receiving email offers from vdrm network services entirely, then please visit...

This is a commercial message. You are receiving this message because you have either opted into a website that is owned or controlled by Adept Traffic Partners or owned or controlled by one of our marketing affiliates. If you feel you have received this message in error or: If you would like to stop receiving email offers from Adept Traffic Partners entirely, then please visit...

This is a commercial message. You are receiving this message because you have either opted into a website that is owned or controlled by Shadetree Associate Corporation or owned or controlled by one of our marketing affiliates. If you feel you have received this message in error or: If you would like to stop receiving email offers from Shadetree Associate Corporation entirely, then please visit...

It's so nice when spammers make my job easier!!! Needless to say, no messages from any of those three fake companies are being delivered. I'm sure that the names will change soon, but I'm going to do my best to keep up with them. New day, new fake name, new blocking rule from Darrell the Vigilant - slayer of spam, defender of the common emailer.

What I really need is logic to be built into my mail filter so that if it sees the same exact email message coming from many different email address, it will start blocking those messages. That's my dream feature. I can dream, at least. I think that most spam filters look at the message, the whole message, and nothing but the message. They don't compare one message to another to see if you're getting 10,000 of the same thing from different (again fake) senders.

2 comments:

Your dream feature is a good one. A simple method that has not been implented on a large scale would be to make all computers sending emails perform a purposeless calculation for each email sent. The calculation would be such that it would take an average computer 1-3 seconds to complete. Sixty emails would take a minute or more. Sixty thousand emails would take a sixteen hours. Spammers would be discouraged but the individual legitimate user would not notice too much.

Thanks. That would be a good solution.

We could also just kick the spammers in the nuts so they couldn't make any more little spammers. And yes, all spammers are male. Hehe.

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