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How much spam do you get?


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I've noticed yet another upswing in the amount of spam (the junk email, not the processed meat product) I'm getting in the last few months...and that is after several such sudden increases over the years.


I just looked through my spam folder and counted the following numbers:


Feb 4 - 255 spams (and today's not over yet)

Feb 3 - 266

Feb 2 - 251

Feb 1 - 245

Jan 31 - 231


And that's just the one's that were caught, a few sneak through the filters (5 today).


Is it just me or is that completely outrageous!?


The only thing preserving my sanity is the double barreled attack from my spam filters. The first line of defense is the amazing SpamAssassin which is simply a brilliant work of software art. It uses several types of identification methods to detect spam, including email content analysis, header analysis, blacklists (list of known spammers maintained at various websites). Spamassassin works on the email server, so I don't have to run it locally.


The second line is Apple's Mail application (called Mail) that uses bayesian analysis to detect spam. Spam Assassin does such a good job that Mail has little to do, but it catches a few.


So how much do you get, and what are you doing about it?

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I don't know how much spam I get on a given day, but it's a lot. Not as much as you though Ed. I have noticed that spam levels on my Yahoo and Hotmail accounts have dropped drastically over the past 2-3 months. The amount has stayed about the same for my promary Optimum Online mail account though.


I used to use SpamKiller by McAfee, but I don't anymore. It didn't really do that good a job. I've tried to get POPFile installed, but I for the life of me cannot figure out how to configure it on my system. Not even with the documentation availble on their website. I would love to get it up and running someday on my PC.

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I just switched school e-mail addresses after having my old one for 4 yrs.

It's ridiculous how many spams I used to get (well not ridiculous compared to what you get...but about half of that) and now that I've been on this new e-mail address for 5months I've gotten about 4 spam e-mails total. I don't use any spamfilter or anything, i've just been super cautious about singing up for any lists with this particular


I know my hotmail has been getting better about not getting spam since they changed their format a couple months ago.


The only recommendation I'd have would be to change your e-mail address if possible. I know this could be difficult (if even possible) but it seems to be the only possible sure fire method.

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It's getting worse for me. As early as a year ago I hardly ever got spam. Maybe 1 or 2 messages per week. In the last year it's exploded. I probably get 50 to 100 spam messages per week now.


I'm using a great Outlook plug-in called InBoxer (http://www.inboxer.com/) to detect and remove my spam. It's a trainable system that works quite elegantly with Outlook.

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I never had a problem with SPAM in my main inbox until recently. This is because I have several junk accounts that I use when I sign up for things so that the solicitations never make it into my home.


Recently, however, with the sale of AT&T Broadband to Comcast I have been inundated with email supposedly sent to my @attbi.com address, which no longer exists. I'm even getting things addressed to "blackburn" and "black458", etc. Comcast refuses to shut off the @attbi.com domain even after they promised a 12/31/03 date. So I have to set up a filter that detects anything sent to @attbi.com and deletes it.

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I've had the same address for several years now, and like clockwork, the amount of spam has very steadily risen. But There have also been sudden bursts where the amount climbs significantly in just a few weeks...I think one of those just passed. The last time I remember counting them up, I was at about 80 a day...


Before I moved to a server with SpamAssassin installed, I was starting to go batty deleting it (and I wasn't getting half as much as I do now).


It's just so evil. I find it very hard to believe that anyone thinks sending spam is a good idea, who are these people? Spam is universally derided and despised, it's like thinking that you could sell something to someone by breaking a bottle over their head and putting cigarettes out on their eyelids.

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Yeah, but oddly enough people get paid VERY good money for sending spam. A friend of mine in computer science was working freelance for his brother to design a mass mail-out system for delivering spam and you would be shocked at the amount of money they were being paid for this service by their clients.


I find it hard to believe people make money like this, but apparently they do, and it is apparently quite good.


I get maybe a spam a week now, where it used to be about five a day or so. I have the ad-sponsored version of Eudora and it has an excellent mail blocking filter that lets me shift all kinds of mail to the trash via a variety of methods.


Also the university has a pretty thick spam-blocker now so not so much gets through to start with. Spam blows!

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I'm very careful to use my hotmail account for most website signups, and it gets clobbered with spam. But I will say that the amount of spam getting through has decreased significantly in the last month or so.


Wasn't there a new law passed that is supposed to make it harder on spammers?

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Originally posted by Carlucci@Feb 5 2004, 07:43 AM

I'm very careful to use my hotmail account for most website signups, and it gets clobbered with spam. ...

I do something similar. I keep an account just for sign ups and run AntiSpam on top of that. On top of that I change my email address every other year or so.


It works okay, but I'd rather have a product (like AntiSpam or whatever) that would make changing addresses unecessary.



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Why Spam Works.


Among the people who responded in July to Amazing's spam, which bore the subject line, "Make your penis HUGE," was the manager of a $6 billion mutual fund, who ordered two bottles of Pinacle to be shipped to his Park Avenue office in New York City. A restaurateur in Boulder, Colorado, requested four bottles. The president of a California firm that sells airplane parts and is active in the local Rotary Club gave out his American Express card number to pay for six bottles, or $300 worth, of Pinacle. The coach of an elementary school lacrosse club in Pennsylvania ordered four bottles of the pills.


Other customers included the head of a credit-repair firm, a chiropractor, a veterinarian, a landscaper and several people from the military. Numerous women also were evidently among Amazing Internet's customers.

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I'm not sure if I've been effective at eliminating spam or just lucky, but 3 of my e-mail accounts get no spam and the third gets maybe 2 a day.


I find it very hard to believe that anyone thinks sending spam is a good idea, who are these people? Spam is universally derided and despised, it's like thinking that you could sell something to someone by breaking a bottle over their head and putting cigarettes out on their eyelids.

Although the majority of the population does indeed despise spam, there is still the small minority that supports these fools through their ignorance. I'm gonna use my future mother-in-law as an example here. :twisted:


She has the slowest computer in the world, bogged down by tons of useless system hogging apps, and she surfs the net at medieval speeds using AOL. I'd rather stick a needle in my eye than jump back to 1994 computer standards. The stuff she puts up with is obnoxious, but don't try to change her. She doesn't want to change from AOL, god only knows why. She uses my computer and internet connection, and say "ohhh yeah, that's nice, real fast," but still refuses to change. Again, why? She also spends ridiculous amounts of money on CRAP from Ebay,... J-U-N-K,... like the Lavender and Lime Green snow suit that reeked like cigarette smoke. Why would someone do such things???


For this topic we are not really interested in why she does this crap, the point is that she DOES do it and DOES deal with it. That phrase, "there's a sucker born every minute" is the holy bible to these spammers. They send spam and pay people lots of money to make spam programs because there are people out there not only clicking on their spams, but responding and purchasing whatever crap they are pushing. It blows my mind. I cannot fathom how people are this dumb. How are supposedly intelligent and capable adults making such bad decisions is beyond me. If you know how to use a computer and get online shouldn't you also be intelligent to figure out that spam and what spammers are selling IS CRAP!???


The proof is that spam has not ceased,.. and apparently for some, it's actually on the rise. Why? Because it pays. If it didn't spammers would have stopped a long time ago.

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I average 130 per day.


Despite having my own domain, deleting an email address and creating a new one doesn't work. Someone could send an email to bvhuighrednjjifhsaj@planetvolpe.com and it'll still get to me.


And since hackers hijack mail servers when sending spam, the old reply-with-the-word-REMOVE-typed-20,000-times trick doesn't work.

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One of the main offenders I was able to discover is an IQ test site. Using a new account created just for the test and later dumped, this site generated over 300 emails per DAY in the beginning.

And it got worse before it was over. It was up to over 600. Our main user address at cox is completely unusable due to someone clicking the " send this to a friend and compare your scores " button and sending it to our address from the site. We have been told we can not even delete the address as it is our main user account. I had to switch it to web mail only to stop delivery to Outlook Express. I logged in just now and there were 1450 messages there. I deleted them all and will check again tomorrow and see how many there are then.


Every one of them was spam mail.

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Originally posted by AuntieMuffin@Feb 5 2004, 01:05 PM

One of the main offenders I was able to discover is an IQ test site.

Makes sense that this would be a spam factory.



Also, I've heard that if you create one of those online greeting cards to send to a friend, chances are you just gave spammers his/her email address.



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I guess I'm lucky. On my main email address, reserved for school, work, relatives and close friends, I average a couple a week. Sometimes less. The ISP has a filter, though, but it just marks the offending mail, but does not delete them. My hotmail account (which I used for registrations online and such) gets a bit more. I closed it for a while and restarted it, which helped considerably. I used to get tons there.

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If all ISPs used SpamAssassin, the world might be a happier place. It uses the best systems I've seen to determine what is spam. Here's an example of SpamAssassin's anaylsis of a spam I got this morning:

Content analysis details:  (23.6 points, 4.0 required)

pts rule name       description
---- ---------------------- --------------------------------------------------
0.2 NO_REAL_NAME      From: does not include a real name
1.3 X_PRIORITY_HIGH    Sent with 'X-Priority' set to high
1.0 EARN_MONEY       BODY: Message talks about earning money
0.3 HTML_WEB_BUGS     BODY: Image tag intended to identify you
0.1 EXCUSE_14       BODY: Tells you how to stop further spam
0.1 HTML_FONTCOLOR_RED   BODY: HTML font color is red
5.4 BAYES_99        BODY: Bayesian spam probability is 99 to 100%
             [score: 1.0000]
0.1 HTML_60_70       BODY: Message is 60% to 70% HTML
1.1 HTML_IMAGE_RATIO_04  BODY: HTML has a low ratio of text to image area
0.3 MIME_HTML_ONLY     BODY: Message only has text/html MIME parts
0.1 HTML_MESSAGE      BODY: HTML included in message
0.3 HTML_FONT_BIG     BODY: HTML has a big font
1.4 HTML_IMAGE_ONLY_06   BODY: HTML: images with 400-600 bytes of words
1.1 RCVD_IN_SORBS_HTTP   RBL: SORBS: sender is open HTTP proxy server
             [ listed in dnsbl.sorbs.net]
0.1 RCVD_IN_SORBS     RBL: SORBS: sender is listed in SORBS
             [ listed in dnsbl.sorbs.net]
0.1 RCVD_IN_NJABL     RBL: Received via a relay in dnsbl.njabl.org
             [ listed in dnsbl.njabl.org]
0.7 RCVD_IN_DSBL      RBL: Received via a relay in list.dsbl.org
0.5 RCVD_IN_NJABL_PROXY  RBL: NJABL: sender is an open proxy
             [ listed in dnsbl.njabl.org]
1.5 RCVD_IN_BL_SPAMCOP_NET RBL: Received via a relay in bl.spamcop.net
       [Blocked - see <http://www.spamcop.net/bl.shtml?>]
1.2 RCVD_IN_SORBS_SOCKS  RBL: SORBS: sender is open SOCKS proxy server
             [ listed in dnsbl.sorbs.net]
1.5 FORGED_MUA_IMS     Forged mail pretending to be from IMS
4.1 FORGED_IMS_HTML    IMS can't send HTML message only
1.1 MIME_HTML_ONLY_MULTI  Multipart message only has text/html MIME parts


As you can see it uses a number of criteria based not only on the content of the email, but the headers, and blacklists like "DSBL" or SpamCop. Each 'hit' is given a score and once a given email scores 4 or more, it's labeled as Spam. I lowered the required score recently from 5 to 4, becaue too much was still getting through...but now it catches more than 90% of it.


This particular email is one of the highest scoring I've seen in a while, but I have seen scores over 40!

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Originally posted by Ruffneck@Feb 5 2004, 11:39 AM

Do they make a version of that for the casual computer user?

Not that I know of, but I'm not even sure something residing on your local computer could do this kind of thing. And because it's on the mail sever, it's totally transparent to you. I believe it's free, so I encourage everyone to bug their ISP about using it.

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I get a few messages each day, but for the most part SpamAssassin and other filters take care of it. Some of my accounts get no spam at all, which is nice. The big offender recently has been the MyDoom virus, I've gotten 1000+ e-mails from it on one of my catch-all administrator accounts.

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