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Re: Recent spam increase

On Thu, 2006-10-26 at 00:47 -0500, Mike McCarty wrote:
> Tim Post wrote:
> A: Because it reverses the normal order of conversation.
> Q: Why is top-posting considered undesirable by many?

Apologies. My desktop machines are being consumed with things apparently
more important than me using them and I'm floating from laptop to web
mail to borrowed laptops. Some clients top-quote by default and I
sometimes forget to check.

> Yes, I get several a day myself. The actual "text" of the message is
> often actually an image, while the body of the message is randomly
> selected sentences or words from a collection which would make a
> Bayesian filter delete most of my e-mail.

Same thing. Some as simple as many uuencoded images, some all text with
enough of it to throw off the filters, some a mix .. but all of it is
getting through.

> I delete them by hand, to prevent messing up my other filter which
> is working reasonably well to filter out the "you have won a lottery".
> It appears that I win ten or twenty lotteries in the Netherlands or
> the UK every week, even though I don't enter.

Today close to 60 came in. :(

> I don't know why the FTC would be interested. The FBI *is* interested,
> however. But most of that stuff does not originate in the USA.

This is a really interesting point. The companies who stand to benefit
from being spam-ver-tised ought to be penalized at least for hiring
offshore thugs to spread it..  but that creates an interesting way to
knock your competitor's stock down (or out). 

Unfortunately, I don't see much of a solution, and its picking up even
more in frequency.

> Worse for me is that my e-mail address is being spoofed, so I get
> tens of bounces and virus notifications per day, sometimes hundreds.
> There are machines in Russia, Greece, Belize, Italy, Germany, Korea,
> and the UK at least which are spoofing my e-mail address. And the
> stupid robots on the other end are not smart enough to read the
> headers, so bounces and notifications come back to me.

Supposedly a SPF entry was supposed to cure that, however I think
(still) most mail servers don't care to hassle with doing the extra txt
look up. Hotmail does now? Not sure.

Strict reverse dns checking basically guarantees you'll never get email
from a domain hosted on a shared server (typical web host setup).

In line devices that actually work cost upwards of 10k to support the
number of sessions I'd need. 

I've been looking into the possibility of trying to "read" those images
similar to how robot myspace bots read turing numbers... but wonder
about the practicality of such an endeavor. 

I noticed the text in the images usually isn't 'disgu1zEd' as it would
be in plain text. Such a method would help cut down on many types of

Not my field of expertise though.. anyone care to comment or know of
anything available now that does this?


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