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Old 03-14-06, 05:32 AM   #1
phantomcow2
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Will SPAM ever become less severe?

There was a decent discussion about this in my class yesterday. Will Spam ever go away? Or at least become less severe?
My teacher believes that when the government actually starts cracking down on the spammers, but most importantly, the ISP's it will go away.
He believes when the government starts fining the ISP for hosting the spammer, the ISP will in turn find ways to discourage spamming.

Interesting point, I thought. What is your take on it?
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Old 03-14-06, 05:45 AM   #2
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My take is to let the Free Market handle it. Internet users will naturally gravitate to ISP's which offer more variety in filtering junk email, making the urge for smaller or less technically savvy or more disinterested ISP's work harder to attract customers. Spam has always been a private property rights issue.
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Old 03-14-06, 09:26 AM   #3
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It'll only get worse, and fining the ISPs isn't going to help much, since most spammers join an ISP just long enough to send a million messages (which can now be done at the touch of a button using spaming software that bypasses the ISP's mail servers completely) and are off to their next ISP by the time they're discovered.

The Free Market's not going to be much help either. As spam filters improve, so do the spammers' techniques. It's like a contest now for spammers to see how good they are at evading spam filters while still getting their message through. Eventually we'll be to the point where the only way to avoid spam will be to not accept any email, or only accept it from people on some sort of white list.

The only help the Free Market could be would be to make spamming not pay. i.e. if people are still spamming, then there must be money to be made at it, so the only solution would be for no one to ever buy anything advertized in a spam email. But spammers send out so many emails that even if .01% of their recipients buy something, that's still a lot of money.

Unfortunately we all pay the bill for spam, one way or another.
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Old 03-14-06, 10:57 AM   #4
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Massive amounts of Spam are sent by virus-infected home computers that are taking orders from the Spammers under the surface.

Some ISPs have tried blocking techniques intended to slow or stop the email traffic from infected home computers. Others supply their users with free antivirus and firewall software (AOL provides McAfee, for example). It would help if people would knock it off with the P2P/warez stuff, since many of the bot-worms used to do this stuff propogate using P2P. It would also help if all Windows users would get their computers patched up.

Other than that, people are also prone to bad practices that elevate their risk of getting Spam. They give out their work email address to their friends and family, instead of having, say, a Yahoo account for those personal emails. Their friends & family attempt to brighten their day with the latest chain-emails, jokes, etc, sending their work email address on a massive world tour where it gets picked up by the Spammers. It's a social disease, in a way

I think a technical solution to Spam is probably what's going to end it. A challenge-response system, or Sender ID, something along those lines.
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Old 03-14-06, 03:06 PM   #5
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Its only going to get worse.

I know most people don't even know how bad it is. In my company I block on the enterprise level about 1000 spam a day with mcafee, 500 with IMF and Telus does their own blocking at the front. with 20 total getting through a day. I get ENDLESS complaints about spam. One of these days I am tempted to open up the filers and then see how they like it
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Old 03-14-06, 05:53 PM   #6
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Only when we are allowed to hit them with a 14" aluminum pipe, one time, for every piece of spam we recieved from them.

It may not sound like much, but when someone sent 100,000 mails...that can become quite a brutal execution....death by thousands of blows by a short pipe too light to do much more than sting.
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Old 03-14-06, 06:00 PM   #7
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- blacklists help, and many major vendors and ISPs subscribe...

- you can get some relief by blocking all CHICOM, Russkie, and Eastern European domains...

- and quite a bit more by blocking all domains from Nevada and Florida...

:-)

p.s. i use SpamAssassin under Linux and OS X mail filtering on my iBooks... i only get one or two SPAm messages a week!
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Old 03-14-06, 06:07 PM   #8
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How much spam is a problem depends on how you use e-mail. For casual personal use, if you don't post your e-mail address anywhere, it's generally not too bad. Especially if few people keep you in their address books. I get a few pieces of spam per week. If it's necessary to post your e-mail address, things get a bit worse, but judicious filtering can eliminate most of it.

But if you have an account where aggressively filtering spam isn't an option because incorrectly filtering an important piece of non-spam could potentially cost you millions of dollars, it can get pretty wild. Especially if your business operates with a global presence, so you can't even safely blacklist certain geographical areas. And even worse if your company is of sufficiently high profile to attract spammers going down a dictionary list of potential usernames. Unfortunately, sometimes, dealing with spam is simply part of the price of doing business.
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Old 03-14-06, 06:13 PM   #9
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I have a real problem with spam. I have had the same email address since the 7th grade and i wasnt very smart about who i gave it to back then.

needless to say my email has been around the block a few times but i can bring myself to change it becuase i dont want to go through the hassle of changing it in the 34543 X 10^234 websites i am registered on.

by the way, if everyday list all my spam as junk in my hotmail...why does it keep coming?
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Old 03-14-06, 06:18 PM   #10
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What is this "spam" you are all talking about? I never get any spam. The only emails I get are legit emails from companies selling viagra and websites where I can meet single women in my area. Those definitely aren't spam.
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Old 03-14-06, 06:49 PM   #11
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I usually don't get much spam, and the spam I do get is block by 'yahoo's' filter.

I also have 2 emails, one I share with friends, potential employers, important websites, etc. and another for using when I have to enter an email just to gain access to a website or register for one (like many forums, anything I buy). Of course one gets spammed all to hell, the other gets very little. I also have my school email that gets none cause the only people who see it are teachers, classmates, and school associated sites (even facebook). i only check the first one daily, the other occasionally.
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Old 03-14-06, 06:50 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Taerom
What is this "spam" you are all talking about? I never get any spam. The only emails I get are legit emails from companies selling viagra and websites where I can meet single women in my area. Those definitely aren't spam.
Ohh yeah those emails are fine, what everyone is complaining about is actual spam

the company keeps sending out all these emails to the whole world...its kinda getting annoying.

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