Posts Tagged ‘spammers

Honeypots or decoy email addresses

Honeypots (decoy email addresses) are used for collecting large amounts of spam. These decoy email addresses do not belong to actual end users, but are made public to attract spammers who will think the address is legitimate. Once the spam is collected, identification techniques, such as hashing systems or fingerprinting, are used to process the spam and create a database of known spam. Let’s take a closer look at hashing systems and fingerprinting.

HASHING SYSTEMS: With hashing systems, each spam email receives an identification number,or “hash,” that corresponds to the contents of the spam. A list of known spam emails and their corresponding hash is then created. All incoming email is compared to this list of known spam. If the hashing system determines that an incoming email matches an email in the spam list, then the email is rejected. This technique works as long as spammers send the same or nearly the same email repeatedly. One of the original implementations of this technique was called Razor.

FINGERPRINTING: Fingerprinting techniques examine the characteristics, or fingerprint, of emails previously identified as spam and use this information to identify the same or similar email each time one is intercepted. These real time fingerprint checks are continuously updated and provide a method of identifying spam with nearly zero false positives. Fingerprinting techniques can also look specifically at the URLs contained in a message and compare them against URLs of previously identified as spam propagators.

Honeypots with hashing or fingerprinting can be effective provided similar spam emails are widely sent. If each spam is made unique, these techniques can run into difficulties and fail.

Tags : , , , , , ,

5 Reasons Why People Spam Your Blog

No aspect of the World Wide Web is immune to spam – not even the blogosphere. No matter how strong your anti spam server is you may get hit every once and a while. Of course, the type of spam seen on personal blogs is different from the normal spam that you might be used to in the fact that instead of receiving these messages in your private inbox, they are being displayed on your blog for the entire world to see. Furthermore, the professional spammers who distribute unsolicited commercial e-mail for a living have different reasons for spamming a personal online blog versus sending unwanted junk mail into somebody’s inbox. So a bloggers need a good anti spam solutions in order to protect their blog.

1:  To advertise a website, product, or service. Perhaps the most generic reason for spamming a blog is for advertisement purposes. Through a blog it is easy to reach thousands of people every single day; this holds true for the owner of the blog as much as the ones who are spamming it.

2:  Get back links to their site. Many spammers simply leave a comment with nothing more than their website address, hoping to get as many clicks as possible.

3:  It is cheap when compared to other methods of spam. Even in the world of spam marketing, it takes money to make money – unless you’re spamming blogs, of course.

4:  The process can easily be automated to save time. Unlike some of the other spamming techniques, the entire process of spamming a blog can be automated.

5:  To collect e-mail addresses. Many times a user’s e-mail-address will be listed in their online profile, or even right alongside their post. Spammers collect these addresses in order to send them unsolicited commercial e-mail at a later time.

Tags : , , , , , , , , ,

What’s Wrong With Spam?

Time Costs

If you are receiving two or three Unsolicited Emails a day you probably think spam isn’t all that bad, it’s just a minor inconvenience. But if you are receiving 40 to 50+ a day, and you’re spending an average of 10 seconds each to decide what you want to do with each message, then you’re wasting around 60 hours a year dealing with spam. That’s over seven workdays wasted eachyear!  Not to mention the raw frustration and distraction of doing a task that takes you from your productive work.

Server Costs

Then there are the costs to your server of having to manage large amounts of mail entering their system. When too much is sent or arrives at one time it can cause the system to crash, leaving their customers without the ability to send or receive email. One Internet Service Provider that’s known for allowing spammers to send bulk mail through its system crashed when several of its users sent large amounts of mail at the same time. It was down for several days and many anti-spammers thought that justice had its own way of dealing with spammers and hoped the Provider would start enforcing it’s own Terms of Use. No such luck, its back and spammers are sending their junk mail in mass amounts once again.

Consumer Costs

Some consumers have to pay long distance phone charges to connect to the Internet (mostly in countries outside of the US) and some countries charge for every phone call made by their customers. In these cases, the user wastes connection time by downloading and sorting through unwanted email.

Privacy Costs

It’s our belief that the biggest problem with spam, other than having to look at it, is that 90% of those sending it do it in a fraudulent way. They buy software that hides their identity, forges email headers, steals others’ identities (read about one man’s experience with identity theft at Behind Enemy Lines), use bogus cancellation addresses, and stake out a claim to their right to intrude on your privacy. Some even claim you signed up to receive their spam advertisement (which may contain some measure of truth but we will comment on that under How Did They Get My Email Address? If that were true, why then do they go to such lengths to hide their true identities?

Bad Press for True Opt-In Markets

Opt-in means you signed up to receive email on something of interest to you. On every email there is an opt-out feature that’s honored by reputable businesses or those merely offering free information on specific topics. Spammers are now adding opt-in, opt-out, to their spam to make it look more legitimate and fool you into thinking that maybe you did sign up to receive their spam. But if you’re dealing with a true spammer, the opt-out address is bogus and your email will simply bounce. These tactics are making it more difficult to know the difference between a spammer anda reputable opt-in email that finds its way into your inbox.

Ethical Costs

The single most corrupt type of spam comes from illegal pornographic material, whether it’s wanted or not. I’m not referring to the average porn site. Receiving and interacting with pornographic material is a personal choice and I’m not here to make a moral judgment on those who request this kind of material. But when it comes to the sick violent porn, child pornography, and things like bestiality that threaten to invade every household in every country where there’s a connection to the Internet and access to an email account, I draw the line. It is totally unacceptable and leaves a vial taste in my mouth. I ignored the spam I was receiving, which amounted to about 40+ a day, until I received one on bestiality. Like most people, I had no idea how to deal with my bloating inbox other than to delete the junkand not let the irritation get the best of me. But when I received the pornographic material on bestiality I knew I had to do something. I went in search of how and what I could do to rid myself of disgusting unsolicited email. It took awhile, with a lot of trial and error, but I learned to read email headers and sort through what was real and what was forged. I began to methodically report every piece of spam landing in my inbox. If I didn’t have time to trace it back to the sender upon receiving it, I’d save it until I did have the time. Slowly the amount started to decrease and I felt empowered and in control of my mailbox once again.

Tags : , , , , , , , , , ,