Don't Get Mad

Written by Bob Osgoodby

Get Even! In a 24 hour period starting at 10: A.M. this past Tuesday, and ending atrepparttar same time on Wednesday, I received 1,734 pieces of spam email. Now these were all unique addresses, and some had 4 or 5 copies.

I have had it with this nonsense. Looking atrepparttar 132798 email addresses, it was obvious that mine were being harvested fromrepparttar 132799 web.

There is software, similar torepparttar 132800 protocol used byrepparttar 132801 search engines, that allows someone to enter keywords, and it will searchrepparttar 132802 web for any web site that matchesrepparttar 132803 keywords entered. It will then capture any email addresses it finds. An example of such software is "Atomic Harvester".

I downloaded this software, which is fully functional in its search capabilities, and is free if that is all you want. You cannot however, saverepparttar 132804 addresses it finds unless you pay for it. Not wishing to harvest any addresses fromrepparttar 132805 web, I choserepparttar 132806 free version, as step one of my devious plan, so I could see whatrepparttar 132807 spamsters would find when they harvest my site.

Step two was a bit more work. Instead of simply deletingrepparttar 132808 spam, I created a filter with my email reader that automatically sends all spam identified to my trash bin. I use Eudora, which makes this a rather easy task, but was still time consuming. While this won't provide a "spam free" inbox, it will cut down onrepparttar 132809 junk one has to wade through. The rest I simply delete, which also goes torepparttar 132810 trash bin.

Now, I have all this spam in once place - my trash bin. But wait, I said get even. A good friend of mine is proficient inrepparttar 132811 "Perl" programming language. He wrote a program that goes into my trash bin, and extracts all ofrepparttar 132812 "From" email addresses it finds. Now I have a file of allrepparttar 132813 return addresses of anyone who sends me spam.

The majority ofrepparttar 132814 professional spammers use a forged address, which if you respond to it, is returned as undeliverable. Some ofrepparttar 132815 na´ve newbies use a legitimate address.

Theft of Services

Written by Bob Osgoodby

Spammers will use many tricks in their effort to "ply their wares". One ofrepparttar most common is to use someone else's email address as their return address. Another is to link to images contained in their email, which are on your web site, illegally using your bandwidth.

Using a stolen email address as their return address, is becoming quite common, as some Internet Service Providers are checking to ensure thatrepparttar 132796 sending address is valid before relayingrepparttar 132797 message. They have started doing this due torepparttar 132798 "raft of complaints" received about mail going out with a phony return address.

The consequences of this can be quite far reaching forrepparttar 132799 person whose address has been stolen. This happened to me late last year. It was a porno ad that was sent out bearing my return address. I got over 7,000 requests to remove their name from my mailing list in a 3 day period. Many were quite nasty, threatening all sorts of things. I called "At Home", who provides my cable service, to see if there was anything I could do about it. Their advice was to use a different email address.

Fortunately it was an address that I don't use for business, and if it was, it would have been far more serious. The real problem here is not that your ISP will shut you down for spamming, as it is fairly simple to find out that you didn't send it, regardless ofrepparttar 132800 return address.

There are three potential problems however, that you may have to deal with.

The first isrepparttar 132801 number of "bounces" (bad email addresses that cannot be delivered). Many ISP's program their servers to shut down an email account that is getting a large number of bounces, as it is one ofrepparttar 132802 symptoms of a denial of service attack. If your bounces exceed a certain number - usually around 500, your web server may automatically go into a "self protect" mode and shut down your email address.

If you start receiving many bounce notifications, immediately notify your ISP ofrepparttar 132803 problem, telling them that someone has illegally used your return address. If it was an email address that you use for business,repparttar 132804 bad press that you get can be devastating. You should write a short email explaining what had happened, and send it to everyone who sends you a complaint. While this sounds like a Herculean Task if you are getting thousands, you can use an email package such as Eudora to do this automatically. You can down load this software from our web site at:

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