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Fighting Spam

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
Normally I would put this in the Supporters Lounge but...

It used to be I would get a few spam e-mails, then hundreds, now literally thousands of spam a day. This week on one single day I logged on and had 5,000 new messages. I assume that 5,000 was the limit or I would have had more. For many reasons I cannot simply change my e-mail address so I turned to Spam Blockers, who then blocked almost everything including those e-mails I needed. I looked around and found Qurb. Works only with Outlook. If anyone else is having this trouble worth looking into.
post #2 of 13


Kima, I use a spam blocker called Cloudmark that works well.http://www.cloudmark.com/spamnetsig/
post #3 of 13
Thread Starter 
Thanks Lucky!
post #4 of 13
Boy I thought I was bad. I've had my email address for almost 20 years and it's not quite that bad. My servers are configured to stop spam and I reject about 80% of the email sent to the servers. content filters, updated 2-3 times a week, catch about 40-50 % of that, Virus scanners catch about 50% of the rest that are rejected. Then I have spam filters that separate out it thinks is spam and puts that in another folder, That catches about 60-70% of the stuff that gets through the content and virus filters. Then about 30-40% still makes it through to my inbox. I move this stuff to the spam folders and reindex my spam filters and they stop coming for about 3 days. Then the spammers change their tactics or wording and it starts all over again.

My inbox gets about 60 items a day so I figure about 200+ gets rejected before it even gets to me.

You are not alone. and I'm constantly trying to stay on top of mine.

My false positives are about 1 per week. so that part is pretty good.

post #5 of 13
5,000/day?!? :

I thought the couple of hundred I receive was bad. I'm not sure what your restriction is in terms of changing your Email address, but that would be the only recommendation I have to truly combat this. If you do go this route, do not pass it out to anyone but people you trust. You may also want to set up an auxiliary "junk" account for online use. I really think 5,000 junk Emails a day warrants a new address...
post #6 of 13
Thread Starter 
Yes a new address would be the best, but I cannot. Qurb is making it easier to manage all the crap. It automatically puts e-mails from people in my address book into my inbox, blocks about 50% then the rest go into a quarantine folder that I can simply delete. It gets better the longer you use it.
post #7 of 13
Thread Starter 

Holy Crap

I guess I was wrong about 5,000 being the limit. Today I had 9.972 new messages! Qurb is very busy moving them to my trash.
post #8 of 13
Kima - That's an absolutely astonishing ammt of spam to be receiving. I hope those 9972 messages are the total spam traffic to all users on an email server (ie, many different adrs). Hopefully, 9972 is not the spam count to just your own (single) personal or business email adr.

If it is, my guess is that adr has appeared on some web site, and the email address harvesting 'bots have (of course) found it. Several years ago, my old company innocently had my name and email adr up in lights on various of their web pages, and that address became swamped with spam within a few weeks.

Rather than openly posting your contact info, have customers fill out a web-based email-like form to initially contact you. The 'bots can't harvest your email adr from such a form. When we went to this approach (and I set up a new email address for myself), spam on the new acct never got to be more than a few per day.

As others have already suggested, I strongly agree that switching over to a new email adr is the real solution (NOT better countermeasures). I don't want to press you for details, but I am having a very difficult time imagining why you can't do this.

In the case of my old company, we turned on an auto-reply feature which replied to every incoming email (spam and real) with an explanation of the problem and the URL of the "contact-me" web form. We left this running for 6 months to make sure all real customers were informed of the change, and then shut it down. Many people didn't like using the web based contact form, but since they only had to use it once to initially contact us (we always responded by normal email), it was no great inconvenience.

If, for some reason, the auto-reply route and the web based email contact form are not acceptable in your situation, then put up a new email contact address for yourself on each of the web pages where it needs to be appear, but do so in mangled form, e.g., "KIMAS-NEW-EMAIL-ADR deletethis AT KIMASNEWDOMAINNAME deletethis DOT ORG". This won't be harvested, and you can migrate everyone over to this new semi-private adr just like as you would have done using the web based response form.

Can you do either of the above?

Tom / PM
post #9 of 13
Thread Starter 
Tom, you are correct it is mutliple "users" I get anything sent to my domain name. So far today nearly 21,000 spam e-mails. Working on a solution. Thanks for everyones help.
post #10 of 13
Sounds good. The best of luck with whatever approach you use.

Tom / PM

PS - BTW, as in your case, the spamers would also randomly guess at user names within our original domain name. We took the easy way out and simply started up a new domain name exclusively for email. After the 6 month transition period, we gave up using the old domain name for email, and retained it only as a web address. As I recall, our network guy then closed a port on the firewall/router so that it would reject all incoming email sent to the old domain name. Since this happened before these messages even got inside our network, they didn't even have to be handled (ie, rejected) by our server or take up internal network bandwidth, etc. This approach worked extremely well.
post #11 of 13

Are you able to tell us what server software you are using? (send me a PM if you want)

Most server software can be configured to reject any "unknown users" you might consider setting your server to reject any "guessed" user names. Are all the spam's to known users? as Tom mentioned bots might be "guessing" at common names. If this is the case, you can configure to accept only known email addresses. If you can, get rid of info@domain.com, Admin@domain.com etc. along with many other's that are common names. Just a few thoughts.

post #12 of 13
Thread Starter 
Thanks Dchan I have changed the setting to accept only my address but for some reason it does not seem to be working. It is not "my" server a friend is nice enough to host my domain for free. Guess you get what you pay for. I need to be patient and hope she can get the setting change to work. Then maybe I will be back to just a few hundred a day.
post #13 of 13
Thread Starter 
success! logged on today only 7 new messages. What a difference from my all time high of over 30,000 in a single day.
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