Velocity Reviews - Computer Hardware Reviews

Velocity Reviews > Newsgroups > Computing > Computer Support > Blocking Spam

Reply
Thread Tools

Blocking Spam

 
 
VanguardLH
Guest
Posts: n/a
 
      10-01-2007
"Mike Easter" wrote ...
>
> "VanguardLH"
>>
>> "Bill P" wrote ...
>>> How do you block spam where the subject is four random numbers.

>>
>> Define a rule in your unnamed e-mail client to delete mails that
>> have
>> no vowels in the Subject.

>
> - OE can't make such a rule


On this point alone: why can't this rule (looking for the absence of
vowels) be defined in Outlook Express? See the following rule:

Apply this rule after the message arrives
Where the Subject line does not contain 'a' or 'e' or 'i' or 'o' or
'u'
(pick a desired action)
and Stop processing more rules

 
Reply With Quote
 
 
 
 
Mike Easter
Guest
Posts: n/a
 
      10-01-2007
VanguardLH wrote:
> "Mike Easter" wrote ...
>> "VanguardLH"


>>> Define a rule in your unnamed e-mail client to delete mails that
>>> have no vowels in the Subject.


>> I might conceivably email a
>> goodmail with a number subject

>
> In far over a decade, I have yet to receive any valid and non-spam
> e-mail that only contained numbers in the Subject.


My friends and I correspond with each other about such as airplanes. We
might start a conversation about a particular airplane related issue
such as an F-22 or YF-22 or maybe the X-35 or the X-32 or JSF birds and
the title of an email might be just that. Or maybe the A-380 or 330.

There's nothing unusual about a subject containing something other than
'dictionary' words when the correspondents are accustomed to the
abbreviation terminology.

> Yes, it is
> possible. It is not probable.


Whether it is probable or not in your email doesn't mean that such an
idea is a sensible rule which can easily accidentally call a goodmail a
spam. Having such a goodmail mislabeling is very problematic. Rules
should not be made which can 'conceivably' cause a false positive. The
problem with making such rules is that when you are 'thinking about it'
on the 'face of it' (in terms of conceivability) -- you can't imagine
such a thing until it happens. Creating a rule based on something that
you can't think about it or imagine it 'properly' until it happens is
not the best strategy.

>> - bad rule making that has a potential for catching goodmail can
>> cause either the loss of goodmail or dumpster diving in the spam to

find
>> the falsepostive goodmail

>
> You can define some "personal" rules that might encompass what lots of
> other users see in the Subject of the spam mails they receive. That
> does NOT preclude you from defining e-mail rules based on YOUR
> personal history of spam mails. To most e-mail users, a Subject
> containing only numbers for characters would fit into the same
> category as other users asking how to tag spam with garbage text in
> the Subject.


I disagree. You are trying to expand some limited experience or
imagination to the general situation. My point is that the original
premise of the OP was a bad idea. The OP wanted a rule to 'catch' a
spam with a number in the subject. I argue that creating such a rule to
catch spam is a bad rule; that other techniques should be used to catch
exactly the same spam, which other rules are much less likely to be a
false positive than any rule you could make to catch a subject like
that.

--
Mike Easter

 
Reply With Quote
 
 
 
 
Mike Easter
Guest
Posts: n/a
 
      10-01-2007
VanguardLH wrote:
> "Mike Easter" wrote ...
>> "VanguardLH"


>>> Define a rule in your unnamed e-mail client to delete mails that
>>> have no vowels in the Subject.

>>
>> - OE can't make such a rule

>
> On this point alone: why can't this rule (looking for the absence of
> vowels) be defined in Outlook Express? See the following rule:
>
> Apply this rule after the message arrives
> Where the Subject line does not contain 'a' or 'e' or 'i' or 'o' or
> 'u' (pick a desired action) and Stop processing more rules


You might be right or you might not, I haven't tested it. It could
conceivably work. It would be a very resource intensive bad rule.

Some crude/primitive databases such as OE which are designed for strings
have a very hard time working with small strings, like even 3 chars, and
one character is a very very small string.

If the client or proxy could work with regular expressions, the idea
would work much better.

--
Mike Easter

 
Reply With Quote
 
Blinky the Shark
Guest
Posts: n/a
 
      10-01-2007
Mike Easter wrote:
> VanguardLH wrote:
>> "Mike Easter" wrote ...
>>> "VanguardLH"

>
>>>> Define a rule in your unnamed e-mail client to delete mails that
>>>> have no vowels in the Subject.

>
>>> I might conceivably email a
>>> goodmail with a number subject

>>
>> In far over a decade, I have yet to receive any valid and non-spam
>> e-mail that only contained numbers in the Subject.

>
> My friends and I correspond with each other about such as airplanes. We
> might start a conversation about a particular airplane related issue
> such as an F-22 or YF-22 or maybe the X-35 or the X-32 or JSF birds and
> the title of an email might be just that. Or maybe the A-380 or 330.


So whitelist your friends. You all created this niche; it's not
mainstream.

> There's nothing unusual about a subject containing something other than
> 'dictionary' words when the correspondents are accustomed to the
> abbreviation terminology.


There's certainly something unusual about ones that don't contain any
*letters*, and that's the issue with respect to this filter, not words.


--
Blinky RLU 297263
Killing all posts from Google Groups
The Usenet Improvement Project - http://improve-usenet.org
 
Reply With Quote
 
VanguardLH
Guest
Posts: n/a
 
      10-01-2007
"Rules should not be made which can 'conceivably' cause a false
positive"

Yeah, name just one rule that would never conceivably cause a false
positive.

 
Reply With Quote
 
Mike Easter
Guest
Posts: n/a
 
      10-01-2007
Blinky the Shark wrote:
> Mike Easter wrote:


>> My friends and I correspond with each other about such as airplanes.


> So whitelist your friends. You all created this niche; it's not
> mainstream.


You are creating a rocky road with a bad rule. One of the friends who
likes to talk about airplanes and extra-orbital craft is also prone to
make exposed CCs to various people who I don't have whitelisted. Then,
those people are liable to reply to all. Whether I want to delete that
mail or not should be up to me; it shouldn't be sorted into the spam.
I don't think you are realizing hoow bad it is to be putting goodmail
into the Junk folder.

The basic concept that 'any subject that fits this subject rule is going
to be spam' is going to be a bad rule, almost always. I would never
make a rule like that, or a rule saying that any email which contains
the word 'Viagra' is going to be spam. There are a variety of reasons
that such a string could occur in a goodmail.

My current filters are working excellently. I have whitelists. I have
very tight spamfilters. I get very little spam into my Inbox. When I
accidentally get a spam into the Inbox, I don't start making up bad
rules because the spam had numbers in the subject. If I'm going to make
any 'new' rules for an existing nearly perfect filter which is
absolutely perfect in terms of not having false positives, it certainly
isn't going to be a rule which causes goodmail to be tagged as spam. It
would be better for a spam with a number subject to be in my inbox.

--
Mike Easter

 
Reply With Quote
 
Blinky the Shark
Guest
Posts: n/a
 
      10-01-2007
Mike Easter wrote:
> Blinky the Shark wrote:
>> Mike Easter wrote:

>
>>> My friends and I correspond with each other about such as airplanes.

>
>> So whitelist your friends. You all created this niche; it's not
>> mainstream.

>
> You are creating a rocky road with a bad rule. One of the friends who
> likes to talk about airplanes and extra-orbital craft is also prone to
> make exposed CCs to various people who I don't have whitelisted. Then,
> those people are liable to reply to all. Whether I want to delete that
> mail or not should be up to me; it shouldn't be sorted into the spam.


Right. Use your whitelist wisely and let the no-vowel eater have the
rest.

> I don't think you are realizing hoow bad it is to be putting goodmail
> into the Junk folder.


Sure I do. I'm very careful with my own filtering.

> The basic concept that 'any subject that fits this subject rule is going
> to be spam' is going to be a bad rule, almost always. I would never
> make a rule like that, or a rule saying that any email which contains
> the word 'Viagra' is going to be spam. There are a variety of reasons
> that such a string could occur in a goodmail.


That's what whitelists are for. If your friends send you mail about
viagra, and you've whitelisted you friends, you don't have a problem.

> My current filters are working excellently. I have whitelists. I have


Then no-vowels eater wouldn't be a problem.

> very tight spamfilters. I get very little spam into my Inbox. When I
> accidentally get a spam into the Inbox, I don't start making up bad
> rules because the spam had numbers in the subject. If I'm going to make


Neither do I.


--
Blinky RLU 297263
Killing all posts from Google Groups
The Usenet Improvement Project - http://improve-usenet.org
 
Reply With Quote
 
Mike Easter
Guest
Posts: n/a
 
      10-01-2007
VanguardLH wrote:
> "Rules should not be made which can 'conceivably' cause a false
> positive"
>
> Yeah, name just one rule that would never conceivably cause a false
> positive.


Conceivability is relative. You can't conceive of a goodmail with
numbers in the subject. I can.

Is that conceivable or not?

--
Mike Easter

 
Reply With Quote
 
Mike Easter
Guest
Posts: n/a
 
      10-01-2007
Blinky the Shark wrote:
> Mike Easter wrote:


> I'm very careful with my own filtering.


>> My current filters are working excellently. I have whitelists.


> Then no-vowels eater wouldn't be a problem.


Do you have a 'no-vowels in the subject' filter? I'm presuming "No" --
ergo see below.

>> When
>> I accidentally get a spam into the Inbox, I don't start making up bad
>> rules because the spam had numbers in the subject.


> Neither do I.


If you don't have a no-vowels rule, then you must not think it is a good
rule, in which case I'll presume that we agree on the reciprocal, that
it is a bad rule, absent any neutral position for the purposes of
voting.

This is .au rules^1. Everyone has to vote or be fined


^1 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Australia " Voting is compulsory for all
enrolled citizens 18 years and over in each state and territory and at
the federal level;"


--
Mike Easter

 
Reply With Quote
 
VanguardLH
Guest
Posts: n/a
 
      10-01-2007
"Mike Easter" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
news:(E-Mail Removed)...
> VanguardLH wrote:
>> "Rules should not be made which can 'conceivably' cause a false
>> positive"
>>
>> Yeah, name just one rule that would never conceivably cause a false
>> positive.

>
> Conceivability is relative. You can't conceive of a goodmail with
> numbers in the subject. I can.
>
> Is that conceivable or not?



And I can conceive that any e-mail that *I* receive that has nothing
but numbers is always spam (and has been, so far).

 
Reply With Quote
 
 
 
Reply

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Spam-Spam and more Spam C A Preston Computer Support 2 04-12-2004 07:15 PM



Advertisments