Tracking down the spammers.

Discussion in 'Computer Support' started by Beauregard T. Shagnasty, Oct 1, 2006.

  1. Alasdair wrote:

    > I am getting a lot of returned undeliverable mail in my email inbox.
    > Clearly someone has ussurped my email address and is sending lots of
    > spam from it. Does anyone know how I can track down who is doing this
    > so that I can personally visit them and teach them the error of their
    > ways.


    Your email has been forged as the FROM: address, as you know. Your
    *account* has not been violated. If any of these bounces show the full
    headers of the original message, you could see where they came from.

    Chances are high that they came from .. various sources .. usually the
    compromised PCs of clueless Windows users who are unknowingly being a
    spam relay. Nearly impossible to get shut down as ISPs are wont to clean
    their own house.

    My RoadRunner cable for example, has thousands/millions of these
    clueless people, and RR doesn't seem to care.

    --
    -bts
    -Motorcycles defy gravity; cars just suck.
    Beauregard T. Shagnasty, Oct 1, 2006
    #1
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  2. Beauregard T. Shagnasty

    Mara Guest

    On Sun, 01 Oct 2006 22:00:23 GMT, Changstein <> wrote:

    <snip>
    >BTW, Richard's advice was very sound in the direction of catching
    >spammers -- spamming is unfortunately *not* criminal, it's simply
    >sending unwanted material, which is annoying, and sometimes hiding
    >behind a legitimate Netizen to do it, which is morally despicable but
    >not even I believe a misdemeanor.


    http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/conline/pubs/buspubs/canspam.htm

    <snip>

    --
    Far be it for me to introduce facts and reason to the willfully blind
    and ignorant. I leave thee to thy bliss. --LA, nanae
    Mara, Oct 1, 2006
    #2
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  3. Beauregard T. Shagnasty

    Changstein Guest

    Mara <> wrote in
    news::

    > On Sun, 01 Oct 2006 22:00:23 GMT, Changstein <>
    > wrote:
    >
    > <snip>
    >>BTW, Richard's advice was very sound in the direction of catching
    >>spammers -- spamming is unfortunately *not* criminal, it's simply
    >>sending unwanted material, which is annoying, and sometimes hiding
    >>behind a legitimate Netizen to do it, which is morally despicable but
    >>not even I believe a misdemeanor.

    >
    > http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/conline/pubs/buspubs/canspam.htm
    >
    > <snip>


    Okay, I was wrong (technically), my mistake.

    However a closer reading of that page leads me to conclude that the act is
    one that is virtually without teeth, and might as well not been written.
    They speak a "bounty system" as a possible means of enforcement, and a
    review of the effectiveness of the law itself...

    But actually, Mara, by your e-mail address you've made a more convicing
    argument for the truth of my post than I ever could. By using a made-up
    address (the way I do) rather than modifying a real address in accordance
    with strict Usenet protocal, you have tacitly acknowleged that it is *at
    this time* not best for one's privacy to do otherwise, despite the fact
    that there is now a law, and has been since the year before last,
    protecting us peaceful consumers of Internet services.

    So I guess thanks are in order. :)
    Changstein, Oct 2, 2006
    #3
  4. Beauregard T. Shagnasty

    Mara Guest

    On Mon, 02 Oct 2006 00:21:16 GMT, Changstein <> wrote:

    >Mara <> wrote in
    >news::
    >
    >> On Sun, 01 Oct 2006 22:00:23 GMT, Changstein <>
    >> wrote:
    >>
    >> <snip>
    >>>BTW, Richard's advice was very sound in the direction of catching
    >>>spammers -- spamming is unfortunately *not* criminal, it's simply
    >>>sending unwanted material, which is annoying, and sometimes hiding
    >>>behind a legitimate Netizen to do it, which is morally despicable but
    >>>not even I believe a misdemeanor.

    >>
    >> http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/conline/pubs/buspubs/canspam.htm
    >>
    >> <snip>

    >
    >Okay, I was wrong (technically), my mistake.
    >
    >However a closer reading of that page leads me to conclude that the act is
    >one that is virtually without teeth, and might as well not been written.
    >They speak a "bounty system" as a possible means of enforcement, and a
    >review of the effectiveness of the law itself...


    I would have to agree. I don't receive spam to my private address, but every one
    I've seen since the law was passed has been non-compliant.

    However, lawsuits *have* been filed - and won.

    >But actually, Mara, by your e-mail address you've made a more convicing
    >argument for the truth of my post than I ever could. By using a made-up
    >address (the way I do) rather than modifying a real address in accordance
    >with strict Usenet protocal, you have tacitly acknowleged that it is *at
    >this time* not best for one's privacy to do otherwise, despite the fact
    >that there is now a law, and has been since the year before last,
    >protecting us peaceful consumers of Internet services.


    I am using the same address I have always used, and I've been around for a very
    long time. I see no reason to change it.

    >So I guess thanks are in order. :)


    For what?

    --
    Far be it for me to introduce facts and reason to the willfully blind
    and ignorant. I leave thee to thy bliss. --LA, nanae
    Mara, Oct 2, 2006
    #4
  5. Beauregard T. Shagnasty

    Changstein Guest

    Mara <> wrote in
    news::

    ....
    >>However a closer reading of that page leads me to conclude that the
    >>act is one that is virtually without teeth, and might as well not been
    >>written. They speak a "bounty system" as a possible means of
    >>enforcement, and a review of the effectiveness of the law itself...

    >
    > I would have to agree. I don't receive spam to my private address, but
    > every one I've seen since the law was passed has been non-compliant.
    >
    > However, lawsuits *have* been filed - and won.
    >


    I'm pleased to hear that -- but the judgements awarded would have to be
    pretty high to make me even remotely interested in hiring an attorney
    (would any lawyer be interested in contingency fees for a CAN-SPAM case?)
    and going through the time and trouble, when a matter of a few minutes
    forethought and some implementation would answer as well. After all, it's
    only spam. (BTW, I have a suspicion that a Republican administration won't
    exactly move heaven and earth to get more effective anti-spam legistation
    passed. "The business of America is business," as one overconfident
    Republican said.)

    > I am using the same address I have always used, and I've been around
    > for a very long time. I see no reason to change it.


    No one's asking you to change your address. The point is that for a very
    long time indeed spammers have been plying their trade and pulling their
    tricks, to the annoyance of pretty much all of us. (BTW, I've been on-line
    since '95 or '96 myself -- although not posting to this NG under
    'Changstein' all that time :) )

    Fantastic addresses are the only 100% guarantee that one's privacy will be
    respected, not only by spammers but by trolls and sickies, who are even
    more common in the virtual world than in the real one. And, as you pointed
    out above, most spammers treat the CAN-SPAM act as though it weren't there,
    which IMO pretty much compells us to do likewise. Also, though your address
    may have been chosen out of sheer whimsey way back when, by keeping it you
    are de facto making that same choice, rather than slavishly following
    unrealistic rules (of which, for all I know, you may have been ignorant).

    Changstein
    Changstein, Oct 3, 2006
    #5
  6. Beauregard T. Shagnasty

    Mara Guest

    On Tue, 03 Oct 2006 03:37:12 GMT, Changstein <> wrote:

    >Mara <> wrote in
    >news::
    >
    >...
    >>>However a closer reading of that page leads me to conclude that the
    >>>act is one that is virtually without teeth, and might as well not been
    >>>written. They speak a "bounty system" as a possible means of
    >>>enforcement, and a review of the effectiveness of the law itself...

    >>
    >> I would have to agree. I don't receive spam to my private address, but
    >> every one I've seen since the law was passed has been non-compliant.
    >>
    >> However, lawsuits *have* been filed - and won.
    >>

    >
    >I'm pleased to hear that -- but the judgements awarded would have to be
    >pretty high to make me even remotely interested in hiring an attorney
    >(would any lawyer be interested in contingency fees for a CAN-SPAM case?)
    >and going through the time and trouble, when a matter of a few minutes
    >forethought and some implementation would answer as well.


    Is a billion dollars enough?

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/6732329/

    They'll never collect, of course. Spammers being what they are, I imagine assets
    will be hidden, bankruptcies filed, etc., etc., ad nauseum.

    >After all, it's
    >only spam.


    Which is exactly the attitude that allowed the problem to get to this state to
    begin with.

    >(BTW, I have a suspicion that a Republican administration won't
    >exactly move heaven and earth to get more effective anti-spam legistation
    >passed. "The business of America is business," as one overconfident
    >Republican said.)


    It isn't a political problem. It's a people problem. If people wouldn't respond
    to the spam, or would fight it, there would be no incentive to send it. It's
    also a problem of ISPs turning a blind eye to their spammers. The only part
    politics play in spam is in the money. Spammers get paid whether people read the
    spam or not, and they get just enough bites to make it worthwhile for them, and
    the companies that hire them, to continue.

    >> I am using the same address I have always used, and I've been around
    >> for a very long time. I see no reason to change it.

    >
    >No one's asking you to change your address. The point is that for a very
    >long time indeed spammers have been plying their trade and pulling their
    >tricks, to the annoyance of pretty much all of us. (BTW, I've been on-line
    >since '95 or '96 myself -- although not posting to this NG under
    >'Changstein' all that time :) )


    So, you haven't been online all that long, then. <g> Certainly you haven't been
    fighting spam all that time - your post shows it.

    >Fantastic addresses are the only 100% guarantee that one's privacy will be
    >respected, not only by spammers but by trolls and sickies, who are even
    >more common in the virtual world than in the real one. And, as you pointed
    >out above, most spammers treat the CAN-SPAM act as though it weren't there,
    >which IMO pretty much compells us to do likewise.


    There are other steps that can, and are, being taken. There's Spamhaus, SPEWS,
    and quite a few other public dnsbls, along with private blocklists. Among other
    ways.

    >Also, though your address
    >may have been chosen out of sheer whimsey way back when, by keeping it you
    >are de facto making that same choice, rather than slavishly following
    >unrealistic rules (of which, for all I know, you may have been ignorant).


    Please don't presume to know why a person does anything - it makes you look
    rather foolish. I actually chose this address long ago for one simple reason -
    what's posted in a newsgroup should *stay* in the newsgroup. Doesn't matter if
    it's spam or any individual poster - if I want them to e-mail me, I'll give them
    my real address. There are a number of posters from 24 who do have my e-mail
    address, and I welcome e-mail from them - but not from anyone else.

    My network, my rules. :)

    >Changstein


    --
    Far be it for me to introduce facts and reason to the willfully blind
    and ignorant. I leave thee to thy bliss. --LA, nanae
    Mara, Oct 3, 2006
    #6
  7. Beauregard T. Shagnasty

    Changstein Guest

    Mara <> wrote in
    news::

    > Is a billion dollars enough?
    >
    > http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/6732329/
    >
    > They'll never collect, of course. Spammers being what they are, I
    > imagine assets will be hidden, bankruptcies filed, etc., etc., ad
    > nauseum.


    I agree, they'll never collect. There is always appeal, in addition to the
    other reasons given.

    However, the plaintiff was not an angry person who'd finally had enough,
    but an ISP whose customers received spam at extremely high levels. This
    puts a whole new light on the judgement. Corporations suing each other is
    not quite the same thing.

    >>After all, it's
    >>only spam.

    >
    > Which is exactly the attitude that allowed the problem to get to this
    > state to begin with.


    Please. Some sense of proportion. Spam isn't disease, it isn't
    disability, and it isn't despair. Spam isn't violence, it isn't
    exploitation, it isn't fear, it isn't struggling to raise a child without
    enough money, it isn't homelessness... Happy indeed is the person for whom
    spam is the greatest problem.

    Remember the Monty Python diner skit from which said e-mails took their
    name? The upshot was that: a) Spam wasn't that great a dish, b) you got
    some of it whatever you ordered in that diner, and c) there was simply
    *way* too much of it on the menu.

    > It isn't a political problem. It's a people problem. If people
    > wouldn't respond to the spam, or would fight it, there would be no
    > incentive to send it. It's also a problem of ISPs turning a blind eye
    > to their spammers. The only part politics play in spam is in the
    > money. Spammers get paid whether people read the spam or not, and they
    > get just enough bites to make it worthwhile for them, and the
    > companies that hire them, to continue.


    It's only political in that, IMO, Republicans would be more likely to see
    tough anti-spam legistlation as perhaps being bad for the economy.

    But yes, it is a people problem -- as long as people continue to have
    varied amounts of ability, innocence, gullibility, & greed, together with
    differing scruples & needs, there will probably be spam, i.e. for a long
    time to come. As you say, spammers only need just enough nibbles to make
    it worthwhile financially -- and the cost of the Internet as opposed to any
    other advertising medium is incredibly low.

    >>...(BTW, I've been on-line since '95 or '96 myself -- although not
    >> posting to this NG under 'Changstein' all that time :) )

    >
    > So, you haven't been online all that long, then. <g> Certainly you
    > haven't been fighting spam all that time - your post shows it.


    I take it, then, that *you* have been? If so, what have you accomplished
    in your fight againt spam for the commonweal?

    >>Fantastic addresses are the only 100% guarantee that one's privacy
    >>will be respected, not only by spammers but by trolls and sickies,...

    >
    > There are other steps that can, and are, being taken. There's
    > Spamhaus, SPEWS, and quite a few other public dnsbls, along with
    > private blocklists. Among other ways.


    I should have said, "among the surest and most effortless of ways". My
    mistake.

    >>Also, though your address may have been chosen out of sheer whimsey
    >>way back when, by keeping it you are de facto making that same choice,
    >>rather than slavishly following unrealistic rules (of which, for
    >>all I know, you may have been ignorant).

    >
    > Please don't presume to know why a person does anything - it makes you
    > look rather foolish.


    I'm not going to descend into a flame war. Who would be the better for it?
    Read it again, please: *may* have been chosen...

    > I actually chose this address long ago for one
    > simple reason - what's posted in a newsgroup should *stay* in the
    > newsgroup. Doesn't matter if it's spam or any individual poster - if I
    > want them to e-mail me, I'll give them my real address.


    Which is pretty much what I said, save for emphasising the negative more.
    ---------

    You know, we could drag this on and on, but I see I'm getting more petty
    the more irritated I become. My apologies. Basically, we're saying a lot
    of the same things, only I think you believe in the possibility of a major
    change in the situation but for benighted fools like myself. :) (And
    perhaps also that my ignorance is willfull, judging by your rather annoying
    sig. Well, I admit to being ignorant of some things.) But really, it's not
    worth the time, on either of our parts.

    Changstein
    Changstein, Oct 4, 2006
    #7
  8. Beauregard T. Shagnasty

    gangle Guest

    "Changstein" wrote

    <snip SNIP S N I P>

    > Basically, we're saying a lot
    > of the same things, only I think you believe in the
    > possibility of a major change in the situation but for
    > benighted fools like myself. :) (And perhaps also
    > that my ignorance is willfull, judging by your rather annoying
    > sig. Well, I admit to being ignorant of some things.)
    > But really, it's not worth the time, on either of our parts.


    A much more nihilistic skew would suggest that nothing is
    worth even a sliver of time on anyone's part.

    --
    Mon pénis est dans le réfrigérateur.
    gangle, Oct 4, 2006
    #8
  9. Beauregard T. Shagnasty

    Mara Guest

    On Wed, 4 Oct 2006 05:35:04 -0700, "gangle" <> wrote:

    >"Changstein" wrote
    >
    > <snip SNIP S N I P>
    >
    >> Basically, we're saying a lot
    >> of the same things, only I think you believe in the
    >> possibility of a major change in the situation but for
    >> benighted fools like myself. :) (And perhaps also
    >> that my ignorance is willfull, judging by your rather annoying
    >> sig. Well, I admit to being ignorant of some things.)
    >> But really, it's not worth the time, on either of our parts.

    >
    >A much more nihilistic skew would suggest that nothing is
    >worth even a sliver of time on anyone's part.


    I thought the whole thread was nihilistic. If my sig offended her/her/it, maybe
    it should have, all things considered. :)

    --
    Far be it for me to introduce facts and reason to the willfully blind
    and ignorant. I leave thee to thy bliss. --LA, nanae
    Mara, Oct 4, 2006
    #9
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