why the meaningless spam?
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Thread: why the meaningless spam?

  1. #1
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    why the meaningless spam?

    First, I apologize if this has been asked over and over, or is common knowledge to everyone but me, but what is the point of meaningless spam? Who is sending it, and why? I'm talking about messages for something like "ultimate online pharmaceutical" (I get a lot of those) that come from spoofed addresses and have urls that go nowhere. No, I don't click the link, but I have done an nslookup, and every time I do it's a phony domain that can't get resolved.

    The reason why I ask this is that this is the only spam I get (except for the occasional phish). My company has been looking at several different email servers, and currently we are evaluating exchange. There are a lot of spam filters out there that exchange supports, but it seems like the first line of defense for a lot of these is address blocking or ip blocking, which is useless when it's always a spoofed address, and always from a different ip. I know that Bayesian is supposed to be the way to go, but these spammers have come up with at least a hundred different ways to spell "vli agra," so it seems like that wouldn't help much either. Oh, and I didn't mention that not all of these are even advertisements for phony companies. Some of them just have excerpts from Lord of the Rings!

    This leads to my second question - are there any drawbacks to using reverse dns? I have only seen one email system - Communigate - that has this feature, and it seems to be very effective. But why do other commercial email systems not support this, and why don't you see this as the first suggestion for blocking spam? Does it tie up system resources more than other filters would? It seems like it would be pretty nice to have spam dropped before it can even make it to the server.

    I just a thought - and I mean this totally sarcastically - maybe it's the antispam companies that are responsible for all this junk spam?

  2. #2
    Just a Virtualized Geek MrLinus's Avatar
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    Because, as the saying goes, there is one born every minute. There is always someone somewhere who will click the link and take advantage of the "deal". I believe the number is something like 4-10% of those that receive it will do something... Given that mailing lists are around 5-10 million (or more) and even if only 1% did it out of 1,000,000 that's still 10,000 hits. Heck, why run TV ads spouting off about great psychic abilities at 3am?
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  3. #3
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    I understant what you're saying, but I'm talking about links that don't even go anywhere. The domain is junk. At least the tv ads have a number that will take your credit card when you call.
    What do getredyquote.net, houjandes.com, and propertysheaf.com all have in common? All of them are in spam that I recieved in the last 24 hours, and none of them even exist. I guess it's possible that the sites were taken down by the time the email got to me, but I'm thinking that this is just spam for spam's sake.

  4. #4
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    MsMittens is correct, spammers are taking advantage(stealling) of freely availible resources with no purpose but to create free advertisment to make them money.
    But where is the domain in the mail that you are referring to? In the reply address or on a link that is in the mail for you to go to?

  5. #5
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    But who's making money for a mortage company that doesn't exist, or from sending a chapter out of Lord of the Rings? I guess if you're Pfizer then all the spam about Viagra creates a better name recognition... but I really doubt that they're behind it.

  6. #6
    Just a Virtualized Geek MrLinus's Avatar
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    But who's making money for a mortage company that doesn't exist, or from sending a chapter out of Lord of the Rings? I guess if you're Pfizer then all the spam about Viagra creates a better name recognition... but I really doubt that they're behind it.
    Those are just to check that an email works and doesn't bounce. Then they can sell the email address (which is where the real money is)
    Goodbye, Mittens (1992-2008). My pillow will be cold without your purring beside my head
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  7. #7
    Just Another Geek
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    "They" (meaning the spammers) send out millions of emails. At first, the domains et al work.. By the time you receive one, you'll be number 12377654, the first few might already reported it as spam. Responsible people took down the domains before you had a chance to fall for it..

    This leads to my second question - are there any drawbacks to using reverse dns?
    Numerous.. Split in and egress mailservers for one. The outgoing mailserver might not be the one receiving email. Hence there's no MX record for it. Servers setup like that would get flagged as spammers..
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  8. #8
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    Originally posted here by SirDice

    Numerous.. Split in and egress mailservers for one. The outgoing mailserver might not be the one receiving email. Hence there's no MX record for it. Servers setup like that would get flagged as spammers..
    I've actually delt with this myself. Since we are just in evaluation mode right now, mail to our hosted server just gets forwarded to mail @ our ip address. So sometimes mail going out from our in-house server gets reject because of dns failure. But if this isn't a major inconvience (especially if there's an easy way to add trusted domains), are there any other problems? My own personal hosted email rejects mail based on dns (found this out trying to email myself from work), and I have to say that I kinda like it. I've had the account for over 2 years, and never had a single piece of spam. It's the only account that I can say that about.

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