We hate spam, because until we started to do something about it,
we got so much that it actually was beginning to inhibit our
ability to function. Besides,
So now we're doing a number of things to kill spam on the way
in, as well as to protect our mail gateways from being hijacked
Some spammers have gotten in the habit of advertising web sites in
rather obscure ways in order to make it more difficult for
users to determine where to send their complaints. Since late in
1998, the fad has been to write the host address as one big number
instead of as a domain name or traditional octets. We have a
simple decloaking tool to resolve those,
and even look up the host in the ARIN registry.
automagic complaint tools
Remember that there are people on the receiving end of spam
complaints. Show respect for their time and effort.
You'll have the greatest success battling spam if you keep a few
things in mind:
Now that your clue-bit is set, we invite you to peruse the
following tools to see whether they might be able to help you
battle spam more effectively.
- Do not be rude. Just state the facts.
- Be sure you're complaining to the right place. Do not
completely rely on the judgment of complaint tools.
- Learn what your tools can and can't do.
- abuse.net complaint
- Read the "how it works" section. Register for the service,
be sure to use it properly. This is not a place to send all
of your spam and expect it to be magically addressed.
- A tool for reporting inappropriate commercial e-mail and
usenet postings, as well as chain letters and "make money
- A wrapper for
adcomplain, developed locally,
for use by those who need to have their environment set up a
little differently from normal to use
- If you're using Gnus to read news and/or mail and
adc isn't your style, you
might want to consider this package instead.
how we kill spam
First, we get a baseball bat, and then... um... I mean, we do the
- bounce mail from bogus domains
- When mail is coming in to one of our gateways, we check to
see whether to sender's domain name is legitimate. The gateway
will refuse to accept the mail if it is not.
- refuse to talk to spamming relays
- Our gateways will not accept mail from any relay listed in
the MAPS RBL (that's
Mail Abuse Prevention System Realtime Blackhole List).
Also, we maintain our own list of mail relays that send spam,
and refuse to talk to any of those hosts. Finally, we do not
accept mail directly from many dialup networks. If you have a
unix machine on a dialup account at your isp, please configure
your mail transfer agent to send outgoing mail through your
isp's mail server. Otherwise, if you try to directly initiate
an smtp session with us, our relay is likely to reject it.
- refuse to relay third party mail
- Spammers commonly will point their spam-sending programs at
a ``third party relay'', that is, someone else's legitimate
mail host, and then have it perform all of the work of looking
up addresses, attempting to actually deliver the mail, and
deal with bounces. Point your spam-sender at us, and you'll
get 550 ... Relaying denied. and you might
get much worse.
a brief tirade
The fact that we've had to take these steps is a sad testimony to
a change that is taking place in the culture of the Internet. It
was once a haven of people who wanted to be able to share
information with each other, people concerned with the internet
itself, who used the resource intelligently, and contributed to
It would appear that this is becoming less and less the case, as
more and more people get on the 'net with the intention to
MAKE.MONEY.FASTTM. The morons
engaged in abusive, destructive behavior like blasting
unsolicited email out to hundreds of thousands of addresses
(many of which are either outdated, or simply wrong) are not the
marketers of the future; they're parasites, trying to make a
quick buck at the expense of everyone else. This sort of
behavior should not be tolerated. Such people should be pulled
from the 'net, and those who support this sort of nonsense with
connectivity or their business should be boycotted.
There's no reason why commercial activity has to mean
destructive activity. We should never give up the fight for to
eliminate abuse of the Internet.
C Matthew Curtin
Last modified: Sun Mar 28 17:02:02 EST 1999