November 26, 2002

Spam

Like pretty much everyone else on the planet, I get spam. A fairly large amount, too--20 or 25 pieces a day. Yeah, I know other people get a lot more, but it's enough to be damned annoying. And, like other folks, I have spam filters in. (The very nice SpamAssassin)

The amount of spam I've been getting's been going up recently. Now, this isn't that surprising, as my main e-mail address is nearly a decade old, and I've used it on Usenet for nearly that long. It's there for anyone and everyone to harvest if they really want. (That it's a .org seems to keep the rates down some, at least) It's got me wondering, though--has SpamAssassin, and the other anti-spam filtering tools, actually increased the amount of spam being sent?

That sounds strange, but I don't think so. It used to be that, when I got spam in, I went and black-holed the sending IP address, or forcibly blocked it in sendmail's configs. I've got about fifty or so hosts in that file, and it still catches send attempts. Now, though, I don't do that any more. Spam's filtered and generally deleted, but the sender doesn't know. It used to--I'd give back a 5xx "go get bent" response, and I don't think I was alone in that. It was pretty obvious that my e-mail address, and anyone else's on the server, was bad. Those lists aren't often updated, but there's at least a little pruning that goes on with them. With SpamAssassin, though, it's only me, and there's no indication to anyone that the mail's getting dropped, so my address looks just fine.

I have to wonder how many other people do, or used to do, that? It's a pain, keeping up with the black list, but it seems to work. If AOL, or HotMail, or AT&T broadband, puts in an IP block that stops a lot of inbound spam, while spam filters don't stop anything at all, which provides less of a disincentive.

Posted by Dan at November 26, 2002 04:05 PM | TrackBack (0)
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