My Spam survey project                


          An example of a spam e-mail.
       
  Statistics of my spam survey.
       
What can be done to reduce spam.
        
 What YOU can do to safeguard your computer.
       
  An important warning when booting up your computer.



     SPAMMING is designed, to upset the Internet and E-mail system applecart, by using your valuable time and overload the World-Wide-Web.
       The laws “stopping “ the spam are NOT working, who is going to police it all ?
       Admitted : some spammers are getting caught, and procecuted, but most of the professionals are getting away with it      .
       Most anti SPAM FILTER programs set up by ISP’s have got the wrong effect as they also remove some wanted E-mails indiscreminat
       Just try and see if YOU can spot what is SPAM and what is legitimate E-mail, it is very difficult to sort that out effectively.


 
     The statistics ,
       Have been collected from one E-mail ISP which was practically spamfree 18 months before at the time, until the ISP increased their E-mail storage tenfold.
       I paid good money, for this E-mail address, but had  25 to 50 Spam E-mails coming into my account daily when I started the survey.
       The only way I could get E-mail into my INBOX from  e-mail contacts, was to set up a whitelist for addresses I expected legitimate E-mails from.
       The rest would be divertedable to  the TRASH folder, so I still had to check the E-mails in that section as well.
       I tried to blacklist the spam addresses,but you soon get an enormous list of those, and most of them  are used one time only.
      An unproductive activity as you would have to sort it all out which ones to keep and which ones to delete from your listing.

                                                                                                                                                                                              














THIS IS An obvious  PHISHING ATTEMPT !

Date: Fri, 12 Mar 2010 23:44:38 +0100
From: ClearNet Customer Care <judyoysters@dslextreme.com> Ficticious
                                                 (Judy is NOT working for "Clearnet Customer Care" at all; you can confirm this by putting her e-mail address into google.)
Subject: Member Alert  This gets your attention.
X-Originating-IP: [41.206.15.2]
X-Envelope-To: ******.****.**
Reply-to: protectunit@admin.in.th Ficticious
original-recipient: rfc822;******@****.***

In the from: heading the first part does not match the second part.
Clearnet has no relation to dslextreme.com.  
and in the Reply to:  ....@admin.in.th  does not match  the second part of the from address : ....@dslextreme.com

The e-mail also asked :
to verify the account with this sentence :
"To complete your Account Verification process, you are to reply ["to" is missing here !] this message
and enter your ID and PASSWORD in the space provided.  ( the spammer is trying to get YOUR e-mail details !)
You are required to do this before the next 48hrs of receipt of this e-mail, 
or your Webmail Account will be de-activated and erased from our database." ( the spammer is trying to hurry you to get to the website offered next )
     No E-mail providing outfit worth it's salt in the porridge will ever ask you for your ID and PASSWORD in an e-mail.
So don't respond to this, as the spammer can then read all your e-mails !!!  Delete this type of e-mail.

I only give you this topstory, to show you how spammers work, and could benefit from your responding to this sort of e-mails in your INBOX.
Not al spamfilters can pick this up either, until someone points it out to the e-mail provider.
And there are so many of these e-mails getting onto the web,  that it makes designing the spamfilters a difficult if not impossible exercise.

You may ask, but how do these spammers get my e-mail address ?

This is how it is done :
Some people will use their e-mail address book to send an interesting e-mail to all their friends in the address list.
In nine outof ten cases, they will use the top suggestion in the e-mailing panel called : Cc which stands for Carbon copy.
Not everyone realises, that this sends a copy of all the e-mail addresses in this panel open to the web !
READABLE TO ALL THE RECIPIENTS THE EMAIL IS SENT TO.
This also applies to putting part of your list into the to: part of the e-mailer.
So all it needs is for the e-mail accidently falling into the inbox of the spammer !
and he or she then has a nice list of e-mail addresses to send spam to.
If the e-mail goes to a group of people who do the same thing as you do
(sending with Cc)
then there is a lovely harvest of e-mail addresses for the spammer.


If you want to send an interesting e-mail to a list of recipients,
please use the second suggestion on the e-mailer panel called Bcc which stands for Blind  carbon copy
This prevents your list from going out onto the net !
 
you would be surprised as to the number of e-mailers who do this very thing.
"Oy, I like THIS e-mail, let's send it to all my friends."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                


From my earlier website about spamming :
                               Spamsurvey statistics :
                                                                    I surveyed spam a few years ago for a full 12  Month period.
I have collected 2000 valid E-mail addresses, these got my warning about the problem of spam,
and a suggestion of how to stop their E-mail address from being used by professional spammers .
About 7 of these E-mail addresses came up with mutiple names with the same E-mail address;
these people were able to stop their address from being used, after they did something about it, as they did not arrive into my box again after a week.

Of the total Spam-addresses received in my E-mail IN box :                                        a total of about 9050 e-mails.
                                                                            Invalid Email addresses :   77.89 %  were invalid e-mail addresses
                                                                                                                                  ( when replying they came back to me as undeliverable )
                                                                                               This leaves :   22.11 %  valid e-mail addresses
Breakdown of the contents of these e-mails :                     (about 9050)
E-mail addresses with a story related to nothing: [Double Dutch] :  14.65 %
                                                        Offering sales of medicines :  16.47 %
                                                              Russian language items :  13.69 %
                                                                Only One name given :  13.21 %
                                                            Funny named addresses :  14.23 %
                                                        Financial investment advise :  15.37 %
                                                                ORG/EDU addresses :  12.69 %    

please note that the previous statement on my earlier website had different
figures,but I have rectified those as the percentages were not correct.
   










                                                                                                                




                                                                                                                                                                                                                     

What can be done to reduce SPAM ?
There is very little we can do to stop the spam arriving in our E-Mail boxes,
But we can certainly make it more difficult for the professional spammers, to send the spam onto the web.
Below I have set out some points to ponder if you are wishing to help reduce spam.

How is the spam created ?
The professional spammer looks for computers he/she can compromise.
If you have no firewall installed, no Virus checker or Ad-remover  program in your system, you are asking to be compromised .
Hackers are very clever getting access to other computers, and they are spending a lot of time to do it.
The reasons they are doing it are : boredom, jelousy, malicious intentions, monetary gain etc.
The WW Web is a place a lot of people cannot stand, all these people being able to just contact each other by having a computer hooked up to the net,
 it is the cheapest way of communicating nowadays.

When you send out an E-mail, there is an important point to consider, before actually sending the E-mail out :
E-mails can be read by other people (The Hackers have ways and means to do this )
And because this is possible, there is a wide open field of opportunity to “harvest” E-mail addresses.

You may notice that when you start writing your E-mail, that there are some parts of the panel which are only letters.
Typical set up :
TO :                  this is where you fill in the E-mail address of your recipient.        You should only put ONE address here !
From :              Your E-mail address goes here automatically.
Subject :           The subject line is for giving some indication what the E-mail is all about.
Cc:                    This line is where you can fill in the addresses of other recipients you are sending the E-mail to. *
Bcc:                  Here is the same as above, see my note  below.
Attachments :  This is where the attachments go.

                                                                            * Never use Cc : it stands for Carbon Copy, and the addresses you put here, will be sent out onto the net with your E-mail !!
                                                                                                      And THAT is what the hackers look for and use to create their own E-mail address list for sending out the SPAM.

                   If you must keep a record of who has been sent the E-mail, use Bcc  instead, it stands for Blind Carbon Copy
                   and it remains in the sent box of your E-mailer program until you delete it some day.







                                                                                                                                                                                                                

What measures can you take in your own computer ?

Get a paid E-mail address.    WARNING : If you are not using the internet, disconnect your modem !!! See below end of page.
There are plenty of good ISP’s specialising in E-mailing.
Most of them are reasonably priced, and you have the advantage, that they will support you with any  problems you may have.
You look for one which offers you a multiple set of E-mail addresses, that way you can specialise where you want to receive your E-mails from different sources,
 an added advantage of this feature is, that you can reduce the bulk of the spam which somehow still arrives.

Give your E-mail address a name which is not attractive for the hackers, having –biz at the end is asking to be picked up as fair game.

Make sure you do not use the addressbook as offered by most E-mail ISP’s.
The addressbook is a vulnerable point in the system when your computer happens to be compromised.
Put your important daily used E-mail addresses on a 3.5” floppy or a CD if you have a lot of them.
Just slip the disk or CD into your computer when you want access to your address listing.
And do not forget to take out the floppy when you have transferred the address you need,
as long as the disk or CD is in your computer, you are still vulnerable to hacking.

If you forward an E-mail to others, make sure you delete any listing of E-mail addresses they may have sent you !

When you reply to an e-mail, do the same; delete the list of E-mail addresses the sender has left for you.
Also, delete any part of the E-mail you do not need to have the answer recognised as coming from your correspondent.
If you keep everything they have sent, and they do the same when answering YOU,
then you finish up with very long E-mails after a few to’s and fro’s.

Does the ISP have a spamfilter then make sure that you still have access to all the E-mails you are getting.
Nothing is more annoying, than to find that you have missed an important E-mail which has been sent by one of your correspondents,
simply because the ISP considered it to be SPAM, and handled it accordingly. ( most SPAM filters test the subject line of the E-mail )

Never open an attachment when you are not sure if it contains a possible virus,
the safest way to handle attachments, is to transfer it to a floppy or work CD, and check it with your virus-checker program,
before placing it in your main computer files.



                                                                                                                                                                                                                 









                                                                                                                                                     

                                           
       

                 Warning :                                                                                     

                                                            In today’s day and age, some internet platforms are set up to connect your computer to the internet when you boot up your computer.

                                                                     If this is the case with YOUR computer,
                                                           make arrangements to leave the computer unconnected to the phone lines and the modem
                                                                                                                           until you are ready to go on the internet,
 
                                                                                                                          THEN connect up and key in your connection details.

                             This will prevent your computer from being used by the spammers without your knowledge when you are booting up.

                             Especially important if you are on broadband.

                            Your computer may have been compromised just before you started your work for the day.