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Articles tagged with: spam

Email and blog spam (probably complaints or preventions).

Written By: Gary on June 8, 2012 No Comment

I’ve gotten more spam and phishing messages in the last 24 hours than in a really really long time. In case you don’t know the specifics:

  • Spam – is junk mail. Porn, dating and penis enlargements are in some of the common ones.
  • Phishing is “fishing”, they’re just throwing a line out there to see what they catch. THey send something list looks like it’s from a bank or credit card (“there is a problem with your account”) or from YouTube (“you h ave a new video in your favors” or “your video has been denied”) and then they redirect you to a site that looks like that site and hope you type in your password!
  • spamfish.jpeg

    I got one from FourSquare today, “Peter has sent you a message” and as I was thinking, “I didn’t know I could get messages on FourSquare”, I clicked on it. I could see it was bogus before it even loaded from the site it was taking me to. It was a messy address (http://sfjisdkf.ru or something crazy like that, sometimes they tray to trick with something like http://YouTubeMessages.FakeSite.com/ ) but it looks like a FourSquare address before I clicked it. This is a type of Social Engineering, they don’t hack into your computer they just trick you into giving them the password (it’s like the guy hanging out in front of a restaurant acting like he’s valet parking, he doesn’t even need to say anything, you just hand him the keys and walk away).

    The downside of me clicking on the link is that sometimes they put trackers in them, so they might now now that the guy at my address does actually click sometimes, and then target me for me.

    So I was just sharing some warning since I know I’ve seen more the last day, so you be careful out there…

    Written By: Gary on January 12, 2009 2 Comments

    Spam isn’t anything I generally talk a lot about but this spam showed up a little differently. It’s a old internet scam but with some graphics and updated to try and get you to help them smuggle some money out of Iraq. It’s crazy that people still fall for these…

    I am SSG Dewayne Pittman,an active American soldier serving in Iraq.I am serving in the military of the 1st Armored Division in Iraq.We managed to secure funds from the war zone. The total amount is US$ 9 Million dollars in cash.We want to move this money out of this place.

    It’s rare I get these kind of scam e-mails but the graphical nature of this one caught my eye so for some reason I’m sharing it with you. And what language are those characters at the top?!?

    The next day: I got a much longer more generic version of this too, turns out I only get 30% and him and his buddy get 70%, that’s not even $3 million for me! What a rip off!

    Written By: Gary on March 15, 2008 No Comment

    I’m a huge fan of SpamArrest, a mail program that uses challenge/response CAPTCHAs to only allow mail from humans, instead of from spammers. It works great but the price has gone up from $60 for two years to $90, so I’m checking for other options. It’s only an additional $30 but if the price jump is $30 (or worse, 50%) every 2 years, it’s gonna get kinda pricey in the next few renewal cycles. The price jump is kind of large after a few years especially since I know many of their costs should have gone down (disk space, servers and bandwidth); the software is already written and has had minimal user changes over the last two years.

    Honestly, I’m sure it saves me more way than $45 a year worth of time. But can something save me more time, I know in the past MailBlocks saved me more time. So I’m looking for suggestions for some other Challenge/Responce mail system.

    There is one thing I really dislike about SpamArrest, while I can use any mail client to read my mail, to check and approve spam I have to go to their web site and that takes a lot of time (and this is a feature I miss from the now deceased MailBlocks). The reason I have to check it is for mailings from new companies that I deal with and for people who don’t pay attention to the e-mail that gets mail back to them immediately to ask them to confirm they are human (I even have info about me and a picture of me in the e-mail so they know it’s really me).

    In the meantime, I’m using my free gMail account. I want to see how well that works, they give me all sorts of space for free and it’s pretty fast and it works well on cellphones (their client, their web interface and should work with phone clients). They’ve got a fancy web interface and plain web interface so it works pretty well everywhere. Although, with my client I can’t see the spam folder there either. Google lets you create additional addresses for the same account and have decent filters. Plus, they will let you use your own domain if you’d like to; so if it really works out, I’ll attach my GaryLaPointe.com domain to it and use it for my mail (as long as that supports IMAP). And if it works as well for me, it’s free! There’s some weird mapping between GMail and the Mac Mail.app (I think by default you get duplicates of the mailboxes) but there’s some work arounds, or maybe the new Mail.app in Panther fixes it…

    Also, I figure after trying it for a few months, SpamArrest might send me a promo to lure me back. If that’s the case I’ll know I’ve done due diligence to try another option and I’ll have possibly saved a few bucks in the mean time.Actually, I have one other minor complaint about SpamArrest, the interface could be faster. There’s something about the web interface that slows things down. I notice when I travel, it’s unbearably slow and I’m not sure why. But it’s a huge minus when I travel…

    I do get some referral dollar$ from SpamArrest (maybe $8.75 a year?), so I figure if I’m sending clients to them, so are others (therefore, they’re likely growing).

    Written By: Gary on October 26, 2007 3 Comments

    In the last 60 days I’ve been averaging about 1,000 spam comments a day, that’s significantly higher than normal. Actually the last few weeks it’s been more like 1,500 a day, the number has just been climbing. Unfortunately, I don’t have a way to check daily stats. A year ago I was only averaging about 300 a day. Hopefully, I haven’t been deleting any real comments….

    Update: In the last 23 hours I’ve received/blocked another 4,200 spam comments/trackbacks (and moderated a few hundred)..

    Written By: Gary on March 5, 2007 One Comment

    Spam Arrest will be featured on ABC’s World News with Charles Gibson tonight (Monday, March 5th, 2007). World News will be discussing the ongoing trademark dispute between Hormel and Spam Arrest over the use of the word “spam”.

    Spam Arrest has been defending itself against Hormel for the last 4 years while Hormel has been attempting to cancel the Spam Arrest trademark granted by the US Patent and Trademark Office. (more info)

    Definitely overstepping their trademark, no confusion between spam “food” and junk mail (IMHO). They should have to shoulder the blame for spam if they want exclusive rights to the name…

    Spam Arrest is my favorite way of blocking e-mail spam from home. It’s practially impossible for spammers to get automated junk mail past their filter!

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    Written By: Gary on February 25, 2007 27 Comments

    It’s kind of a simple question, but I can’t find a specific answer. Do the terms, WhiteList and BlackList, that we commonly use these days to block/allow e-mail, web sites and comments have racist origins?

    I can’t find the answer. I think about it every time I modify instructions for our mail filtering at work, just waiting for someone to ask me, but I can’t find an answer anywhere on the history of it. I’ve found some things when looking on-line related to hollywood (usually political writing) and on blackballing people (also from work or organizations) but nothing on the origins of the word even in that context.

    I’ve seen some software FAQs skate around it with some stupid explanations to avoid the issue, but I think red + green universally mean stop + go so greenlist and redlist makes sense and since we don’t have green people it wouldn’t be considered racist (or even incorrectly thought to be). Maybe this is a non-issue, but I’m wondering what you think.There are tons of options: stop/go, allow/deny, junk/non-junk, etc. Also, even if it doesn’t have racist origins if people perceive it to be, then how much of a difference is there.

    Later: Ah, I found this and I do recall part of the origins of blackball, (I knew this already, I just forgot that I knew it) but it’s still not an answer.

    Written By: Gary on December 11, 2006 2 Comments

    So my blog has been taken over by comments about “Mynewtemp”. The original post is here and as of today it has 179 comments over two years! It’s almost a message board…


    I refuse to mention the post by name (fearful of diverting people to this post) which is why I used the graphic above instead of text. I did have someone offer to place an ad on the page which I think I might check into since… well… since I can I guess. It’s only gotten busier in the last few weeks so I guess now’s the time…

    GravatarSo as I went to check the page out I see Gravatar has pushed all their icons onto my page for the people who don’t actually have Gravatar icoms on my page. It’s kind of annoying, maybe there is a way to turn them off. I worked really hard to get it set right for people who have the icon vs. people who don’t….

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    Written By: Gary on September 3, 2006 One Comment

    Is anyone getting popups when they come to my (this) site? I just got a warning from FireFox (I normally use Safari) and it says it blocked something. Looks like the offender was something at Link2Blogs (a link sharing place). Please let me know if you do get them, I’ll be glad to remove anything that launches evil unintentional popups.


    Any geeky / additional information you can give me on this would be helpful. Thanks!

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    Written By: Gary on May 20, 2006 No Comment

    CaptchaaudioSo I’ve mentioned CAPTCHAs before, probably in regards to blocking spam. One of the problems is that they prevent blind people from using them since it’s just a picture of the text it needs to decode. I just noticed on Blogger/Blogspot the other day that the sites that do turn on the CAPTCHA spam blocking now have a little accessibility symbol next to it (I just noticed it, maybe it’s been there forever). When you click the symbol it speaks a code for you to decode and type in. Try it that way they next time you post!

    I know some people frown against CAPTCHAs because they are a slight pain to deal with. But if I’ve got a thought to share with others and I’m willing to type it up, another six characters aren’t going to kill me. It certainly levels some of the bumps that it had and I’m happy with that. Clearly it still won’t work if you’re blind and deaf so it’s not perfect yet…


    Also, I don’t have to see spam on the sites I like to read also makes it a bonus for me. It’s certainly better than having to log in on a site to get it approved. Although my problem with this is a lot of MovableType sites say they use the TypeKey verification service but they don’t have it configured properly (which is then a pain and annoying and it doesn’t actually work right); it might just never have been registered.

    What’s interesting about Blogspot/Blogger’s way of doing this is that it speaks a number and not the exact text. But hey, as long as it works.

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    Written By: Gary on November 15, 2005 6 Comments

    Don’t forget the Mailblocks service is discontinued tomorrow, November 16th, at Noon. So copy/migrate your mail and don’t forget to get your refund.

    The more I play with it, the more I like SpamArrest and a substitute. I’ve mentioned it before and been playing around with it the past few days.


    For the refund: You’ll need your mailing address, phone number, birth date, Paypal address (if you paid with one), and your account’s secret question/answer to get the refund. You can get your secret question by logging out and when you log back in it will ask for your birthday (but it means birthdate) and then it will ask you your secret question.

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    Written By: Gary on November 15, 2005 No Comment

    So I’m looking for a new service to replace a service that I’ve loved, Mailblocks, they’re shutting their doors today (or tomorrow). I want a spam blocking service that uses captchas (I do understand the pros and cons but most importantly I’m aware that it does work and I do check my pending box for real messages). I see there are two other companies out there that look similar, SpamArrest.com and iPermitMail.com. I’d really like to use IMAP for my mail.

    Can anyone tell me if they support IMAP? Or can anyone recommend these companies in particular? Or some other companies with similar service? It’s looking like SpamArrest will be my choice but I am looking for options.


    (Later) I’ve discovered that SpamArrest uses IMAP (found some info here). But it doesn’t let you see the unverified mail via IMAP (Mailblocks let you see it and you could drag from there to the INBOX and it automatically verified it) this would be really useful. I’d still like to check out others, because I’d really like to be able to do this (it worked really well for me in the past). Even if it wouldn’t auto verify it’d be nice to see it (with IMAP I can pull the mail down and look at it offline and it still keeps a copy on the server.

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    Written By: Gary on April 14, 2004 No Comment

    My name is Gary, I mean gÄ®ý , no I mean GÅ®Ý.

    Here is a very detailed analysis of how words can be spelled differently and yet still convey the same word to the reader…

    This is part of why it’s SO hard to stop spam (or at least one of many reasons). Just something to consider…

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