Friday, November 17, 2006

Spam Record

My spam intake is reaching critical mass. I had 64 messages in the last twelve hours.

For the most part they are caught by my filter, which is configured as a whitelist. However, every once in a while one gets through. I'm not sure why, since the address given is not in the whitelist. My best guess is that sometimes the filter process on my host crashes and then mail goes through unfiltered for a while.

Worse than the unwanted messages is the fact that, in using a whitelist, I inevitably lose wanted mail. I just don't have time to examine each message so I have to skim subjects and addresses. I get dozens of messages with the subject "Hi Paul." Are they spammers or a long-lost friend from college? I don't have time to try to figure that out. Also, the flood of random words that spammers use in their subject lines ensures that at some point I'll see something that looks like it really was written specifically to me.

There are also messages from companies I've placed orders with, and mailing lists I've signed up for. The anti-spam measures they take with their return addresses (using a changing no-replay address) ensures that many of these wind up in the filter. So I'm probably missing an occasional order update or mailing list posting as well. Or a notice about a job.

Add to this the spam we had to contend with on our Wiki, now closed, and the comment spam I'm getting via Blogger, in bursts of a half-dozen identical messages. I'm getting fed up!

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