List of Spam Filter Terms, Please

Discussion in 'privacy general' started by AnthonyG, Aug 5, 2005.

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  1. AnthonyG

    AnthonyG Registered Member

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    For the last few months i have been constantly getting pornograpgic spam emails at my university account. This is obviously of great annoyance but ultimately barable. However with greater frequency i have been starting to get sick animal porn spam emails. Which i find definitely crosses the line and are totally unnacceptable to receive. Especially as some contain pictures in the actual email of distbing acts that i do not want to see at all.

    The subject headers of these emails have also started to become more innocent and innocious meaning there is in most occasions no way to know what the email contains without actually opening it to see.

    I have been complaining to my university for a while now to try for them to stop the animal pornography emails to my account and they have always ignored me and thought i was being stupid for taking an offense to these animal porn emails as they just classify it as normal spam. I do not however.

    So after putting some persistance with the universities computer department and senior postmaster he has said he will create a filter list specifically for me to block any emails containing certain words that the emails i find offensive contain. So he has asked me to provide a list of words i wish to filter by.

    The most frequent occurers "Horse" and "C*ck" have already been added. But it is difficult to come up with a list of suitable terms to filter by so i was wondering if someone could provide me with a web page or place which lists the best words to filter by to stop these offensive emails but not to stop innocent emails in the process.

    However i must point out that i am doing a biology degree, so some words might not be appropriate to block by.

    Also i use my university email address to talk to friends both on my course and at other universitys and occassionally varients of the F-Word come up in their emails. So thus it is making it difficult for me to choose appropriate words only associated with porn and animal porn spam. That could not be used in normal emails

    Can someone help. To provide me with a good filter word list so i can give suitable words on this list to my university

    Thanks for your help
    Anthony
     
  2. Texcritter

    Texcritter Registered Member

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    I think the easiest solution to your problem is to get another EMail user name, inform all your contacts of your new account name, then when you are happy that all is OK cancel your old user name.

    Tex
     
  3. ravin

    ravin Registered Member

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  4. AnthonyG

    AnthonyG Registered Member

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    Thanks but like i say its my university email address. The university has a strict policy not to give students another email address because of spam. They also have another strict policy to not allow any student to use any other email address to discuss university issues.

    Also its web based so the trend micro wont work.

    Thanks
     
  5. Paranoid2000

    Paranoid2000 Registered Member

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    Filtering any emails containing HTML could be one approach (that would pick up anything with pictures or web-bugs plus almost any phishing attempts) assuming that your legitimate mails were text-only.

    You may also consider asking your administrator to implement filtering using blocklists like the SpamHaus and SpamCop BLs if they are not already (for more on BLs, see DNSBL.com).

    However the best bet is to change to another email address (sign up with another provider if your university admins are being inflexible) and use an "alias" service like SpamGourmet for generating addresses to give to others.
     
  6. trickyricky

    trickyricky Registered Member

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    That's not a solution at all. I've seen brand new email addresses getting spammed as soon as they are live on the server. There are only two possible solutions to spam at the moment: 1. Shoot all the spammers, or 2. Use decent anti-spam measures to get rid of the spam. Since solution 1 is a bit radical and also illegal, we're left with using anti-spam measures. These include using a decent spam filter, either as a separate application (such as Spampal or Mailwasher) or as a server-based solution (such as those used by IPSs), plus never using your email address openly in newsgroups or on the web and never viewing images in spam emails. And of course the golden rule, NEVER respond in any way to spam. EVER.

    I'm very surprised that the university in question isn't being more pro-active against spam, since it eats up resources and the more that is filtered out by responsible system administrators, the less there will be to cause time and resource wastage. Maybe the current admin will get fired and replaced by a competent one if he doesn't start behaving responsibly? You can live in hope...
     
  7. Paranoid2000

    Paranoid2000 Registered Member

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    This can happen as the result of a "dictionary attack" (spammer sending email to a@isp.com, aa@isp.com, aaa@isp.com, etc and noting which ones get bounced) but most competent admins should be able to detect and block such abuse (if they didn't, their email servers would be flooded to the point of unusability).

    The main problem is that when you give other people your email address, you have no way of knowing (let alone controlling) who they pass it onto - and even a trustworthy friend could get hit with a worm reading their address book and spamming everyone in it. This is where services like SpamGourmet come in - give each person a separate alias then if you receive spam you can (a) close that alias without affecting others and (b) identify who was responsible. There are similar services like Sneakemail but SpamGourmet seems to offer the most features.
     
  8. AnthonyG

    AnthonyG Registered Member

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    Yes that idea of SpamGourmet is useful but not for this one particular problem. As my university has a policy stating that all university based communication i.e with staff or departments, or offical course communication with other students must be done from the Myname@Universityname.uk address If it is not we are told to report it to the computer department and ignore it. So it is impossible to use another address than the one they assigned. They also wont assign another as they say it is the students fault if they start getting spam as the must have been using the address for non university activities.

    But with me as i did not know much about computers and nothing about emailing at the start of my time at that university. I did not know you can get other email addresses such as yahoo mail (im suprised looking back i didnt and how much ive learned in this short space of time) so i used this address for everything and gave this address out to all my freinds to contact me on that address too. As this was the only email address i had.

    Big mistake!!. As in 2003. before the university had any spam filtering capabilities i was getting (This is said with total honesty) 100-150 spam emails a day. And it took about 20 mins to look through them at the start of day to find any actual non spam emails.

    Then the university in late 2003 put extremelly aggresssive spam blocking measures in place. Which resulted in me getting 10-15 spam emails a day. Then with my own subject filters it has dropped down to approx 5 spam emails a day. Which is totally acceptable number in my opinion.

    However since about march of this year i have for the first time been stating to get sick animal pornography emails. That is one of the things i definitely object to. But when i have complained to the university about them i get the "We have some of the best spam filtereing abilities possible here, and we cant do no more than what we're doing answer".

    So now after my persistance the post master has said he will run a block of certain words specifically for me. So peoples suggestions, while i appreciate them and if it were any other cercumstance would use them. are not viable options in this case. As it has took a big arm pull to get the post master to offer this one option. But i just need a list of good usable words to give him for them to block for. Also some of my fiends seem to have an HTML based email account (im assuming its outlook express) and it is very easy for them to put pictures in their emails so they put them in most of the emails to me. So blocking HYML or emails with pictures in isnt possible. (And yes ive asked them to start emailing me at my Gmail address but they say they have the other address bookmarked and they keep sending them to the university address even after ive asked them not to).

    Thanks
    Anthony
     
  9. dog

    dog Guest

    Hi Anthony,

    Just forward the IT Dept. the offensive emails (of course ask them for permission first), and a weeks worth of that junk should enable them to find appropriate filters to block them out. Surely you should also have pop or imap access to your account, besides web based access ... ask them about this too and ask for details instructions for setting it up. There are several free email clients available, which have have the built in ability to add your own filters. But as it was already suggested, if you can obtain pop access to your account, I definitely recommend Mailwasher - It has a very flexible filter and a handy bounce feature. ;)

    Steve
     
  10. Paranoid2000

    Paranoid2000 Registered Member

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    Well if the only solution for you is a list of words, you'll have to do the work yourself (no-one else here has your spam or legitimate mail). However you should (if you have not already) check out Bayesian spam-filtering though you will need to access your email via POP3 rather than a web page.

    If you are prepared to spend more time and effort, consider following the steps mentioned here to complain about the spam - at the very least, you will cause extra work for the spammer and those that support them.
     
  11. ravin

    ravin Registered Member

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  12. AnthonyG

    AnthonyG Registered Member

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    Thanks for the suggestion dog.

    But when i have received those types of emails i have deleated them immediately as i dont want them in my account. So i dont have any to send. I would say i would recieve maybe 1 or 2 a week of that nature. Which is 1 or 2 too much for me.

    The Email program they use is SquirrelMail version 1.4.3a and i have asked and they have said Pop3 access is not possible with this program, (i wish it were though). Are they by any chance wrong and there is a work around as i'd love to use it with the bat or thunderbird.
     
  13. Paranoid2000

    Paranoid2000 Registered Member

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    Squirrelmail provides a web-based interface for email, running alongside email server software so it should be possible to use a standard email client (best configured to use IMAP rather than POP3 though according to the FAQ) to access the email server directly if the admins are prepared to let you know the server address and username/password (if they differ from what you use on Squirrelmail).
     
  14. AnthonyG

    AnthonyG Registered Member

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    Thanks Paranoid2000 but now i am lost. What does the IMAP capability do. Can i still use it with thunderbird/the bat but set it up differently or do i need to use another program. if so which one?

    And if it is possible what exactly do i need to ask the postmaster for to set it up to use with the bat/thunderbird. I have a username and password to access my account ounline. I have the url to the website. What else would i need.

    Thanks
    Anthony
     
  15. Paranoid2000

    Paranoid2000 Registered Member

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    POP3 (Post Office Protocol) and IMAP (Internet Message Access Protocol) are simply mechanisms for accessing email held on a server. Squirrelmail (judging from a quick look at their webpage) uses IMAP itself to manage emails so to ensure consistency (i.e. not having emails disappear in Squirrelmail after using a POP3 client), it is better to use another IMAP client on your PC.

    What you need to know is the server name - something like email.university.ac.uk. It may be worth asking if anyone else has been able to access email via Thunderbird or something similar since, if so, you can just copy their settings.
     
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