Re: Spam on comp.lang.vhdl

Discussion in 'VHDL' started by James Harris, Sep 21, 2009.

  1. James Harris

    James Harris Guest

    On 19 Sep, 13:28, David Bishop <> wrote:
    > On one of the other sigs that I surf, when SPAM started to be a problem,
    > we started putting a string in the subject line that we could filter on.
    > How about putting [VHDL] as the first 6 characters of the subject line
    > so that we can filter out all the junk?
    >
    > David Bishop ://www.vhdl.org/fphdl


    It's an option but you'd have to remind people of that regularly and
    would miss at least some newbie posts.

    In the last few weeks I've been reporting the spams to Google. I hope
    they will take the reports on board and delete both the spams and,
    more importantly, the spammer's accounts. (Many appear to be Google
    accounts.)

    Time will tell. In some groups - such as alt.os.development - spam is
    taken seriously. Whoever the reports reach at Google for that group
    does a good job in deleting spams and, apparently, deleting the
    sending accounts too. Not sure about comp.lang.vhdl. I get no feedback
    on the reports.

    If anyone else has the option to report spams to their provider it may
    be worth trying it for a couple of months to see if we can drive the
    spammers away. The only thing likely to stop them is loss of the many
    accounts they send from.

    James
     
    James Harris, Sep 21, 2009
    #1
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  2. James Harris

    Chris Abele Guest

    James Harris wrote:
    > On 19 Sep, 13:28, David Bishop <> wrote:
    >> On one of the other sigs that I surf, when SPAM started to be a problem,
    >> we started putting a string in the subject line that we could filter on.
    >> How about putting [VHDL] as the first 6 characters of the subject line
    >> so that we can filter out all the junk?
    >>
    >> David Bishop ://www.vhdl.org/fphdl

    >
    > It's an option but you'd have to remind people of that regularly and
    > would miss at least some newbie posts.
    >
    > In the last few weeks I've been reporting the spams to Google. I hope
    > they will take the reports on board and delete both the spams and,
    > more importantly, the spammer's accounts. (Many appear to be Google
    > accounts.)
    >
    > Time will tell. In some groups - such as alt.os.development - spam is
    > taken seriously. Whoever the reports reach at Google for that group
    > does a good job in deleting spams and, apparently, deleting the
    > sending accounts too. Not sure about comp.lang.vhdl. I get no feedback
    > on the reports.
    >
    > If anyone else has the option to report spams to their provider it may
    > be worth trying it for a couple of months to see if we can drive the
    > spammers away. The only thing likely to stop them is loss of the many
    > accounts they send from.
    >
    > James


    I've switched from GigaNews to News.Individual recently, and have seen
    approximately zero spam since (and it's cheaper).

    Chris Abele
     
    Chris Abele, Sep 22, 2009
    #2
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  3. James Harris

    Fredxx Guest

    "Chris Abele" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > James Harris wrote:
    >> On 19 Sep, 13:28, David Bishop <> wrote:
    >>> On one of the other sigs that I surf, when SPAM started to be a problem,
    >>> we started putting a string in the subject line that we could filter on.
    >>> How about putting [VHDL] as the first 6 characters of the subject line
    >>> so that we can filter out all the junk?
    >>>
    >>> David Bishop ://www.vhdl.org/fphdl

    >>
    >> It's an option but you'd have to remind people of that regularly and
    >> would miss at least some newbie posts.
    >>
    >> In the last few weeks I've been reporting the spams to Google. I hope
    >> they will take the reports on board and delete both the spams and,
    >> more importantly, the spammer's accounts. (Many appear to be Google
    >> accounts.)
    >>
    >> Time will tell. In some groups - such as alt.os.development - spam is
    >> taken seriously. Whoever the reports reach at Google for that group
    >> does a good job in deleting spams and, apparently, deleting the
    >> sending accounts too. Not sure about comp.lang.vhdl. I get no feedback
    >> on the reports.
    >>
    >> If anyone else has the option to report spams to their provider it may
    >> be worth trying it for a couple of months to see if we can drive the
    >> spammers away. The only thing likely to stop them is loss of the many
    >> accounts they send from.
    >>
    >> James

    >
    > I've switched from GigaNews to News.Individual recently, and have seen
    > approximately zero spam since (and it's cheaper).
    >
    > Chris Abele


    I use Motzarella and I find they delete spam such that most groups I use
    tend to be spam free, it's also even cheaper than News.Individual. Mind,
    there are always the usual culprits here who use this group as an
    advertising medium.
     
    Fredxx, Sep 22, 2009
    #3
  4. James Harris

    Symon Guest

    Fredxx wrote:
    >
    > I use Motzarella and I find they delete spam such that most groups I use
    > tend to be spam free, it's also even cheaper than News.Individual. Mind,
    > there are always the usual culprits here who use this group as an
    > advertising medium.
    >
    >

    Do you work for Motzarella?
     
    Symon, Sep 22, 2009
    #4
  5. James Harris

    Fredxx Guest

    "Symon" <> wrote in message
    news:h9aif2$hj$-september.org...
    > Fredxx wrote:
    >>
    >> I use Motzarella and I find they delete spam such that most groups I use
    >> tend to be spam free, it's also even cheaper than News.Individual. Mind,
    >> there are always the usual culprits here who use this group as an
    >> advertising medium.
    >>
    >>

    > Do you work for Motzarella?


    No, I just use their free news server. It's not a question I've been asked
    before!
     
    Fredxx, Sep 22, 2009
    #5
  6. James Harris

    Symon Guest

    Fredxx wrote:
    > "Symon" <> wrote in message
    > news:h9aif2$hj$-september.org...
    >> Fredxx wrote:
    >>> I use Motzarella and I find they delete spam such that most groups I use
    >>> tend to be spam free, it's also even cheaper than News.Individual. Mind,
    >>> there are always the usual culprits here who use this group as an
    >>> advertising medium.
    >>>
    >>>

    >> Do you work for Motzarella?

    >
    > No, I just use their free news server. It's not a question I've been asked
    > before!
    >
    >

    Just checking you're not a "usual culprit"! ;-)
     
    Symon, Sep 22, 2009
    #6
  7. James Harris

    James Harris Guest

    On 21 Sep, 09:43, James Harris <> wrote:
    ....
    > In the last few weeks I've been reporting the spams to Google. I hope
    > they will take the reports on board and delete both the spams and,
    > more importantly, the spammer's accounts. (Many appear to be Google
    > accounts.)


    Well, if anyone has a newsfeed that shows spam take a look now. From
    the Google front end (which doesn't generally filter out spam) all of
    September is showing clear of spam.

    It seems that Google have responded to reports and deleted the spam
    posts.

    If they are also deleting the spammers' accounts for infringement of
    acceptable use policy we will hopefully begin to see a reduction in
    spams to this group.

    For anyone else who has been reporting spams let's keep the reports
    going. It seems to be taking effect.

    James
     
    James Harris, Sep 23, 2009
    #7
  8. James Harris

    Rich Webb Guest

    On Wed, 23 Sep 2009 00:49:14 -0700 (PDT), James Harris
    <> wrote:

    >On 21 Sep, 09:43, James Harris <> wrote:
    >...
    >> In the last few weeks I've been reporting the spams to Google. I hope
    >> they will take the reports on board and delete both the spams and,
    >> more importantly, the spammer's accounts. (Many appear to be Google
    >> accounts.)

    >
    >Well, if anyone has a newsfeed that shows spam take a look now. From
    >the Google front end (which doesn't generally filter out spam) all of
    >September is showing clear of spam.


    Sadly, whatever salutary effect there may be on the mothership,
    googlegroups posters are still contributing spam to the rest of usenet.

    Clipped from my server's kill log; hundreds more like these, of course.
    Note that it's the Message-ID field that identifies the source server
    (the [stuff]@[morestuff]googlegroups.com part), not the user-generated
    From field.

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    >It seems that Google have responded to reports and deleted the spam
    >posts.


    Sadly, only after the fact.

    >If they are also deleting the spammers' accounts for infringement of
    >acceptable use policy we will hopefully begin to see a reduction in
    >spams to this group.


    10 hold(breath)
    20 goto 10

    Error at line 10: User asphyxiated. Abort, retry, fail?

    How easy is it to create a new account and start spamming again?

    >For anyone else who has been reporting spams let's keep the reports
    >going. It seems to be taking effect.


    There are heuristics that Google could use to stop the origination of
    spam. After all, these are supposed to be the smartest cookies, eh?
    Surely they are aware of what has been going on.

    --
    Rich Webb Norfolk, VA
     
    Rich Webb, Sep 23, 2009
    #8
  9. James Harris

    James Harris Guest

    On 23 Sep, 14:00, Rich Webb <> wrote:
    ....
    > Note that it's the Message-ID field that identifies the source server
    > (the [stuff]@[morestuff]googlegroups.com part), not the user-generated
    > From field.


    If I check two messages I have posted from Google I get different
    message ids.

    <>
    <>

    Are you saying these indicate the server - i.e. Google? That's of
    limited value. They don't indicate the sending account which would be
    useful (to see if spams from that account cease). Instead when I
    checked headers I assumed the Path was valid - at least in showing how
    a spam message reached Google - and shows messages that Google
    originate.

    To identify the Google user account the Injection-Info header seems
    best. For the two posts mentioned above they show

    Injection-Info: g23g2000vbr.googlegroups.com; posting-
    host=87.115.193.127;
    posting-account=Ss8wVAkAAADjaLf6nhKZFuysJxWaHI9Z
    Injection-Info: m11g2000vbl.googlegroups.com; posting-
    host=87.115.193.127;
    posting-account=Ss8wVAkAAADjaLf6nhKZFuysJxWaHI9Z

    Note that the posting-account is the same.

    ....

    > How easy is it to create a new account and start spamming again?


    I suspect - but could be wrong - that the spammers have set up batches
    of accounts and that as each one gets blocked or deleted they go on to
    another.

    That said, it seems that new Google Groups accounts for a few months
    present a captcha challenge (a hard-to-read word that must be typed)
    for each new post. It is thus at least inconvenient for them to use
    new accounts.

    I hope that as they get accounts deleted for non-compliance they will
    be discouraged from continuing. I suspect the companies pay minions to
    send the spams so as long as it's worth their while they will continue
    but it can be made harder for them.

    The worst thing of all is to just let it continue.

    > >For anyone else who has been reporting spams let's keep the reports
    > >going. It seems to be taking effect.

    >
    > There are heuristics that Google could use to stop the origination of
    > spam. After all, these are supposed to be the smartest cookies, eh?
    > Surely they are aware of what has been going on.


    IMHO Google's reputation is far below what it was and is continuing to
    fall. You are right that they could do much more than they are doing
    to prevent spams. Many of them seem to come from their accounts, after
    all.

    James
     
    James Harris, Sep 24, 2009
    #9
  10. James Harris

    Rich Webb Guest

    On Thu, 24 Sep 2009 02:03:22 -0700 (PDT), James Harris
    <> wrote:

    >On 23 Sep, 14:00, Rich Webb <> wrote:
    >...
    >> Note that it's the Message-ID field that identifies the source server
    >> (the [stuff]@[morestuff]googlegroups.com part), not the user-generated
    >> From field.

    >
    >If I check two messages I have posted from Google I get different
    >message ids.
    >
    ><>
    ><>
    >
    >Are you saying these indicate the server - i.e. Google? That's of
    >limited value. They don't indicate the sending account which would be
    >useful (to see if spams from that account cease). Instead when I
    >checked headers I assumed the Path was valid - at least in showing how
    >a spam message reached Google - and shows messages that Google
    >originate.


    Yes, that's correct. I was just pointing out that, as regards your
    comment from up-thread that although (paraphrasing) September was spam
    free from the Google front end, lots of spam is still originating with
    GoogleGroups.

    >To identify the Google user account the Injection-Info header seems
    >best. For the two posts mentioned above they show
    >
    >Injection-Info: g23g2000vbr.googlegroups.com; posting-
    >host=87.115.193.127;
    > posting-account=Ss8wVAkAAADjaLf6nhKZFuysJxWaHI9Z
    >Injection-Info: m11g2000vbl.googlegroups.com; posting-
    >host=87.115.193.127;
    > posting-account=Ss8wVAkAAADjaLf6nhKZFuysJxWaHI9Z
    >
    >Note that the posting-account is the same.


    Oh, I do note that. The posting-account info is quite useful and I've
    been using it in my upstream filter (Hamster) for a while. Not
    necessarily for the typical spammer (there are other filters which can
    be more effective) but to send known trolls & sockpuppets to /dev/null.

    >...
    >
    >> How easy is it to create a new account and start spamming again?

    >
    >I suspect - but could be wrong - that the spammers have set up batches
    >of accounts and that as each one gets blocked or deleted they go on to
    >another.
    >
    >That said, it seems that new Google Groups accounts for a few months
    >present a captcha challenge (a hard-to-read word that must be typed)
    >for each new post. It is thus at least inconvenient for them to use
    >new accounts.


    If that's the case then, I'm just speculating here, I wonder if there is
    a market for "mature" GoogleGroup accounts. Something like a cliched
    "sweat shop" operation where accounts are grown to maturity, bundled,
    and then sold. Could be profitable if the labor cost was low enough and
    there was a market for the accounts.

    >I hope that as they get accounts deleted for non-compliance they will
    >be discouraged from continuing. I suspect the companies pay minions to
    >send the spams so as long as it's worth their while they will continue
    >but it can be made harder for them.
    >
    >The worst thing of all is to just let it continue.
    >
    >> >For anyone else who has been reporting spams let's keep the reports
    >> >going. It seems to be taking effect.

    >>
    >> There are heuristics that Google could use to stop the origination of
    >> spam. After all, these are supposed to be the smartest cookies, eh?
    >> Surely they are aware of what has been going on.

    >
    >IMHO Google's reputation is far below what it was and is continuing to
    >fall. You are right that they could do much more than they are doing
    >to prevent spams. Many of them seem to come from their accounts, after
    >all.


    What's probably not apparent "inside" GoogleGroups is the fraction of
    usenet users who simply use the Message-ID field to delete or ignore
    *all* GG posts. Message-ID is present in the overview data and so can be
    used by pretty much any client. GG posts would then show up inside
    Google but just not exist to a large fraction of the usenet community.
    Indeed, before I got Hamster setup and running, I did the same.

    --
    Rich Webb Norfolk, VA
     
    Rich Webb, Sep 24, 2009
    #10
  11. James Harris

    James Harris Guest

    On 24 Sep, 13:31, Rich Webb <> wrote:
    ....
    > Yes, that's correct. I was just pointing out that, as regards your
    > comment from up-thread that although (paraphrasing) September was spam
    > free from the Google front end, lots of spam is still originating with
    > GoogleGroups.


    Yes, lots of spam is still being sent by Google accounts to all kinds
    of newsgroups.

    To be clear, September wasn't spam free. Just the opposite.
    Comp.lang.vhdl used to have a great many spams for September visible
    in Google and maybe other places. Previous months still show the group
    as being saturated with spam.

    The group still has lots of spam showing in August and before but the
    spams in September that were reported have all been deleted. I find
    this encouraging. While I cannot be sure that one resulted in the
    other it suggests that whoever at Google receives the spam reports has
    taken action.

    ....

    > >That said, it seems that new Google Groups accounts for a few months
    > >present a captcha challenge (a hard-to-read word that must be typed)
    > >for each new post. It is thus at least inconvenient for them to use
    > >new accounts.

    >
    > If that's the case then, I'm just speculating here, I wonder if there is
    > a market for "mature" GoogleGroup accounts. Something like a cliched
    > "sweat shop" operation where accounts are grown to maturity, bundled,
    > and then sold. Could be profitable if the labor cost was low enough and
    > there was a market for the accounts.


    A bleak picture ... but possible.

    James
     
    James Harris, Sep 24, 2009
    #11
  12. James Harris wrote:

    > A bleak picture ... but possible.


    Got ten Euro?
    The problem is solved.
    http://news.individual.net/register.html

    always up
    works from anywhere
    no spam

    I had to visit google groups myself
    to understand this thread.

    -- Mike Treseler
     
    Mike Treseler, Sep 24, 2009
    #12
  13. James Harris

    James Harris Guest

    On 23 Sep, 07:49, James Harris <> wrote:
    > On 21 Sep, 09:43, James Harris <> wrote:
    > ...
    >
    > > In the last few weeks I've been reporting the spams to Google. I hope
    > > they will take the reports on board and delete both the spams and,
    > > more importantly, the spammer's accounts. (Many appear to be Google
    > > accounts.)

    >
    > Well, if anyone has a newsfeed that shows spam take a look now. From
    > the Google front end (which doesn't generally filter out spam) all of
    > September is showing clear of spam.
    >
    > It seems that Google have responded to reports and deleted the spam
    > posts.


    Unlike September Google has failed to act on spam reports sent to them
    in October. I had hoped the worst case was that the person at Google
    who acted on the reports was just away - vacation or similar - but
    AFAICS none of the many reports sent for October has influenced Google
    in any way.

    >
    > If they are also deleting the spammers' accounts for infringement of
    > acceptable use policy we will hopefully begin to see a reduction in
    > spams to this group.
    >
    > For anyone else who has been reporting spams let's keep the reports
    > going. It seems to be taking effect.


    There seems no point in sending any more spam reports. Reporting
    October's spams seems to have been a waste of valuable time. IMHO
    Google deserve a label for Internet pollution for

    1. Allowing so many spams from their accounts. (Most but probably not
    all seem to come from Google userids.)
    2. Putting in place inadequate measures to prevent spams - and by
    means of these sometimes inconveniencing normal users.
    3. Asking customers to send reports and not putting in place
    mechanisms to respond to those reports. (Giving customers a report
    path with nothing behind it is a seriously bad way to treat people.)
    4. Providing no adequate feedback mechanism so they can hear their
    customers' opinions.

    If any one else is still reporting spams to them for comp.lang.vhdl
    now seems to be the time to stop. It's a great pity. Their response
    for the month of September made a big difference.

    James
     
    James Harris, Nov 6, 2009
    #13
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