AOL posts top Spam Lines

Discussion in 'Current Events' started by Macmaniac, Jan 4, 2004.

  1. Macmaniac macrumors 68040

    Macmaniac

    #1
    Guess which made the number one. You guessed it Viagra.
    Story Here

    "LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Viagra. Lowest mortgage rates. Hot XXX action. As seen on Oprah.
    Those four phrases and six more topped the list of the most commonly-used subject lines for junk, or "spam" e-mail in 2003, Internet service provider AOL said Wednesday.
    Other top enticements, the Time Warner Inc. (TWX: Research, Estimates) unit said, included "online pharmacy," "get bigger," "online degree," "lowest insurance rates," "work from home" and "get out of debt."
    Unsolicited commercial e-mail is considered a scourge of the Internet and, as governments rush to regulate or ban the sending of spam, private companies and service providers have also stepped up efforts to create filtering software that blocks such messages.
    During calendar 2003, AOL blocked nearly 500 billion spam messages from reaching user inboxes, an average of 40 fewer such messages per day per subscriber account. The company said it regularly blocks 75 percent to 80 percent of incoming mail as spam.
    The manager of AOL's postmaster team, which oversees e-mail, said new laws and regulations had made spam more complex by knocking "amateurs" out of the business.
    "I don't know that they're really getting smarter, but I think we're really sorting out the wheat from the chaff," Charles Stiles told Reuters.
    Fighting spam is also a more difficult problem than it used to be, Stiles said, as professional spammers take to using tricks like spelling words slightly wrong, replacing letters with numbers and adding spaces in the middle of words in order to fool filters.
    "I think the biggest challenge is getting to the die-hard spammers," Stiles said. "They will break the law, they will abuse other peoples computers, they will steal network space."
    Like AOL, CNN/Money is a unit of Time Warner."
     
  2. Awimoway macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2002
    Location:
    at the edge
    #2
    So it's illegal in the states now, correct? I can't recall if the anti-spam bill has been passed and signed yet.

    But I wonder how much good it will do. They can probably find most spammers by following the money trail, since spam is always selling something. But I wonder if it's like enforcing laws against the drug trade or petty theft in big cities--it happens so often that there's not enough manpower to stop any but the most egregious offenders.
     
  3. big macrumors 65816

    big

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2002
    #3
    I get more spam now than ever, most of it is for prescriptions and viagra, some for pens and other odds & ends of the like.

    unfortunatly spammers can use cloaking apps to send mail through open ports, I have even received spam from m own account, now how can you call this junk mail?

    Mail has been doing a great job, though here of late, I have been getting a lot of spam in spanish, and Mail doesn't seem to understand that, unless I specifically flag it as such.

    oh well, I guess I can just delete it with a click, though it's still annoying to see my "Junk Box" with 15 messages in it at the end of the day.
     
  4. eyelikeart Moderator emeritus

    eyelikeart

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2001
    Location:
    Metairie, LA
    #4
    I still find it hard to believe that aol does not give out address lists to spammers. I would like to hear from a new subscriber how long it took to start getting junk mails.
     
  5. jxyama macrumors 68040

    jxyama

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2003
    #5
    it's too bad that the smtp protocol left a loophole to allow the spread of spam. it really is unfortunate. i remember the early days when emails you received was 100% relevant... email is such a convenient, fast and efficient way to communicate - exactly the things mass advertisers are looking for.

    spam and commercials at movies are two of the most annoying and irresponsible ways to advertise, i my opinion.
     
  6. jxyama macrumors 68040

    jxyama

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2003
    #6
    i doubt that aol would ever share their ID lists to spammers - that would increase the work they will have to do to decrease spam. unless, of course, AOL considers the mass headline "we blocked 500 MILLION (edit: sorry, it was BILLION!) spams in 2003!!" an effective advertisement pitch...

    however, i do find it a bit ironic. i think one of the neat things AOL did that was better than compuserve was to allow personalized login name. i remember compuserve users were given gibberish login name, with some hint at your last name followed by a bunch of numbers as the login name. that was quite impersonal compared to AOL. but that would have yielded a lot less hits for valid email addresses the way spammers systematically "guess" the email addresses... (ever notice spam you receive that are also cc'ed to addresses that are similar to yours?)
     
  7. big macrumors 65816

    big

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2002
    #7
    does anyone use the "bounce" function in Mail?
     
  8. Hemingray macrumors 68030

    Hemingray

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2002
    Location:
    Ha ha haaa!
    #8
    I did, but I got tired of all the "undeliverable" errors I got back, so I just hit "Junk" now and all's well. Earthlink has been pretty good about catching most of the spam before it hits my inbox.

    This is a little OT, but here's something that really bugs me. In Mail, when your Junk Mail filter automatically puts unread junk mail into the folder, it has the bold text with the number beside it, like "Junk Mail (14)" to denote how many unread messages there are. Now, logically, when you quit Mail, shouldn't that number disappear on relaunch if the Junk Mail folder is set to purge? Well, it doesn't. I have to click on the Junk Mail box after a relaunch to get the "ghost" number to go away. Annoying if you ask me! I've submitted it to Apple to be fixed hopefully.
     
  9. big macrumors 65816

    big

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2002
    #9
    I dont know about that, I do everyonce in awhile catch something that I had subscribed to, so I just save all my junk mail and delete when I look at it once a day, or every two days.
     
  10. Doctor Q Administrator

    Doctor Q

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2002
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    #10
    I wrote myself a rule-based spam filter, which has grown to 2971 rules as of today and does an excellent job. It has no rules for the phrase "as seen on Oprah" and I've never gotten spam like that. Maybe I'm on the "wrong" spam lists?
     
  11. Flowbee macrumors 68030

    Flowbee

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2002
    Location:
    Alameda, CA
    #11
    I've got "Oprah" in my spam filter rules. I guess I'll never know if Oprah has responded to my online personal ads. :cool:
     
  12. Awimoway macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2002
    Location:
    at the edge
    #12
    Don't need to. .mac filters all of it out for me. I don't know of any valid email I've missed and I don't think I have ever gotten spam in my inbox. My Junk mailbox is mostly full of stuff from websites that I purchased something from. It's kind of spam, but kind of not. As long as it doesn't show up in my Inbox, I'm a happy man.
     

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