azentropy

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Jul 19, 2002
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Anyone else notice that the automatic Junk/Spam filter on their @Mac/@me/@icloud account performing horribly?
Maybe it was reset with the upgrade and needs to relearn everything? Or maybe just a coincidence? I upgraded just one of my systems but of course use the account across about 6 different macs/iphone/ipads.
 

Erehy Dobon

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Feb 16, 2018
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Isn't that being handled on the server side of things rather than by Mail?
Yes, it should be since one can access iCloud Mail via a web browser on a non-Apple system (e.g., Google Chrome on Samsung tablet).

The initial junk mail filtering pass is handled by Apple's iCloud mail servers. Maybe the mail admins recently tweaked the junk mail filter in a manner that is less effective.

Or maybe some of the more clever spammers have rewritten their messages to bypass known e-mail filters.

Either happen from time to time. It's the never-ending leap frog contest between spammers and anti-spammers.
 
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Erehy Dobon

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Why would they do that? They have never done that before in any major OS X/macOS upgrade in the 18+ years I have been using this operating system.

Plus, it makes no sense. First of all there is no blanket benefit to Apple's users if Apple just randomly resets user junk mail filters to zero.

Second, this increase in junk mail doesn't seem to be widespread otherwise this forum (and Apple-related forums) would be inundated with complaints.

I see little evidence and zero logic here.

Maybe some spammer got a hold of YOUR specific e-mail address and sold it to other spammers. You know that's what they do, don't you?
 
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azentropy

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Original poster
Jul 19, 2002
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Why would they do that? They have never done that before in any major OS X/macOS upgrade in the 18+ years I have been using this operating system.

Plus, it makes no sense. First of all there is no blanket benefit to Apple's users if Apple just randomly resets user junk mail filters to zero.

Second, this increase in junk mail doesn't seem to be widespread otherwise this forum (and Apple-related forums) would be inundated with complaints.

I see little evidence and zero logic here.

Maybe some spammer got a hold of YOUR specific e-mail address and sold it to other spammers. You know that's what they do, don't you?

LOL, That is why I created this thread - to see if others have seen the same thing. From time to time Apple has changed indexes or file formats that require modification that requires a rebuild. You see it all the time after upgrading to things like the Photo Library, Safari bookmarks/cookies/cache or even the mailbox indexes themselves. So it isn't out of the realm of possibilities that an early or new version might have a big that affected these junk/spam filters. I've also had this account for 20+ years so found it very odd that the increase started the day after I upgraded. As I said in the original email, maybe it is just a coincidence.
 
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johannnn

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Nov 20, 2009
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I get maybe 2 spam emails every day to my iCloud inbox. My Gmail inbox hasn't gotten a single spam message in months (it correctly puts all of them in the spam folder).

The stupid part about iCloud is that almost all my spam is ridiculously easy to label spam. They all have "Fwd: Hello Friend" as subject, the To: field is "undisclosed recipients", and they're always sent by "John mills".

Every spam that goes to my inbox I instantly forward to abuse@icloud.com.

Whoever is responsible for spam filtering at Apple should be fired instantly.
 
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iMacDragon

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Oct 18, 2008
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I have noticed a marked increase in spam, whether it's coincidence or not, I don't know.
 
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mikecwest

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Jul 7, 2013
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The reason I ask is in the FAQ Apple has on Reduce Junk mail in Mail, the section down below is "Reset the junk mail filter". So thought maybe upgrading to Big Sur did something like that automatically.

Have you been able to find the "not junk button?"

>>If Mail incorrectly marked the message as junk: Click Move to Inbox in the message banner or click the Not Junk button in the Mail toolbar (or use the Touch Bar). Mail moves the message to your Inbox.>>
 
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azentropy

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Original poster
Jul 19, 2002
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Well what ever it is/was it has stopped after I upgraded to beta 3 a few days ago. Again might be a coincidence.
 
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katbel

macrumors 6502a
Aug 19, 2009
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In the last 2 weeks I saw an increase from 0 to several spam email to my iCloud email
that I forward to spam@icloud.com
I NEVER used it for anyone, or commercial or anything. Just with Apple and feedback Apple
How did they get it?!
The only thing that comes to mind is that someone hacked iCloud ..😟 or it's a revenge from the feedback LOL
Beside forwarding back to Apple is there anything else I could do?!
 
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ApfelKuchen

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Aug 28, 2012
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In the last 2 weeks I saw an increase from 0 to several spam email to my iCloud email
that I forward to spam@icloud.com
I NEVER used it for anyone, or commercial or anything. Just with Apple and feedback Apple
How did they get it?!
The only thing that comes to mind is that someone hacked iCloud ..😟 or it's a revenge from the feedback LOL
Beside forwarding back to Apple is there anything else I could do?!

"Hacking" is the standard explanation for any unexplained computing behavior. It's easy, but not necessarily true.

"Hacking" in the case of spam is simply coming up with a way of hiding spam content from the existing server-based spam filtering methods. No need to access/attack the mail servers to do this - just come up with a new way to slip something in under the radar. Once that new technique is identified the spam filters are upgraded to recognize this new variant. All remains quiet until the next innovation in hiding spammy intent.

Like true malware (software with malicious intent), spam/spam filtering is a cat-and-mouse game.

And then again, sometimes an up-tick in spam in your inbox is a matter that your email address was finally stumbled upon and added to a spammers list (and spammers sell their lists to other spammers). That can be done by relatively brute-force methods - the spammer "invents" a series of possibly valid email addresses - "whatever-it-may-be@domain.realm" - the spammer sends email to that address. If they get a bounce-back notice then they know it's not a valid address. If they don't get a bounce, then it's a working address. If the mail server software is smart it identifies sender addresses that are throwing random addresses against its firewall and starts blocking any mail coming from that source. The sender addresses that by constantly changing the sending address... and so on.
 
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bdinardo

macrumors newbie
Dec 27, 2006
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In the last month or two, I've seen an enormous increase in the amount of mail hitting the junk folder. This morning, for example, there were 57 emails in the junk box. there used to be just a couple. the hassle is that it takes me much, much longer to be able to open emails I'm interested in; I can't open those until all this junk is downloaded to my Mac. Seems like most of this junk used to be eliminated before it ever got to me. I also wonder if Apple tweaked some settings that is allowing a flood of junk to come my way.
 
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Unsupported

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Jul 23, 2020
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a land far, far away...
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