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Spam - The Digital Pest
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Spam - The Digital Pest!

Oh, am I F.R.U.S.T.R.A.T.E.D!

It's not just the spams that are bugging me but also some of the methods by which they are filtered! I've been trying to get our e-mail server's IP off the RBLs (Realtime Blackhole Lists) for months now and we keep getting blocked even though I made sure that our e-mail server was secure enough not to be casually used by spammers.

Okay, I admit I made a mistake earlier by leaving a relay open during the first hour of installing the e-mail server. Who would have thought that during that narrow window period, some spam-bot managed to scan, detect the open relay and use it to send spam to a few hundred Yahoo Mail users!

Of course, I have since secured the server and even had ARP's IP taken off most major RBLs. I thought the nightmare was finally over. Unfortunately, our legitimate e-mails are still getting rejected by several ISPs, even though we have already secured our server.


For Those Who Are Still Blur About Spam...

What is spam? There are many rather funky definitions of spam. My favourite is the definition referring to spam as luncheon meat! But keeping to the topic, I would define spam as "messages (in any form, whether via e-mail, instant messaging, etc...) that I did not expect or request". In other words, spam refers to unsolicited messages!


But why SPAM?

Why not SPOM or SPIM or even SPUM??? Is there even a reason for using that word???

A quick Google search solved this mystery. Here is an extract of the pretty interesting The Net Abuse FAQ I found :-

The term is rumored to have originated, as far as the Internet is concerned, from the MUD/MUSH community. Blue-haired former newsadmin Nathan J. Mehl tells the most reliable story known to date...

Well, briefly summarized:

My friend-who-shall-remain-nameless was, ah, a younger and callower man, circa 1985 or so, and happened onto one of the original Pern MUSHes during their most Sacred Event -- a hatching. After trying to converse sanely with two or three of the denizens, he came quickly to the conclusion that they are all of bunch of obsessive-compulsive nitwits with no life and less literary taste. (Probably true.)

Editors' Note: another source tells me that this actually happend in the summer of 1991.

So, as the 'eggs' were 'hatching', he assigned a keyboard macro to echo the line:


...and proceeded to invoke it once every couple of seconds, until one of the wizards finally booted him off.

...which would have probably been that last that anyone ever heard or thought of it, except that it apparently ingrained itself into the memory of the PernMUSHers, and forever after there was the legend of 'that asshole who spammed us'.

Today, spam e-mails are part and parcel of our daily life. Every day, I receive almost 200 spam mails from various e-mail accounts. Compare that to the mere 5-10 legitimate e-mails I get every day, you can see why spam is so irritating and annoying!

But I am sure you all have your own horror tales about this SPAM problem. In fact, I believe my spam problems are nothing compared to those who use free web-based e-mail accounts that are constantly under attack by those spineless-imbecile-low-life spammers!

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