Spamming and mail archives

Joel Sherrill joel.sherrill at
Thu Aug 28 11:27:34 UTC 2003

Angelo Fraietta wrote:

> I am considering changing my email address because of the amount of 
> Spam I am getting. One of the reasons that I am getting so much spam 
> is that my email address is in places that spam harvesters can get at 
> it. One of these places is in the rtems archive. If I change my email 
> address and start sending messages to this newsgroup, the spam 
> harvesters are going to get me again.
> Is there a way we can overcome this by making the archives less 
> accessible to spambots. One way I have seen is that the user is 
> required to enter text that is displayed on a PNG file. 

I don't know of any spam that is being sent through the list.  You have 
to be subscribed to send to
the list.  We have the list set up to silently reject messages sent to 
it when you are not subscribed.
The sometimes bites people who have different email variations like an 
me who has an official one
(joel.sherrill AT ...) and the one you all know (joel AT ...).  If you 
check the web archives, there
is no spam in it.

Now on to harvesting them from the archives. The email addresses in the 
headers are processed
to be somewhat obfuscated.  They become "joel AT  oarcorp DOT com".   
According to a
report I read, that was sufficient to stop harvesters.

What we can't stop (and what has nailed me) if you are active with email 
(personal and on lists),
your email address is archived by many people's email client -- in 
archives, address books, and
collected addresses. 

SoBig forced me for the 1st time to install an automated kill filter 
which really only kills
emails with certain types of attachments.  I installed it at 14:45 last 
Thursday and it has now
killed > 2600 messages based solely on that simple criterion.

The graphic trick you mention would stop automated subscription attempts 
but not anything
else that I know of.  So far, we haven't seen those.

I get a lot of SPAM.  But I post a lot of public messages, have had the 
same email address
for > 7 years, and am probably in a lot of  address books.  Mozilla 1.4 
is pretty effective with
its junk filter. 

We will do anything we can to help this problem but the list itself 
seems well protected.

Anybody have any other ideas which might help?


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