JARING General Spam FAQ
A1:"Unsolicited Bulk E-Mail (UBE)" is defined as any messages transmitted via e-mail or any other communications medium that fits CRITERIA (i) and (ii) below.
"Unsolicited Commercial E-Mail (UCE)" is defined as any messages transmitted via e-mail or any other communications medium which fits CRITERIA (i), (ii), and (iii) below.
i. Message is "Unsolicited", if:-
* Recipient has never established any prior personal or business relationship with the sender of the message; or/and
* Recipient has never expressly and verifiably invited or granted prior permission to the sender for sending any such messages to the recipient; or/and
* Recipient had earlier explicitly requested the sender NOT TO send any messages of such nature (or any messages whatsoever) to the recipient.
ii. Message is sent in "Bulk",
if message is duplicated (or copied with slight modifications, without affecting the intended effect of the message) and sent indiscriminately to more than a reasonable number of recipients.
iii. Message is commercial in nature, including but not limited to advertising, sales, auctions, etc.
"Spam" is hereby defined as any messages resembling UBE or UCE, from ANY source and to ANY destinations, including but not limited to JARING networks.
"Spammer(s)" is hereby defined as any party that transmits Spam.
A2:To our best knowledge, spammers use this method to collect e-mail addresses:
- From posts to UseNet - Spammers regularly scan UseNet for e-mail address, using ready made programs designed to do so.
- From mailing lists - Spammers regularly attempt to get the lists of subscribers to mailing lists
- From websites - Spammers 'harvest' or 'spider'(*) e-mail addresses posted in websites. Most posts to UseNet and mailing lists are also archived in websites, so these addresses can be picked up here as well.
- From "dictionary attacks" - Spammers 'harvest' e-mail addresses by connecting to an ISP's e-mail server and tries to send e-mails to random permutations of common names and addresses appended by the ISP's domain name. Valid addresses (attempts that didn't bounce) are then compiled, distributed/sold, and used to send spam.
A3:One of the most commonly used Spam techniques is to enter one address in the To line and put all other recipients in the Bcc line. This will make the message appear to be addressed to someone else, but it will still show up in your Inbox, as your e-mail address has been listed in the Bcc line not To line.
A4:Although your e-mail address is in the From or Return-Path field of the e-mail, it does not mean that the spammer has hacked into your computer system or your e-mail account. It does not require your password to mask/ spoof the From field of an e-mail.
The purpose of doing so is to make you look like the culprit instead of the actual spammer. It also serves to direct any e-mails from the recipients to your mailbox. Send any evidence you have of the forgery to the abuse desk with an explanation of what is happening.
A5:Yes, it may. You may request for the change by sending an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org .
A6:NEVER, EVER reply to a "remove address"(*). Replying to a remove address does one thing: confirms your e-mail address as legitimate so the spammers can sell your address to other third parties.
In many cases, the unsubscribe link is not a real option to unsubscribe. More often than not, the spammer uses this link to find out whether your e-mail address is being accessed and the e-mails read.
You are advised to use this unsubscribe option only if you feel that the company is a trusted one and would immediately remove your e-mail address from their mailing list upon request.
A7:Since spammers do not usually get your e-mail address directly from you, but rather indirectly via the web or other service, there is no truly direct way to keep a spammer from getting your e-mail address. However, there are many steps you can take to make it difficult for a spammer to find your e-mail address on the web:
- Don't publish your e-mail on the web:
The only way to keep your e-mail address truly private is to not publish it on the web in any form. This is usually not a very feasible option, because many of us would like people who want to access your e-mail address for legitimate reasons find it. Spammers and the people who sell spamming as a business have software that "harvests" e-mail addresses from the Net. This software crawls through the Internet seeking text strings that are -something-@-something-.-something-. When it finds one, it catalogs it on a database of other e-mail addresses to be used to send spam.
- Be conservative with who you give your information to:
Many websites and online services these days will ask you for your e-mail address when you register or visit their site. If you do sign up with any of these services, make sure that they have (i) a privacy statement that will ensure that your e-mail address is not given out to anyone that you don't want it to be given out to. (ii) that your prior consent is needed before your information can be used for any purpose whatsoever.
- DO NOT reply to spam e-mails:
Although it may sometimes be tempting to reply out of anger or frustration to an unsolicited e-mail attacking the sender, it can sometimes lead to more serious problems. First, your e-mail address may be sent to other spammers using the same e-mail account, causing your e-mail address to appear on more lists, and give you more spam mail. Also, if the account name that the spammer is using is actually someone else's (this is easy to do), you may be sending an unsuspecting computer user an unnecessary e-mail.
8. So, what do I do about spam?
A8:The best way to stop the flow of spam is to fight back. You can report the spammer to his Internet Service Provider (ISP). Ensure that your report contains the full e-mail headers and content of the spam.
First, you have to find out the domain name the spammer is using. This can be done by looking at the full header of the mail. View and read the full header and determine the origin of the spammer. The information provided in the full headers will allow you to determine where a message actually came from and how it got to your computer. This is sometimes necessary because the address you see on the "From:" line can be spoofed or faked.
For more information regarding displaying full header, please refer to this page : http://www.mycert.org.my/e-mailabuse/header.html"
If the spam originated from a JARING subscriber, you may make a report to email@example.com. However, if the spam was not sent by a JARING subscriber, you are advised to report the spammer directly to his ISP. (E-mail headers).
Most ISPs realize it is bad for their reputation to have this activity on their networks and they should take action against the spammer consistent with their AUP (Acceptable Use Policy) or TOS (Terms of Service).
A9:We recommend you create a filtering rule in your e-mail program which deletes any e-mail message not specifically addressed to you in the "To" or "Cc" headers.
Most of the newer e-mail clients have filtering capabilities. Since most spam comes with your e-mail address in the bcc: field, you can filter the bulk of the UCE by filtering out any mail that does not have your e-mail address contained in the To: or cc: fields.
For content filters, besides words linked to pornographic content, you can also filter e-mails with unsubscribe functions e.g. Filter out phrases such as "click here for removal" or "to be removed".
Instructions on setting up filters or message rules are available in the Help section of your e-mail client. Search for 'filter' to find up the instructions. Do be careful when setting up filters to ensure that a legitimate e-mail is not accidentally blocked/ deleted.
We recommend that you send the filtered messages to a separate folder for review, at least until you get the filters functioning correctly.
A10:ISPs have little control over spam which does not originate from their servers. Imagine trying to set up the criteria to block e-mail spam while making sure that no legitimate messages get filtered out. As annoying as spam is, not getting legitimate mail because of the spammer's activities would be worse. In reality, do you really want your ISP deciding what mail you should or should not get?
Currently, JARING is in the process of deploying ISP-wide antivirus and antispam measures, free of charge. Bear in mind that there's no silver bullet to be rid of spam, and the war against spam is an arms race, requiring various tools in many fronts. Expect the measures to be 'gradual' instead of 'instantly'.