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Spam links

The following are links to external sources of information and tools for dealing with spam. I can’t take any responsibility for the material presented on these sites, and you should use them at your own risk. Contact me at if you think there are any other links that I should add.

Spam information

CAUCE (the Coalition Against Unsolicited Commercial E-mail) is a US-based organization (with sister groups in other countries) that seeks to promote legislative solutions to the problem of spam. Their website at http://www.cauce.org offers information on spam, including statistics and horror stories. You can join CAUCE for free to add your support to their efforts.

The Boycott Spam campaign invites you to join and pledge to take specific actions (such as those I mention on this site) to reduce the proliferation and effectiveness of spam mail. Their website at http://spam.abuse.net (part of the Network Abuse Clearinghouse) gives tips for marketers who want to run spam-free internet operations, and also offers advice to individual users and system administrators for dealing with spam.

No, it isn’t a Spamhaus; rather, the Spamhaus Project is home to a number of anti-spam resources, including the Spamhaus Block List (a real-time list of IP addresses known to have originated spam, which a system administrator can use as part of a spam blocking effort), and the Register of Known Spam Operations (ROKSO), a database that exposes the “talent” behind many spam campagins. Their website also includes suggestions for internet providers in the wording of their acceptable use policies, and a compendium of internet providers who provide spam support services.

Clueless Mailers (at http://www.cluelessmailers.org/) offers a blacklist of spam operators, and provides a unique poster depicting the incestuous links among spammers and spam-friendly support services. Site proprietor Robert M. West takes a very dim view of the practice of opt-out spamming: he calls it extortion.

Spam Links (http://www.spamlinks.net/) is the warehouse store of spam websites: it has many well-organized pages full of links to useful sites about spam and related topics. I am long remiss in providing a reciprocal link to this site, which lists my own site in several categories (thanks!). If there’s something you need to know about spam, chances are great that you’ll find it there.

The site at http://www.claws-and-paws.com/spam-l/tracking.html offers more information on how to track and report spam, extracted from the official FAQ of the SPAM-L mailing list.

Spam analysis and filtering tools for individual users

(In addition to the links here, be sure to see my page on tools for more pointers to online spam analysis tools.)

The popular SpamCop service allows you to analyze and report spam for free (after a no-cost registration) simply by pasting it into a webpage at their site at http://spamcop.net. For a small monthly fee, you can use the highly-developed SpamCop filters to filter your own incoming e-mail; you can set SpamCop up to forward the filtered mail to a private address of your choosing, or you can use webmail or POP3 to pick up your mail directly from SpamCop’s servers. The segregated spam is held for you to report or delete as you see fit. SpamCop also offers private usenet feeds where members can post inquries and information about particular spam messages, as well as spam trends in general.

If you don’t have a good set of basic network tools on your computer, you can make use of the invaluable SamSpade service at http://samspade.org. SamSpade offers customary general network tools like nslookup, but also has a very useful “magic” whois lookup and other cool features like a “safe” web browser (which simply retrieves the raw HTML markup from the website of your choice without rendering it, loading any images, or running any code; it’s a web-based version of what you can do with curl or similar utilities). Windows users can download and use the free Sam Spade for Windows software. a set of tools so comprehensive that <hint>I wish it were available for MacOS</hint>.

Don’t have whois on your system, or having trouble matching names to addresses? R. Scott Perry’s DNS Stuff website (http://www.dnsstuff.com/) offers many DNS-related tools of use in spam tracing and reporting, including a clever cached DNS lookup (which can sometimes help you find the addresses of spam websites whose operators have engaged in DNS trickery).

You may also be able to locate spam-related shareware, freeware, and demoware at Tucows (http://www.tucows.com) for Windows and Macintosh operating systems, or open-source tools for Unix-like and other operating systems at Freshmeat (http://freshmeat.net).

Tools for mail service providers

Can your mail host be used by spammers as an open relay? You can test any remote host (including those not under your direct control) at http://www.abuse.net/relay.html.

Mail clients and anti-spam add-ons

Unfortunately, I cannot offer much advice on specific e-mail programs, since I don’t have much experience with most of them. You’ll want to investigate these on your own.

The most popular mail clients these days are those provided by Microsoft, Netscape, and Apple; all of these are free (or at any rate are bundled with the operating system). They vary in their degree of spam-averseness.

You may find alternative e-mail clients, or “add-ons” for the big-name programs at repositories like Tucows (http://www.tucows.com/).

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(c) 2003-2006, Richard C. Conner ( )

05251 hits since March 28 2009

Updated: Sat, 06 May 2006