Spamming in the Newsgroup

Jeffrey Sirianni audioman at HCTC.NET
Tue Nov 12 20:40:06 EST 1996


Dear Bionet.Audiology Readers,

I have contacted the system administrator for the bionet/biosci realm.  His
response is contained below along with some suggestions.  I personally do
not want to go to a moderated format, so I would appreciate hearing from
anyone with ideas on blocking future spamming.

Jeff

>Sender: BIOSCI Administrator <biohelp at net.bio.net>
>Date: Fri, 8 Nov 96 21:23:19 PST
>From: BIOSCI Administrator <biosci-help at net.bio.net>
>Reply-To: biosci-help at net.bio.net
>To: Jeffrey Sirianni <audioman at hctc.net>
>Subject: Re: Spamming in the Newsgroup
>
>> Dave,
>> 
>> Is there any way to keep the spam messages from getting in the newsgroup?  
>> Are you actively contacting sys-ads from people spamming into bionet 
>> newsgroups.  It is pretty disturbing....
>> 
>> Jeff

>Jeff,
>
>Each newsgroup has a discussion leader whose responsibility it is to
>monitor the group.  I have only a very limited amount of resources for
>BIOSCI now that our grant is over and I have to raise ad revenue to
>keep our heads above water.  I could easily use up all of my time
>patroling the newsgroups and sending out complaints assuming that it
>was easy to identify the site where the spam came from without
>spending a lot of time looking through log files.  The best solution
>is to convert an unmoderated forum into a moderated forum as we mention
>in our miniFAQ included below.  See question 2 below.
>
>				Sincerely,
>
>				Dave Kristofferson
>				BIOSCI/bionet Manager
>
>				biosci-help at net.bio.net
>
>2) What to do about "spams," i.e., junk mail, ads, etc.
>-------------------------------------------------------
>BIOSCI is a set of parallel USENET newsgroups (the "bionet" groups),
>mailing lists, and a hypermail archive at URL http://www.bio.net/.
>The same postings are distributed on all media (except for a small
>number of mailing-list-only groups at net.bio.net).  Unfortunately it
>is becoming a despicable practice on the Internet (by a few people out
>to make a fast buck) to do automated mass postings to thousands of
>newsgroups and mailing lists.  These attempts to grab free advertising
>are refered to as "spams" in the usual, somewhat boneheaded, net
>terminology.  USENET is more susceptible to this practice, and many
>spams originate on the USENET groups and then are passed on to the
>mailing lists.  However, spammers also get lists of mailing addresses
>and hit these too, so neither medium is immune.
>
>What should you do personally if you get junk mail?
>---------------------------------------------------
>Just delete it and move on without reading it further.  Filing a
>protest is becoming increasingly useless because spammers are often
>disguising the addresses where the messages are sent from.  Unless you
>really understand Internet mail systems, your attempt at protest by
>sending replies to the message will often end up being sent to the
>address of an innocent person that the spammer is victimizing.
>
>What can BIOSCI/bionet do to protect its newsgroups?
>----------------------------------------------------
>The only solution currently available is to moderate the newsgroup.
>If this newsgroup is already moderated, then you are in good shape.
>Moderation protects the USENET distribution from about 95% of the
>spams that are being sent to date and protects the mailing lists
>completely.  Moderation means, however, that someone has to take the
>time to review each message before it goes out.  We have set up
>software here that simply allows the moderator to forward to an
>address at net.bio.net messages that (s)he wishes to have distributed.
>This takes no more time than that needed to read the message and pass
>it on, say about 1 min. per message.
>
>Most newsgroups currently have a discussion leader who is responsible
>for their newsgroup.  The discussions leaders and their e-mail
>addresses are listed in the BIOSCI Information Sheet which is
>available on the Web at http://www.bio.net/.  If a newsgroup is being
>hit with too many junk postings, please contact the discussion leader
>for that group and see if there is interest in moderating the group.
>Please do not assume that by simply posting a complaint to the
>newsgroup itself, anyone on the BIOSCI staff will act on your
>complaint.  With close to 100 newsgroups to run, the BIOSCI staff has
>to rely on the discussion leaders of each newsgroup to report problems
>directly to us at biosci-help at net.bio.net.
>
>We will moderate any of our newsgroups if the discussion leader tells
>us that the readership of the group wishes to do so and if a moderator
>is willing to do the work.  For most BIOSCI/bionet groups, this
>entails only a few minutes of work each day.
>
>Moderating a newsgroup will resolve probably 95% of the junk postings
>on the USENET distribution.  Unfortunately there are easy ways for
>determined spammers to override the moderation mechanism on USENET,
>but we can protect our e-mail subscribers from unwanted postings if
>the newsgroup is moderated.  You can also access our newsgroups over
>the WWW at URL http://www.bio.net.  While this Web interface will not
>stop spammers from trying to post to the groups, this will give you
>yet another way, besides using USENET news, to keep the junk out of
>your personal mail files.  For those of you with local USENET news
>systems, the Web interface will also give you faster access to new
>newsgroups and recent postings.
****************************************
* Jeff Sirianni, M.A., CCC-A           *
* Sound Advice / R.G. Delaney, M.D.    *
* 710 Water Street / Suite 404         *
* Kerrville, TX  78028                 *
*                                      *
* (210) 896-1433                       *
* (210) 896-1440 FAX                   *
*                                      *
* audioman at hctc.net                     *
****************************************




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