Spams on Bionet

ORAC dgorski at x-site.net
Fri Jun 27 17:06:50 EST 1997


In article <5p0spe$qum at panix.com>, iayork at panix.com (Ian A. York) wrote:

>What can you do about it?  To be honest, probably not much.  If you are
>adept at reading headers, you can complain to the current ISP from which
>the spam is originating.  Since there are probably already tens of
>thousands of complaints, you aren't likely to make a huge difference, but
>every little bit helps.
>
>On Usenet, with a good newsreader, you can try to set up a killfile to
>filter out the spam posts.  This isn't easy, because the From: and
>Subject:  lines are variable (deliberately so, of course). 

If you use the Mac, I highly recommend using MT-Newswatcher or
YA-Newswatcher (I use MT-NW). Both have very extensive filtering
capabilities and both can filter using regular expressions, which is a
very powerful way of killfiling spam. For instance, anything with one
character repeated three or more than three times (XXX, $$$, !!!, ***) in
the subject header is almost always indicative of spam and can easily be
killfiled. Likewise, you can killfile any post with a header that has
spaces between all the letters, like "H O T  S E X" or that has a header
in all capital letters, as so many spams do. I admit that I don't
understand regular expressions very well, but both newsreaders come with
documentation that has several very useful pre-made regular expressions.
You can filter on the "References:" header such that messages posted to
more than 6 newsgroups get killed.

Over the last 8 months or so, I've built up a collection of filters that's
pretty effective. They catch at least 95% of the spam out there and
killfile it such that I never see it. I don't really appreciate how great
this is until I try reading Usenet with Netscape's newsreading module,
which has no such filtering capabilities. Then I see all the spam that
MT-NW has been keeping me from seeing.

The latest versions of MT-NW and YA-NW can be found at www.macorchard.com.

-- 
MY E-MAIL ADDRESS HAS BEEN SURGICALLY ALTERED TO HINDER SPAM TO ME.
TO GET AT MY REAL E-MAIL ADDRESS, DELETE THE HYPHEN!

ORAC                        |"A statement of fact cannot be
a.k.a.                      | insolent."   ORAC
David H. Gorski, M.D., Ph.D.|
Department of Surgery       |
University of Chicago       |



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