Spam: I’m giving up….

December 29th, 2003 by Richy B. Leave a reply »

I think I’m just about to give up on the email addresses provided by my ADSL provider (Demon). Why? Well, over Christmas Eve (from 4pm) to Boxing Day (2pm), I received nearly 25,000 emails. That’s a lot – but I’ve got a couple of custom Perl scripts which can crawl through my POP3 email box and zap spam (as it’ll probably be dictionary attack sort of spam).

It’s now 4 days on and I’ve managed to delete over 44,450 emails and there are another 47,552 still awaiting deletion. Yep – that’s over 90,000 emails in a space of a few days(!) I’ve spent most of today re-writing my email zapper (it’s called by the way) to be more efficient (previously it was making a separate connection to the mail server for each “attack name”: but now the last of “spammed addresses” is over 1,400 I needed to make it work on the mail as a group). But still running TOP on the emails in 1,000 blocks and then sending the DELETE command didn’t have much affect (it was taking around a quarter of a second to a second to send the delete command for each email: in that time 2 more emails came in!).

I’m now running a quick script to try and clear the POP3 mailbox down a bit more (by just sending 50,000 “DELETE” commands to the server), but I don’t hold up much hope. It’s looking like I’m going to have to give tech support a call tomorrow to get them just to flush my mailbox.

Why don’t I run something like SpamAssassin? Well, I would if I could. But it’s a “dialup/ADSL” POP3 email account, Demon don’t provide SMTP delivery to ADSL customers (but they do to conventional dial-up Modem users: go figure!) and I can’t change the MX records either. The good news is is that in the new year, they are introducing Brightmail filtering which should hopefully see spam drop (I’ve heard of figures between 75% and 98% with less than 1 in one million false positives!).

Ho hum. Oh, since typing the last two paragraphs I’ve now got 47,729 emails awaiting deletion: that’s nearly 200 emails in a matter of minutes(!).

[add] Actually, I’ve just taken a five minute average from 00:52 to 00:57 and I’m getting 16.6 emails per minute: that’s 996 per hour or 23,904 per day! Gulp!

This post is over 6 months old.

This means that, despite my best intentions, it may no longer be accurate.

This blog holds over 12 years of archived content - during that time, I may have changed my opinion of something, technology will have advanced (and old "best standards" may no longer be the case), my technology "know how" has improved etc etc - it would probably take me a considerable amount of time to update all the archival entries: and defeat the point of keeping them anyway.

Please take these posts for what they are: a brief look into my past, my history, my journey and "caveat emptor".


  1. Chris says:

    Try using SpamAssassin locally and getting your pop box delivered by SMTP using fetchmail.

    Brightmails 1 in a million figure does not stand the test of time in independant tests (anti-fud?).

    Can you forward the account to another pop box? If so forward it to your cpanel host and turn on spamassassin & a delete content rule.

  2. Donato says:

    How are you getting so many e-mails??

  3. Well, I’ve been on the net for around 7 years and because some of my old email addresses can be found in old USENET news postings (back in the “spam free days” when you didn’t have to mangle your address) my “home domain name” has got a bit well known and spammers just run “dictionary attacks” against it. Over 99% of the mail is to email addresses that have never existed (and never will).

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