[Nottingham] Tux Games Antispam - Your message is being held

Martin martin at ml1.co.uk
Mon Dec 10 18:48:51 GMT 2007

Tom Bird wrote:
> ForkBombFluf wrote:
>> On Mon, 10 Dec 2007, Andy Smith wrote:
>>> Have you ever heard the phrase "think globally, act locally"?  On
>>> the Internet you *cannot* just do "what works for you", because we
>>> have to interoperate.

Unfortunately, some very selfish 'rogues' are polluting the global
system with (according to one recent reference) NINETY EIGHT PERCENT of

I know that I cannot afford to wade through 98 spam messages in the hope
of finding just two useful messages.

Hence the various 'band-aid' measures of trying to thwart the spam
merchants enjoying profits at vast expense globally from everyone else.

> It's not just an opinion, it is a FACT, applying challenge / response to
> email is fundamentally broken!  Imagine if everyone was blinkered enough
> to deploy it, and some spamming cock used your email address as a from
> line (it has happened to me before) and you started receiving thousands
> of these idiotic mails, to which no doubt you would send your own
> challenges.

Thankfully, /everyone/ isn't using such a system. However, many heavily
targeted businesses and individuals now do use CR.

I haven't needed to resort to a CR system myself so far... But with the
occasional deluge of a 1000 or so spams a day, I may well need to if the
spammers get their "random" factor only just slightly better.

I have no wish to waste my time for the spammers...

So, am I equally selfish?

> It isn't just broken from the POV of the snowball effect, it is
> tremendously selfish even now where fortunately few people have the
> required mixture of technical ability and ignorance to deploy it.
> could go on...

Please do and (politely and intelligently) please explain how to defeat
the spam menace and for minimum cost in time, effort, and money.

If not CR, what works just as effectively for the spam victim? (And more
usefully than just directing everything into "/dev/null".)

(Tom & Andy: You're welcome to present your case at a meeting if you're


CR: Challenge response


"Not only does this sound simple enough and sufficiently elegant, it
also works reasonably well"

"Nowadays C/R systems are not used widely enough to make spammers bother
to (automatically) respond to challenges"

Martin Lomas
martin at ml1.co.uk

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