Viva Liberacion: A Guide to Nuking Spammers, Part 2 - Page 2

 By Carla Schroder
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Sam Spade

This site is a treasure trove of useful online digging tools: address digger, obfuscated URLs, whois, blackhole list check, and more -- you name it, it's here. I recommend Sam Spade for users who want to a deeper knowledge of networking and how the Internet works. It's also effective on the rare occasions Spamcop is buffaloed.


Real-Time Blackhole Lists are tools to drop spam before it ever hits your mailserver. Some are extremely aggressive, which often results in them blocking some legitimate mail. For example, SPEWS.org escalates their blocklists to include netblocks that may not be in use by spammers when a service provider refuses to act on spam complaints.

A favorite tactic of a spam-friendly ISP is to shuffle a spamming customer's IP addresses and DNS around; expanding the blocked range is an effective way to keep their garbage off your servers. Other DNSRBLs vary in aggressiveness -- there's one for every temperament. Please see "Why don't spam blocking lists block only the spammers?" for a more detailed discussion of why blocklists operate the way they do.

Remember rule #1 of sysadmins: MY servers, MY rules. We are under no obligation to allow traffic or content on our servers and PCs. Keep this in mind when the spam-inclined and the clueless are pestering you with their usual nonsense about 'frea speach.' Please see the Spamfaq for detailed FAQs on these issues.

Wrapping Up

I've spent considerable time on "why spam is bad" in this series as, unfortunately, too many people still do not understand. This will give you a good start on serious, effective spam-fighting. Please keep a cool head; it is far too easy to get caught up in anger. When it comes to spam, read, study, and use the tools; don't get mad, be effective.


The Spam Battle 2002: A Tactical Update -- This is a great article on spammer tactics as well as on how to get your own house in order
Why don't spam blocking lists block only the spammers?
Realtime Black-hole Lists: Heroic Spam Fighters or Crazed Vigilantes?
There's No Such Thing As Legitimate Spam
Thank The Spammers
Sam Spade

» See All Articles by Columnist Carla Schroder

This article was originally published on Apr 30, 2003
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