Scott Hanselman

SPAM: Do I really deserve this?

June 11, 2004 Comment on this post [27] Posted in NDoc
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This is really out of control.  (This photo is UNDOCTORED and from today.)

About Scott

Scott Hanselman is a former professor, former Chief Architect in finance, now speaker, consultant, father, diabetic, and Microsoft employee. He is a failed stand-up comic, a cornrower, and a book author.

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June 11, 2004 9:11
Hope your using a spam filter (probably). I use outlook express with spambayes - works ok. The best part is instead of false-positives, it marks them as unsure.

June 11, 2004 9:50
Well, it's obvious isn't it??? You *must* surf lots of porn and indiscriminately hand out your email address... Oh and you don't run virus software (that's ANTI-virus software, people...) and if you would just have not used the Internet, you never would have had this problem. ;)

Welcome to my world. Yuk.,guid,79621bba-5fd7-4378-9c8b-6d84099a38fe.aspx

Oh, one more thing - it's entirely likely that a larger percentage than usual is getting through filters - spammers are getting smart (it's a relative term), and filtering has to continuously play catch-up.

- g
June 11, 2004 9:54
I agree, spambayes ( outlook plugin works perfect for me. Been using (training) it for some months and I haven't had a real email classified as spam for a month (though our CEO's "letter to employees came close..)
June 11, 2004 10:13
It's easier when you run your own mail server, forget about bayes filter and drop any chinese ip, russian, brazilian and use a bunch of dnsBLs to reject after connection.

It's getting silly again though, if you look at my stats ( you can see a marked increased in attempts.
June 11, 2004 11:03
I'm just curious: it seams you've read one message so there must have been something to have caught your eye. I'm guessing you went for the new-kid-on-the-block "cheap software" in stead of the spam-king "enlargement" operation ;-)
June 11, 2004 11:33
Ya, I just can't resiset those "real slutty teens!"
June 11, 2004 11:34
I'm signed up with SpamSoap, but as Greg says, they are getting SMART. It's nuts.
June 11, 2004 11:44
SpamBayes (Outlook add-in) does an amazing job, my spam problem has vanished since installing it.
June 11, 2004 14:05
Cloudmark works fine for me. Certainly since having it I haven't had to delete a single item of spam which it hasn't already detected. You can find it at
June 11, 2004 16:11
Unfortnately it comes down numbers. Spam is so cheap that they only need 4 people to click through and buy the "services" or "subscriptions" for the "campaign" to be profitable. So of course, being that spammers are starting to get email addresses off of blogs and comments, with out a good filter it is only going to get worse.
June 11, 2004 17:01
Everyone says it's "out of control" and evertone suggests some geek solution like the latest anti-spam program. None of these address the problems which are social and not technical. When people say "out of control" what are they are prepare to do? It is freaking way beyond out of control even with anti-spam filters and costing the economy billions. When do we band together and say enough is enough? When do we put pressure on our lawmakers to make this stop? When do we do more than say it's "out of control?"
June 11, 2004 17:14
Clearly the problem is that you're using Outlook Express....

Try Thunderbird. Or even Outlook with SpamBayes.
June 11, 2004 17:39
I definitley agree with Sam that the Spam epidemic will never be solved with a "geek solution" such as a spam filter (even though SpamBayes is awesome). However, I do see companies like Microsoft and Yahoo! developing strong plans to rid the world of the junk. I am confident that if these organizations, and many others, can get together and cooperate, we will see the end of spam well before the end of the decade.
June 11, 2004 18:21
The problem is that SPAM works. There was a recent arrest of some spammers in the US and they were pulling down over ONE HUNDRED THOUSAND DOLLARS A MONTH!! With that kind of profits, SPAM will never go away no matter what you do.
June 11, 2004 19:00
Pregnant Ladies Lactating!!! I don't even want to ask. My favorite are the ones that tell me I am underendowed when it comes to my breasts. As soon as I think I have it undercontrol, they figure out what is up and BAM! my inbox is full of SPAM again. I currently use Outlook 2003 spam filters (tweaked) in combination with the Microsoft's Intelligent Message Filter on Exchange 2003 and some of the less agressive black hole lists. It seems to be working well, because I get only about 5 - 10 SPAM a day and I have no false positives. I could get more agreesive, but then I have to keep reading the Junk Mail folder.
June 11, 2004 19:09
But, 5-10 emails that you didn't ask for, out of what, 100 a day? So 10% of your mail is SPAM and that's OK?
June 11, 2004 19:35
Use Outlook 2003, turn on paranoia mode and reject anything from people not in your address book as spam.

Scan the spam once a day. Remember to add everyone you buy things from or send email to into your address book.

Works fine for me.
June 11, 2004 19:46
I think it's an honest mistake. Without a global "No thanks, I'm all set with the breast size / horny teens / v14gr@ / african fortune" list, the spammers just don't know. They don't know, and they've got this "No Flat Chested White Guys Left Behind" initiative that's not gonna let them sleep until I'm up a few cup sizes.

I've been working on a service to save them some time and worry - a global "I'm good here, thanks" list. It'd be a simple form where you can enter your e-mail address and it adds to a list below in plain text so they can have a list of e-mail addresses to remove from their lists. I think I can post regular updates of the list to newsgroups, too.

I'm really excited about this - it'll clear out our inboxes a bit, and let the spam senders sleep a little better at night knowing that I've finally come to terms with my breast size.
June 11, 2004 20:22
My personal favorite is "rattlesnake 7 mastadons". Probably still an add for naked sorority babes, but it's got a great subject line. :)
June 11, 2004 21:12
It might be slightly too late for you but check this out:

Little shameless self promotion, but hey. I finished writing mine when yours popped up in my outlook. Keep up the great work! Love your blog!
June 11, 2004 21:13
It might be slightly too late for you but check this out:

Little shameless self promotion, but hey. I finished writing mine when yours popped up in my outlook. Keep up the great work! Love your blog!
June 12, 2004 0:43
I'm firmly planted in the Microsoft development camp...
but this is one place where I have to chime in with the open source crowd: get the heck off Outlook Express! I made the switch to Mozilla Thunderbird about 2 months ago, and have since switched both of my parents' computers.
Really, try it for 2 hours and see if you miss ANYTHING from OE. With Thunderbird's junk mail filter enabled, your spam will be significantly (though not entirely) decreased.
June 12, 2004 1:23
I would feel honored to have that many pieces of email in my inbox. Sure, it might take a good part of my morning writing responses, but you never know the connections you might make.
June 14, 2004 19:28
I hope all the 8546 weren't completely spam :)

In fact, I had given up all hope when I was blogging this entry:,guid,917b3353-6c84-4e08-a8ec-7a992ca9f2ef.aspx

Check out the comments section where my good friend who works for an anti-virus company (and is not so much of a Microsoft fan - as is obvious from his post) had to say about fighting spam.
June 15, 2004 11:53
I just changed my home and work email addresses. It's a pain but a lot less than getting all those emails every day. It was lovely to open outlook and only see valid emails in my inbox!

June 21, 2004 19:54
Scott, you get so much SPAM because you have your email address on your web site. When I did that on my site, my SPAM went from 10 per day to about 300 per day in the space of 2 months.

I use ChoiceMail for SPAM filtering, but I will definitely take a look at Thunderbird!
June 21, 2004 19:59
Actually, that email address is obfuscated with javascript, so hopefully that's not a problem, but good observation.

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Disclaimer: The opinions expressed herein are my own personal opinions and do not represent my employer's view in any way.