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  Freeware eMail CRM Maximize the life-time value of your clients and getting them to smile at you Art of eMail CRM Applying minimum efforts for maximum result, at the shortest time? emails eMail Bolts & Nuts Interesting emails stuff that you should  know eMail Broadcast FAQ's eMail Marketing Tips
Great email strategies to help you increase sales
Email Spam tracking 101 - Meaning of email headers
Email Spam tracking 103 - The WHOIS database
Email Spam tracking 104 - A spammer unmasked

Thinking of bulk emailing - Consequences of spamming?

Figuring out fake eMail - Deciphering fake email or posting?

Dedicated Email Spam tracker 102
by Bill Mattocks

DejaNews is a big hammer for anti-spammers, don't be afraid to use it to clobber a spammer.

Are you sitting comfortably?
Good, then I'll begin.

Since posting
Lesson 101 (spam tracking for newbies),
I have received a few comments by people curious about
Dejanews and how it works.

Quite simply, DejaNews is one of the dedicated spam-tracker's most powerful tools, and it is quite simple to use.

http://www.DejaNews.com is a free service and DejaNews is a trademark of Deja News Research Service, Inc. They make their money by selling banner advertising that the user sees across the top of their screen when it is used.

DejaNews is the memory of UseNet. There are ways to prevent a given UseNet message from being archived by DejaNews, and there are ways to remove your own information from DejaNews, but for legitimate spam-trackers, that's not important.

For the most part, DejaNews simply records a major part of UseNet News traffic, and indexes every single word of it (that's important, as we'll see later).

eMail Bolts & Nuts FAQ's
How to manage and clean bounced or undelivered emails? Understand why emails get bounced
How to use your desktop PCs as an email server and bypass your ISP email server, a simple process using a free mail server program
How to test your message and see if it gets deleted by broad based anti-spam filters?
A one page email course. Everything you wanted to know about emailing in a "nut shell"
Quick guide to: dig finger traceroute ping whois nslookup IP block FTP SMTP relay TCP/IP Port
How to embed email tracking code into your email? Invisible counters, codes, scripts to track viewer
Send HTML or TEXT email using formatted HTML email, you can send an entire webpage
How to embed images into HTML email for faster emailing? Prevent displaying linked-site in recipient email client status bar
RFC defined ESMTP, SMTP Status Email Error Codes? These codes are used to provide informative explanations of error conditions
How email works?  Delivery of each email is done
by your ISP mail server, first establishing a conversation through your recipient port 25
Some spiders visit site after site, collecting email addresses and controlling these rogue spiders spam bots or email harvesters with robot.txt
About TCP/IP and mail server port numbers? It is a number between 1 and 65535 which identifies to the receiving computer what function you want to perform
The function of URL or Uniform Resource Locator?
A command for your email address, some mail clients may not be able to translate it into an email address
What is important is that DejaNews has many powerful features that we can use to track spam back to its source.

Keeping in mind that most spammers have been at it for awhile, we can use DejaNews for the following:

1. Determining from where and for how long a spammer has been spamming.
2. Determining if anyone has succeeded in unmasking the spammer yet.

3. Determining if the spammer has given away clues to his or her own identity over a period of time.

To expand on that:

By searching for a spammer's name or address, we can see if the spammer has been spamming from more than one location over time. In effect, we can track the spammer's history as they are kicked from ISP to ISP. This is useful information!

Often, we get "I'm sorry" responses from clueless ISPs or even the spammers themselves, who want to fool us into thinking that they are "beginners" at the spamming game. DejaNews can put the lie to this one right away! If an ISP gets a spam report, that's one thing.

But, if the ISP gets a report that gives detailed information on just how long the spammer has been at it, and how they've been kicked from ISP to ISP, that's quite another.

It may be enough to convince some ISPs to dump the spammer, since he has been lied to. In any case, you'll know when NOT to believe the clever "I'm sorry" lie.

eMail Bolts & Nuts FAQ's
A standard client server protocol for receiving email. POP3 is use for retrieving Internet email from ISPs mail server...
Collections of important useful emails related sites? Free email stuff, real cool, give it a try
Advanced DNS (dig) for the DNS records of a host or domain showing all the DNS records
All about IP Addresses, DNS, Internet addressing. Serious stuff, perfect remedy if you can't sleep
Email history, email netiquette, improving email presentation, email with sound, pictures--give it a try
101 Email spam tracking and meaning of message header? 102 DejaNews the most powerful dedicated spam-tracker's tool 103 The spam tracker tools: Whois, nslookup, traceroute, dig 104 Spam tracking
Never use ISPs that hosts your web site to send out newsletter. If they cancel your account, you will lose all your web pages
Warning: If you publish an online newsletter or email to any opt-in list (including your own list), it is critical that you read this
The history of Spam starts with Monty Python's Flying Circus and Vikings singing Spam
A list of return error codes by Windows Sockets API returned by WSAGetLastErrorcall with descriptions
Meet The Kings of SPAM - You don't need rocket science to figure out how to send spam emails
2) One can see how quickly the messages fly by in NANAE. This can make it hard to recall exactly who said what to whom and when. Often, a spammer is unmasked due to the hard work of some anti-spammer, and then is RE-unmasked by another anti-spammer 6 weeks later.

Before investing all of your time and energy in tracking a spammer, do yourself a favor and see if the job has already been done for you! Of course, you must still exercise due diligence to be certain that the spammer is the same one you're after, but take the time to look! The power of DejeNews lets you network with anti-spammers who are speaking to you, as it were, from the past.

3) Spammers often change little bits and pieces of their spam as they fine-tune it. If they find that they've left themselves vulnerable, they change the ugly bit and continue on. They hope that nobody realizes that they've fixed whatever it was that gave them away in the first place.

However, DejaNews is the answer here. By comparing past and present spams from the same spammer, one can find interesting things which can finish a puzzle sometimes. This is not frequent, but it does happen. Keep your eyes open for subtle changes in a spammer's methods that might indicate a weak link.

Quite simple to begin.

Go to http://www.dejanews.com and type in the name or mailing address of the spammer. Click on the FIND button. However, sometimes it is not as simple as all of that. Fortunately, as I said earlier, DejaNews indexes the COMPLETE TEXT of  all that it collects.

Given that, you can search on random bits of text that can shed light on the identity of a spammer. Is he using a PO Box? If so, type that in. You'd be amazed at how many spammers are too cheap to get a new  PO Box after they're unmasked at one spam and move on to another. Same PO Box generally means same spammer.

Phone numbers. Searching for ISPs can give a clue as to whether or not they've been known to host spammers. Use your imagination! Try matching up the IP address that the spammer came in from. That is less useful, since most IP numbers are pseudo-random when they're hosting a dialup account, but you never know.

It might be an IP address that's been made to look like a dialup, but is really a dedicated circuit. You have to think a bit like a detective. Use logic and reasoning to satisfy yourself that a hit is or is not the spammer you're looking for. Even a ".sig" line can ID a spammer sometimes.

Spammers are often quite gray little blobby creatures, devoid of individual traits, but sometimes one burns with a bit of creativity, or happens to seize upon a certain phrase which they like to use over and over. It can be their undoing.

Don't forget to search all the way back in DejaNews at the end of the initial search, you'll see another block with your original search in it, and a couple of radio buttons for "recent" and "old" news. The default that you've just completed is recent. Make sure to check out the "old" news as well.

DejaNews has many powerful features, including a power search mode. I encourage you to explore those features as well, although you'll have to learn a bit about boolean logic , which is beyond the scope of this lesson.

Email Spam tracking 101 - Meaning of email headers
Email Spam tracking 102 - The many uses of DejaNews
Email Spam tracking 103 - The WHOIS database
Email Spam tracking 104 - A spammer unmasked

Thinking of bulk emailing - Consequences of spamming?

Figuring out fake eMail - Deciphering fake email or posting?









Spam-tracking 103 WHOIS tool nslookup and traceroute freeware download
whois.internic.net or network solutions are network registries to find out contact info for current domain or IP address
nslookup a DNS tool that Perform forward and reverse DNS queries for the current address (this will usually give you the IP address of a hostname)
traceroute finds the route packets take between you and the selected address
Email in a "nut shell" a one page course about emailing. Everything you wanted to know about emailing.
How email works? Delivery of each email is done by your ISP mailserver establishing a conversation through (port 25) of your recipient mail server
Free2-Try 100% effective. The easiest way to Stop Spam getting into your PC. I recommend it. stop spam
Free eBook Sun Tzu Art of War Commanders without thoughtful strategy invite defeat.

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