Structure & Strangeness


: Spam Warrior :

: I have a form letter that I use to contact the Telcos. With foreign ones, it's
: kind of a toss-up as to whether you'll get a response, but generally the
: tech people are more sympathetic with your case. Here's the form letter
: with the appropriate information filled in :


: I'll post later whether I hear anything back or not. But contratulations!
: You've now seen exactly how to trace a piece of spam over the internet
: using the tools that were designed to provide some degree of
: accountability for using and/or abusing it.

: [Update: 7.16]
: I haven't received a reply back from, but I thought I'd
: post a response from another ISP that I emailed earlier. Unfortunately,
: it's a typical Telco reply - some people are nicer about giving you the
: electronic finger though. I wasn't really expecting much in the way of a
: response, even though contacting the abuser's ISP is truly the only route
: you can take wholly by yourself. It was fun to get in touch with them, and
: do the sleuthing necessary. Here's their response :


: Caveats :

: There always has to be a 'but', and here's this story's :

: The Hybris worm is known for spoofing. It's a very clever piece of work
: that even uses cryptography to prevent unknown sources from passing
: it information, and can update it's functionality via plug-ins which it can
: download from the internet. The Hybris virus is known for spoofing the
: originator's email address (hence why it always comes from
: "" while still coming from IP addresses from all
: over the world), however, I don't know if it has the ability to spoof the
: originator's IP address. If it does, then it's completely untraceable over
: the internet (as servers don't keep logs of the messages they pass back
: and forth), but it does explain why I've been getting such international
: mail lately.

: Final Thoughts :

: Spam is annoying as hell, but every email program worth it's weight has
: built-in filtering abilities. I use just a couple to eliminate most
: spam/virii. For instance, trashing all email whose "From:" field does not
: contain the "@" symbol will eliminate any message without a correctly
: formatted "From:" address. For those that pass that test, filtering out
: all messages from a particular domain name "" will go a
: long way to cleaning your Inbox.

: But fear not! The federal government wants to know about your spam.
: If you receive true spam (unlike the spam/virus I received today),
: forward it to .

: Honestly, the absolute best way to avoid spam is to avoid distributing
: your email address on the web. I have no idea why 30% of my mail is
: spam/virii, but it's annoying. Filters make up for what gets through, and
: an active effort to remove my contact information from marketeer's
: databases works too.

: Cheers!

: -A

: References and Resources :



: Federal Trade Commission - Unsolicited Marketing (includes email)

: New York Times - Fighting Spam (free registration required?)

: Spam Laws - Federal and State

: - Internet Myths and Hoaxes (educated yourself before your 'forward')


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© Aaron Clauset

updated 7.16.01