eXspaminator FAQ's and Tips
  by Jerry Kapron
   eXspaminator

FAQ's & Tips


1. How can I defend my email from spam attacks?

2. How did my email address get on the spammers' lists?

3. I received SPAM from my own account name.
Did someone hijack my NYCT.NET account?


4. How do I block spam that appears to be sent from myself?

5. How do I prevent the spam filters I've created from deleting
e-mail sent by people I know?


6. My filters don't seem to catch the spam they are supposed to.
What's wrong?


7. I received e-mail with nothing but a whole bunch of weird characters and no
meaningful content at all.
What's going on?


Full-length Articles

1. Spam Warfare
2. War against spam continues!

How can I defend my email from spam attacks?

It's simple! You now have access to the eXspaminator, NYCT's custom built
first line of defense. Just point your web browser to http://spam.nyct.net
Log on with your usual username and password to begin.

Once you're in, you can easily protect your account from unwanted email.
The basic filters can be set up in minutes, drastically reducing the most
common junk mail you receive in your inbox. After giving the filter a name
of your choice, the only other step in the basic filter process is to choose
a word to that indicates a common piece of junk mail. A quick look at the
subject headings of current spam messages in your inbox should give you a
good idea of what words are unique to these junk mailings. The system
allows you to create as many of these filters as you need. The advanced
filters are more specific, but are just as easy to use. In the advanced
settings you can eliminate emails that are sent to multiple addresses and
can also specify certain domains and senders from which you will not accept
mail. Also, in order to avoid accidentally filtering out the mail you want,
the advanced settings allow you to specify criteria that will ensure that
important mail gets to your inbox. The user manual on the tool currently
explains the process and will soon be updated to further assist you. With
the eXspaminator you can forever forget about annoying junk mail.

How did my email address get on the spammers' lists?
There are many ways that spammers harvest and collect email addresses to
build their lists. The traditional mode of address collection involves
spammers obtaining your email address from websites, newsgroups, and chat
rooms that you visited. Often when you subscribe to a list, your address is
intercepted. Another annoying technique used is that
the spammer emails random assaults on common name addresses. Spammers guess
at potentially valid addresses by taking a common username and adding a
valid domain to it.
For example, chances are there will be a 'bob@anywhere.com' is address at
almost every domain out there.

NEVER send a reply to a spammer with a remove request. This only confirms
that your address is valid, increasing the threat of more spam.


I received SPAM from my own account name.
Did someone hijack my NYCT.NET account?

No, some spam that you receive only appears to be sent from your account on
our server. In fact there are techniques used by spammers to forge the
sender header (e-mail address) and make it appear as your address or any
other address. Those techniques do not require any kind of hijacking nor
hacking into servers. We would like to assure you that our servers' security
level will never give out your e-mail address, and that no one else is
receiving the spoofed headers appearing to be your account name.

How do I block spam that appears to be sent from myself?

Point you browser to eXspaminator's home page at http://spam.nyct.net,
Log on using your regular username and password,
Click on 'Create Filter',
Click on 'Advanced Filter' at the bottom of the page,
In the 'Filter Name:' text field type 'From Myself',
In the 'Filter Rules' select 'Sender' from the 'If the' menu, leave the
second menu as is to display 'contains', in the text field right next to it
type your e-mail address, leave the 'then' menu as is to display 'delete the
message',

Click [Create],
Click 'Log Out'.

This should take care of the problem. If you followed the steps above
correctly, you should not see another e-mail from 'YOURSELF' ever again.

Keep in mind that if you ever decide to send something to yourself from and
to your NYCT.NET account, it will now be treated as spam and will not be
delivered to your mailbox.

'How do I prevent the spam filters I've created from deleting e-mail sent by
people I know?'

Once in a while someone will send you e-mail containing words that your
filters would treat as spam and trash the messages that you probably wanted
to read. Here is what you can do to prevent it:
Again, point you browser to eXspaminator's home page at
http://spam.nyct.net,
Log on using your regular username and password,
Click on 'Create Filter',
Click on 'Advanced Filter' at the bottom of the page,
In the 'Filter Name:' text field type the name of the person you want to
receive all e-mail from,
In the 'Filter Rules' select 'Sender' from the 'If the' menu, leave the
second menu as is to display 'contains', in the text field right next to it
type the person's e-mail address, select 'leave in my INBOX' from the 'then'
menu,
Click [Create],
click 'Manage Filters', you will see the newly created filter at the bottom
of your filter list, with the up arrow button [/\] in the 'Order' column,
move this filter to the very top of the list,
(this step may have to be repeated multiple times until the new filter
appears at the top of the list),

You will need to create a new filter for each person you don't want to miss
a single e-mail from.

My filters don't seem to catch the spam they are supposed to. What's wrong?

Sometimes it may seem like the filters you have set up are not working.
Well, if you have a filter that is supposed to delete all e-mail messages
including the phrase 'Click Here' and you still receive them, it definitely
seems like the filter is not working correctly. The truth is that probably
there is nothing wrong with the filter, and it catches all e-mails including
a given keyword/phrase, however the recent spamming techniques include
encoding an entire e-mail message. This will fool most spam filters, but
there is a very simple solution to this problem. Considering that this type
of encoding is used almost only for binary attachments (pictures, programs,
zip files, etc.) and that there is no good reason for anyone to encode an
entire message, we may assume that every encoded e-mail message is a piece
of spam. Here is how to catch them:

Point you browser to the eXspaminator web page at http://spam.nyct.net,
Log on using your regular New York Connect username and password,
Click on 'Create Filter',
Click on 'Advanced Filter' at the bottom of the page,
In the 'Filter Name:' text field type 'Encoded Messages',
In the 'Filter Rules' select 'Message Headers' from the 'If the' menu,
In the menu right below select 'begins with',
In the text field right next to it type 'Content-Transfer-Encoding: base64',
Leave the 'then' menu as is to display 'delete the message',
Click [Create],
Click 'Log Out'.

If you followed the steps above correctly, you should not see another piece
of encoded e-mail ever again.

I received e-mail with nothing but a whole bunch of weird characters and no
meaningful content at all. What's going on?

Good chances are that was Korean encoding. An interesting fact is that South Korea
is the most developed country in the World when it comes to Internet broadband.
Over 80% of South Koreans have high speed Internet connection at home.
This makes Korean the second mostly used language used in spam. Some studies
show that 30-40% of spam sent worldwide is in Korean. Here is how you can
eliminate most of Korean spam:

Point you browser to the eXspaminator web page at http://spam.nyct.net,
Log on using your regular New York Connect username and password,
Click on 'Create Filter',
Click on 'Advanced Filter' at the bottom of the page,
In the 'Filter Name:' text field type 'Korean',
In the 'Filter Rules' select 'Entire Message' from the 'If the' menu,
In the menu right below select 'contains',
In the text field right next to it type 'charset=ks_c_56',
Leave the 'then' menu as is to display 'delete the message',
Click [Create],
Click 'Log Out'.