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  1. #1
    Join Date
    January 17th, 2005
    A message from

    "Hilda Whitt"

    Subject: Your invoice is enclosed!

    [full-page html image add for "super-blow-out-sale" on Symantic Norton Anti-Virus ommited]

    Opt-Out Instructions:

    "This email was sent to you because your email is part of a targeted opt-in

    list. If you do not wish to receive further mailings from this offer, please

    click below and enter your email to remove your email from future offers.


    Anti-SPAM Policy Disclaimer: Under Bill s.1618 Title III passed by the 105th

    U. S. Congress, mail cannot be considered spam as long as we include contact

    information and a remove link for removal from this mailing list. If this

    e-mail is unsolicited, please accept our apologies. Per the proposed H.R.

    3113 Unsolicited Commercial Electronic Mail Act of 2000, further

    transmissions to you by the sender may be stopped at NO COST to you


    Do Not Reply To This Message To Be Removed.

    Easy Remove and contact


  2. #2
    2005 Linkshare Golden Link Award Winner  ecomcity's Avatar
    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005
    St Clair Shores MI.
    Please ABW members DO NOT ever click on a OPT-OUT link where that cut an paste legalese notice is contained at the bottom of the e-mail. Legit e-mails never need that warning and smart spam filters trash e-mails containing that notice.

    Charlie ...

    If they won't adopt and feed a bird ..flip them one! BBQ some Gator and remember to flush WhenU..

  3. #3
    ABW Ambassador DesignerWiz's Avatar
    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005
    I totally agree with EcomCity. No legitimate mail sends contain "Anti-SPAM Policy Disclaimer: Under Bill s.1618 Title III passed by the 105th U. S. Congress .. blah blah" ....

    Any/All legitimate viewer opt-in mail group sendings all have a direct link to opt-out without the need to post such a statement. Purely rubbish mail.

    Ray Thomas CEO
    Development Resource & Javascript Public Archive Center

  4. #4
    2005 Linkshare Golden Link Award Winner  ecomcity's Avatar
    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005
    St Clair Shores MI.
    By Mitch Wagner, InternetWeek
    Feb 13, 2003 (2:13 PM)

    Spammers are adopting sophisticated techniques to get around filters, requiring creators of spam-blocking technology to become cleverer themselves.
    "What is amazing to me is how fast spam mutates," said John Graham-Cumming, a lead developer on a popular open-source mail-filtering program, POPfile. "The spammers are actively looking at what filtering programs do, and working on ways to get around them."

    The evolving techniques require anti-spam developers to stay on their toes -- and IT managers need to keep apprised of the techniques as well, to be better able to evaluate anti-spam products.

    In addition to the well-known tricks of forging return addresses and mail relays, spammers are adopting new techniques designed to foil filtering software that searches for keywords in messages. These include HTML which is invisible to the eye but which breaks up offending techniques. Spammers also use encoding techniques that were initially designed to transmit binary files over e-mail, instead using the encoding to cloak their offending text.

    Not just the sophistication, but also the volume, of spam has been increasing. Eight percent of e-mail was spam in September 2001, according to Brightmail, an e-mail-filtering service provider. That number had jumped to 40 percent by December 2002, and analysts predict that more than half of e-mail will be spam by the end of this year. Enterprises are seeing only slightly less spam than the population at large, which reports around 35 percent of messages being spam.

    The sophistication of the spammers resembles the sophistication that virus authors have used to evolve their techniques and escape detection. But spam is evolving faster than viruses ever did, because spammers are backed by money that virus writers lack, said Karl Jacob, CEO of anti-spam software vendor Cloudmark.

    "Spammers are making a lot of money. They are sophisticated. Unlike virus writers, spam writers can afford to invest in new machines and new techniques. In many cases, they're hiring the anti-spam guys to come and work for them," Jacob said.

    The anti-spam activists are hired by spammers to develop techniques to defeat filters. Some businesses run services that allow spam writers to run their work through filters in advance of distribution, to create something that won't be blocked.

    One of the most common and noticeable spammer tricks is one that Graham-Cumming called "Lost In Space." Spammers will add bogus spaces and other blank characters to forbidden words and phrases to slip them by spam filters, such as "M O R T G A G E", or "F*R*E*E V'I'A'G'R'A O*N*L*I*N*E". Similarly, spammers replace letters with numbers that look like the same letters ("V1DE0" "T4PE" M0RTG4GE"), and use accented characters in English.

    Some of the more common spammers' tricks involve HTML mail, and require spam filters to become sophisticated about parsing HTML, according to Graham-Cumming.

    Spammers will send e-mail with the message consisting solely of an image that loads from an external site. That technique beats keyword searches by using no words at all. The solution is to filter on the HTML containing the link to the external image

    Spammers will load the e-mail with benign or random keywords before HTML text, or in an e-mail header, or in white text on a white background. This technique is designed to foil rules-based filters that analyze every word of incoming e-mail to determine whether a message is spam or legitimate. To block those messages, a filter needs to ignore invisible text.

    "Hypertextus Interruptus" is Graham-Cumming's name for splitting words using HTML comments. The word "millionaire" is likely to be caught by a spam filter, but "milli‹!-- xe64 --›ionaire," might slip by. This spam technique depends on an e-mail client eliminating the HTML comments tag and displaying the word intact. POPfile strips HTML comments out of messages before filtering.

    Other techniques include:

    Some spammers use extremely complex table HTML tags to change the order of letters in the message, which will then be reconstructed by the mail client.

    Spammers will use two-part MIME documents, with the spam message in the HTML section and bogus text designed to trick a spam filter in the plain section.

    And spammers will use encoding techniques, which most mail clients can automatically decode, to hide their messages, including decimal, hex, and octal. Spammers also encode spam in JavaScript.
    One extremely sophisticated spam message was camouflaged a great many ways: The subject revealed nothing about the contents, and the body was base64 Encoded HTML. Decoded, the body contained HTML comments and malformed HTML tags breaking text into pieces. The URLs were encoded. Instead of characters, the message used ISO entities, or numerical values, for those characters. The result was particularly graphic porn spam, Graham-Cumming said.

    All of these techniques leave spam fighters with bad news and good news, Graham-Cumming said. The bad news is that the stream of tricks is never-ending, and might seem impossible to keep up with. The good news is that spam is the only kind of e-mail using these tricks.

    E-mail that uses complicated cloaking will almost certainly be spam, and the more complicated the cloaking, the more likely a message is to be spam. For example, attempting to re-assemble a message that's been scrambled with multiple table tags, and then testing the results for spam characteristics, is time-consuming.

    "However, most people don't send through tables with thousands of table tags in them, so the trick itself becomes a way to identify spam," Graham-Cumming said. "As filters drive the spammers to more complicated encoding, they are creating the solution, which is to look for the encoding."

    Cloudmark's Jacob agreed.

    "That's the kind of stuff we love," he said. "Rather than looking at the content of the message, we are looking at the signs the message has been tampered with."

    neat article on spam scraper traps...

    Charlie ...

    If they won't adopt and feed a bird ..flip them one! BBQ some Gator and remember to flush WhenU..

  5. #5
    2005 Linkshare Golden Link Award Winner  ecomcity's Avatar
    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005
    St Clair Shores MI.
    Nice Clickz article on SPAM LAWS:
    "It all began on March 30, 1998. First, EarthLink was awarded $2 million in an e-mail "trespassing" case against the notorious Sanford Wallace and his company, Cyber Promotions. That same year, the states of Washington and California added new "anti-spam" bills to their dockets. These were the first hints of the coming tidal wave of anti-spam legislation that, five years later, has swamped the nation.

    Today, according to, 26 states have laws regulating spam on the books. Eight of these spam laws have the advertisement ("ADV") labeling requirement. Let me guess -- you forgot to add "ADV" to your subject line in your last acquisition campaign, right? Although most of those 26 states have so far not enforced these laws, there are very important precedents you should be aware of:

    Washington State v. Jason Heckel. The Washington State Supreme Court recently upheld the state law and charged that Heckel used fraudulent subject lines, fraudulently routed through open relays, and gave no valid return e-mail address. The most important precedent in this case is that Heckel is based not in Washington but in Oregon. Watch out -- you don't have to be in-state to get in trouble.

    Verizon v. Additional Benefits. Following EarthLink's victory in California, Verizon settled out of court last October with a Michigan-based company run by the infamous Alan Ralsky. Ralsky's company clearly violated the Virginia state spam law (thanks in passing to AOL) and trespassed on the virtual grounds of Verizon's network. This case exemplifies the enforcement of the Virginia law as well as using the interstate commerce clause against a company outside of Virginia.

    New York v. Monsterhut. Perhaps the most visible anti-spam enforcement, New York State's Attorney General Eliot Spitzer enforced the state law against Monsterhut's infamous Todd Pelow. (Why are all spam companies led by amazing characters such as Wallace, Heckel, Ralsky, and Pelow? There should be a comic book!). What's unique is Monsterhut was accused of marketing to addresses it claimed were opt-in. Recipients said otherwise. The company was also charged with ignoring unsubscribe requests. Monsterhut is now history, but the case set a precedent for opt-in enforcement.
    Some Strangeness in Utah

    Thought much about e-mail extortion lately? No? Then look in your mailbox for a letter from a law firm in Utah that demands money for spamming. All it takes is one Utah recipient to unsubscribe and not be removed from your list, and BAM! -- you're slammed for more than $500 in fines. You can choose to fight it out in a Utah court, but you may pay that same $500 in plane tickets just to make your court date (at least it's ski season and may not be such a bad business trip!).

    And it's not just Utah. There's a similar situation with Iowa's state law and a case of extortion against a marketer who mistakenly didn't immediately honor an unsubscribe request.

    Why You Should Care

    Who is in charge of your e-mail acquisition programs, you or your lawyer? If it's you, it may be time to rearrange things. Today's acquisition programs can easily fall afoul of any one of today's many e-mail laws. You must keep a tight rein on your content, list management, and dispute resolution options. Verifying the sources of e-mail rental list collection is no longer a wish. It's a requirement.

    Have you ever run your e-mail acquisition list request against the Direct Marketing Association's (DMA's) e-mail preference service suppression file? That list is a current example of what may be several do-not-email lists that will come into being. Multiple state legislatures are following Missouri's lead by proposing similar suppression files for you to use when planning your acquisition campaigns.

    Bear with a rundown of the political food chain. Presidents are often past governors. Governors endorse U.S. senators and representatives. U.S. senators and representatives campaign with state senators and representatives, and county mayors and sheriffs endorse state senators and representatives, with constituents voting for all. Each of these elected officials relies on the next to stay in office.

    What's my point? No elected representative wants to see his legislative efforts become irrelevant.

    It's highly doubtful any federal legislation will effectively pre-empt the plethora of state e-mail laws. State legislators are too powerful to let that happen, and the federal bills under consideration are not so strongly worded as to create a "ceiling" that entirely pre-empts the state laws. At most, a "floor" requirement will be set up. Such a floor pre-emption will mean nothing when applied to the majority of stricter state e-mail laws."

    Soom my e-stamp proposal will find many supporters even in the mass e-mail marketing community.

    Charlie ...

    If they won't adopt and feed a bird ..flip them one! BBQ some Gator and remember to flush WhenU..

  6. #6
    2005 Linkshare Golden Link Award Winner  ecomcity's Avatar
    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005
    St Clair Shores MI.
    Senators Introduce Junk E-Mail Bill
    Thu April 10, 2003 06:27 PM ET
    By Andy Sullivan
    WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Two U.S. senators introduced a bill on Thursday seeking to cut down on "spam," the unwanted junk e-mail that by some estimates accounts for 40 percent of e-mail traffic worldwide.

    The bill, sponsored by Montana Republican Sen. Conrad Burns and Oregon Democratic Sen. Ron Wyden, takes aim at a popular spam tactic by requiring Internet marketers to provide legitimate return addresses on their messages. Spammers often hide behind false return addresses to avoid the ire of their targets and to slip through filtering software.

    Marketers would also be required to honor requests to be taken off customer lists.

    "This bill will help to keep legitimate Internet traffic and e-commerce flowing by going after those unscrupulous individuals who use e-mail in annoying and misleading ways," Wyden said in a statement.

    Offers for "herbal Viagra" and urgent requests for assistance from "Nigerian colonels" have become an annoying constant of online life.

    But spam has grown from nuisance to threat status over the past year as the volume of unwanted messages exploded.

    The bill would not allow consumers to sue spammers directly, but require state attorneys general to sue on their behalf. The Federal Trade Commission could also fine violators, and Internet providers could block spammers from their networks.

    Internet portal Yahoo! said it supported the bill, while the DMA and Internet provider America Online AOL.N said they would work with the Senate to craft an effective bill.

    The average "wired" American received more than 2,200 spam messages last year, according to Jupiter Research, while the British government said last month that spam now accounts for 40 percent of global e-mail traffic.

    Internet access providers complain that their equipment is overwhelmed by the torrent of unwanted e-mail, while legitimate businesses worry that their pitches are getting lost in the din.

    The problem has become so acute that the Direct Marketing Association (DMA), a trade group representing telemarketers and direct mailers, switched its position last year and said it would support a national anti-spam law.

    While 27 states have anti-spam laws, previous congressional efforts have foundered over free-speech concerns and opposition from the DMA and other industry groups.

    A similar bill sponsored by Burns and Wyden cleared the Commerce Committee last year, but was not taken up for a vote in the Senate.

    "Now it's time to move forward. This legislation has been on hold for too long," Burns said.

    Charlie ...

    If they won't adopt and feed a bird ..flip them one! BBQ some Gator and remember to flush WhenU..

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