No Spam Hate spam? Want to do something about it?

Here are a few pointers

What kind of Spam do you hate?

First of all, you need to decide what kind of Spam you hate. The following are not all strictly 'Spam', but I don't want to get into a terminology debate here. If you hate all of the following, then just carry on reading, else hit the relevant link to go to specifics:
Hormel Spam Pink gooey meat product
Email Spam Unsolicited Bulk Email, delivered direct to your mailbox
Usenet Spam The same thing, posted lots and lots of times
IRC Spam Spam to your screen while you chat

Hormel Spam

So you hate that gooey pink meat in a can from Hormel do you? Well here are a few suggestions:

Email Spam

This is my own pet hate (how anyone could hate that lovely pink meat is beyond me!), so this will be the most full section of this page.

So you're mailbox is getting spammed? You're fed up? You want to fight back? Spammers are nasty, and must be handled with care. However they are also quite stupid, so you don't have to be that careful.

First of all, some Do Nots:

So what can I do about Spam?

If you want to try to deal with the Spam problem, there are several things you can do: Some of the points offered above are not easy, and will require you to educate yourself about the finer points of email protocols and such. Here are some useful links:

Usenet Spam

Usenet spam is the same message, posted lots and lots of times on newsgroups. Spam posts are often crossposted to hundreds of newsgroups. As with UCE, the content of spam is irrelevant.

Here are some useful links for dealing with Usenet spam:

More about Usenet spam in future updates.


IRC Spam

IRC spams are usually private messages, or global messages sent on IRC servers to people chatting online. Although you can ignore an IRC spammer quite easily, it is just as easy for them to come back under a new ID and spam you again.

Decent chat clients such as mIRC allow you to set up filters to stop the messages getting to you, however it is difficult to trap everything. You can complain to the server administrators about IRC spam, but the chances of getting a result are slim.

Many IRC spammers use a 'bot' to spam, which switches their nickname every couple of seconds. This makes it difficult to trace the spammer. However, most IRC spammers are advertising websites, so you can go after the website directly. You might have to visit the website during your investigation, so be prepared to view some material that you may find distasteful.

The first thing to do is plug the spammed URI into Sam Spade Online, to find out who the domain belongs to. If the domain is not owned by the spammer (e.g. www.xoom.com/imaspammer), you can contact the abuse department for the domain (in this case, abuse@xoom.com). If the domain is owned by the spammer, then they probably won't have an abuse department, so you need to find the administrative contact for the domain's upstream provider (Sam Spade will tell you this, either in the Administrative section of the WHOIS output, or by doing a traceroute).

While ISPs use dynamically assigned IP addresses, IRC spamming should be taken seriously. A common problem is that IRC networks will ban an entire IP block, because there is no other way to ban the spammer from their network. This means that innocent users are denied access to the IRC service because of a net abuser.

Remember, if you can complain to the spammer's ISP, it is better than complaining to the victimised IRC network maintainers.