Spam via the USPS

I get so much mail from Clearwire, and I don’t really know why.  It would seem to me that if I don’t respond to their mail and advertisements the first forty times they send it, they should stop pestering me.

Honestly, I get around 3-5 pieces of mail via the USPS from them per week.  Today, I sent an email to the only e-mail addresses I could find for them on their website: Investor Relations and Public Relations department.

I’m getting tons of mail via USPS every week from ClearWire asking me if I’d like to sign up.  I’m not sure why your marketing/sales organizations feel compelled to deliver these letters to me on average of 3-5 times per week.  What I’d really love to sign up for is finding out how to stop getting these advertisements.

Is there a way of opting my mailing address out of these mailings?

Thanks for your help!

Perhaps my mail was a bit snarky, but I’m ok with that generally.  Stop killing trees and filling up my mailbox with junk, I say.

Besides, if I wanted to be really snarky, I’d take a peek at their latest SEC 10K filing, and let their investor relations group know just how much their mailing things to me impacted their earnings per share.

Blocking spam referrers

I’ve noticed through my website statistics program (I use Mint, thankyouverymuch), and I’ve noticed a couple of referrers that are suddenly referring a ton of hit to my website. I as curious what I did to attract these guys, so I peeked in my Apache logs a bit, and headed over to their website to find out what they’re all about.  Turns out, they’re basically opening a little frame in their site, and redirecting browsers to hit Movable Type trackback posts.  Mind you, I haven’t run Movable Type in … 6 months?

Now, my Movable Type install doesn’t exist anymore, but I do have a rewrite rule in my Apache configuration to capture 404 (resource not found) errors and have WordPress deal with them.  This is so you get pretty website addresses for me, rather than something ugly with variable names in the website address.

I decided that I wanted to block these guys.  Not because they’re bothering me in any way — the trackback script they’re trying to hit on my server doesn’t exist anymore — but they are skewing my website statistics.

Warning: technology speak ahead.

I knew that I could solve this with mod_rewrite in Apache, but I never remember the conditionals and syntax of anything more than a very basic rule rewrite.  A bit of searching online led me to ilovejackdaniels.com, who have already fixed this problem (and in a bigger way than I need to).  Basically, they use Apache’s mod_rewrite to forbid any request with a certain referrer field using RewriteCond and HTTP_REFERER variables.  I dropped the following two lines into my .htaccess, where I do the rest of my mod_rewrite work:

RewriteCond %{HTTP_REFERER} (tbsp2.php) [NC] 

RewriteRule .* - [F]

What does this do?  The first line checks the HTTP_REFERER variable, and if it contains tbsp2.php, it executes the next RewriteRule directive.  In my case, two different websites (who I will not link to), have a page called /klx/tbsp2.php with the aforementioned frame sketchiness going on.  The RewriteRule directive tells Apache to not redirect the client or do any rule rewriting.  The magic is in the [F] – this tells Apache to return a 403 Forbidden error.  These don’t get tracked into my Mint statistics, so they’ll no longer skew my stats.  And now, anytime I notice additional spamming referrers, I’ll just add another RewriteCond to my configuration.

And no, I haven’t been misspelling "referrer" through this.  For some reason, RFC2616 documents this as "referer", which is wrong.

Spam on Mailing Lists

Argh. I hate spam.

I run a few mailing lists on my system, mostly for college alumni and such, and I’m tired of having to deal with moderation requests to grow various parts of my anatomy.

I stumbled across [this site](http://www.jamesh.id.au/articles/mailman-spamassassin/) which talks about how to integrate mailman and spamassassin. Good stuff. Now I just have to see if it works over the next few days.

I hate web spam…

I really hate web spam. Since I used to run [Movable Type](http://www.sixapart.com/movabletype) here, lots of spammers used to hit up /mt/mt-tb.cgi and /mt/mt-comments.cgi to try to auto-spam my blog. I’ve been running [Wordpress](http://www.wordpress.org/) for (checks archives) nearly 3 months now, and I’m still seeing it.

Today, I was checking out my [Mint](http://www.haveamint.com/) statistics, and I noticed I had some really spammy-looking [outclicks](http://code.jalenack.com/archives/outclicks-pepper/) from my [photo gallery](http://www.marius.org/gallery/). Turns out spambots on in “t3h internets” are spamming my comments in there too, so I’ve disabled Gallery comments now.

Sigh. I wish someone would come up with a [TypeKey](http://www.sixapart.com/typekey/)/[LiveID](http://get.live.com/getlive/overview)/[OpenID](http://www.livejournal.com/openid/about.bml) system that actually worked and was well used, so comments could be better managed.

(ed. note: now that I’ve written all that, there’s a lot of links up there. And it looks spammy. How ironic and lovely.)

Crazy New 419 Spam

Just got this new variant of 419 spam:

From: Michael Ramsey
Subject: RE URGENT

Dear Friend,

Good day to you. I may have to trouble your sense of personal achievement and
reward for an opportunity properly taken advantage of.

I am Mr. Michael Ramsey, a representative and an attorney to Kenneth Lay, the
former chairman & CEO, Enron Corp. Industry: Energy &Natural Resources Home, he
deposited (21,000,000.00) with me when he was in power as the chairman.

I am contacting you because I want you to deal with the Finance house and claim
the money on my behalf since I have declared that the Funds belong to my
foreign business partner. You shall also be required to assist me in investment
in your country. I hope to trust you as a God fearing person who will not sit
on this money when you claim it, rather assist me properly, shared in these
percentages, 60% to me and 40% to you. When I receive your positive response I
will let you Know where the Finance houses his and the document's to lay claims
to the funds, which is very important. What I need is for you to indicate your
interest that you will assist us by receiving the money on my behalf in Europe.
For this, you shall be considered to be the beneficiary to the funds. The
project in brief, is that the funds with which we intend to carry out our
proposed investments in your country, is presently in the custody of a bank in
Europe. I do not want the government of my Country to know about the money
because they will believe I got the money from the sales of Enron stock when he
was the Chairman of Enron &C.E.O.

Once I have your details in full the finance house will contact you for Release
of the funds to your account As soon as payment is effected, and the amount
mentioned above is successfully transferred into your account, I intend to use
my own share in acquiring some estates abroad. For this too you shall also be
the overseas manager of all our properties and you will be paid based on a
certain percentage agreed on by both parties.

I guarantee you that this will be executed under a legitimate arrangement that
will protect you from any breach of the law. Please get in touch with me
urgently by E-mail: mich1@ny.com. I am presently in Ireland.
Please, provide me the following:

1. Full Name

2. Your Telephone Number and Fax Number

3. Your Contact Address.

Thanks.

Michael Ramsey.

Wow. That's creative.

installing anti-virus software

This document serves to remind me later what steps I took to get anti-virus software up and running on my FreeBSD 4.9-RELEASE-p1 system. I'm using the stock sendmail 8.12.9 that comes with FreeBSD 4.9-RELEASE (by my count it's at roughly patchlevel 2..) I also plan to only use one copy of the MTA rather than the more popular (but more resource intensive) dual-MTA setup. I'll be setting this up only with anti-virus at first, then adding SpamAssassin hooks later on. NOTE: This document is a work in progress and is not yet completed.

Continue reading “installing anti-virus software”