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SPAM Blocking Measures Instituted on UNT Mailhosts

By Bahram Paiani, UNT E-mail Postmaster and Dr. Philip Baczewski, Associate Director of Academic Computing

UNT CITC staff has enlisted the help of sites who keep a list of "known and potential SPAM sources" in order to cut down on the number of SPAM E-mail messages that we receive here at UNT.  We took these steps in mid-November and  initial efforts have yielded apparent success. 

For one day in November, we blocked a total of 38,379 SPAM messages at the main unt.edu mail router service (mailhost.unt.edu).  For the first week of December, we blocked 313,019 potential SPAM messages out of a total of 2,406,798 messages processed through the top-level mail router.  In other words, for the week we blocked as much SPAM E-mail as one day's number of legitimate messages.

But that E-mail was innocent!*

We have received a few E-mail messages from people indicating that their friends/wives, etc.  have not been able to communicate with them. These SPAM-blocking services work by discovering and registering Internet sites which are observed to or potentially could support the transmission of SPAM messages.  Sometimes a commercial Internet service has servers which fall into this category and "innocent" E-mail can be caught in this SPAM filter.

For example, one of the services we use is called NJABL . A bounced mail message filtered by this service may contain a line like one the following:

 "blocked using dnsbl.njabl.org, reason: open proxy"   OR
 "blocked using bl.SPAMcop.net, reason: Blocked"       OR
 "blocked using dnsbl.njabl.org, reason: relay tested" OR
 "blocked...

If so, the person who sent the E-mail needs to contact their Internet service's technical support to correct a problem on that service's network which is causing it to be listed as a potential SPAM source.

Further Information, Assistance

For any other error messages, other technical support can contact the UNT postmaster at postmaster@unt.edu or at 940-565-4162.  In any correspondence, it will be necessary to include the full mail header of the bounced message to be able to diagnose the reason for the mail's rejection.

The volume of SPAM being transmitted on the Internet has grown to the point that it can no longer be ignored by network support staff.  To this point, efforts have been put toward identifying SPAM so that it can be filtered once it reaches your E-mail Inbox. Actively rejecting suspicious messages, however, will cut down on the amount of work our E-mail systems are having to do on it's behalf and provide us with a more efficient service for the E-mail we need to conduct the mission of the University.


* Your incoming mail may not be SPAM, but we are getting more and more of it lately that is. Admittedly, some of it is quite amusing. Dr. Baczewski received this recently. Translation programs can do wonders to the English language!:

How do you do dear lucky Customer !
I believe wonderful news now for you!
Gratis permission to vital and limited aduIt ulr from RemarkableGang
company!
Open this ulr at this moment to get your access:
...
P.S. Cherished chum and ally this Remarkable intelligence are limited
advise, so Check it now!
Yours faithfully, your lewd aide!