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80% Of Incoming E-mail At Hotmail Is Spam

timothy posted more than 12 years ago | from the conservative-estimates dept.

Spam 422

The Llama King writes: "According to this AP story at The Houston Chronicle, 80 percent of the e-mail that makes its way into Hotmail's user inboxes is spam. And that does not include the UCE caught by Hotmail's filters. This is the first of a three-part series the Associated Press is doing on spam."

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

fp (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#4007505)

fucken pissed

dah ? (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#4007507)

Most people use their Hotmail account to sign up for newsletters, do posts to news servers, give it out to people they only just met 2 minutes ago..

Of course most of it is spam. That's not Hotmail's fault.

Most spam is the result of an account owner's own actions (direct and indirect).
Other spam is just broad coverage, i.e. people sending to aaaaa1@hot/mail.com aaaaa2@hot/mail.com aaaaa1hot/mail.com and so forth.

I hardly have any spam on Hotmail, the spam I do get I mostly get from auto-forwarded e-mails to an address I had 2 years ago.

Re:dah ? (0)

mAIsE (548) | more than 12 years ago | (#4007567)

Yet another FINE Microsoft product !!

(its not a bug its a feature......)

You know i have an account on yahoo and an account on hotmail and i get maybe 10% spam at yahoo. And that isnt because I am a microshaft bigot.

Reflections of a Transgendered Cow (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#4007509)

Since you got first post, I have this for you:

Big Tex was the prize bull on Mr. Tucker's ranch, having won the
blue ribbon at many a state fairground. He was a incredibly large hunk
of rippling muscle that would have sent even the most fearless rodeo
cowboys running in fear. Mr. Tucker made sure that Big Tex sired many
calves on his ranch, and kept hoping for more prize cattle. But none
matched Big Tex's power, appearance, or assertive nature. Yes, he was
the king of the ranch.
Unknown to Mr. Tucker, though, Big Tex also possessed a very keen
mind. Big Tex knew that he was something special...the stud of the
cattle...and used his reputation to have his way with any cow he came
across, often brutally forcing his way upon the female beasts.
One day, while maneuvering his massive, dark brown bovine body
across a field at the ranch, Big Tex noticed an especially alluring cow
named Sue Bell chewing her cud seductively beside a tree.
"I've never conquered Sue Bell," Big Tex thought to himself, as
his pace quickened in the direction of the tree.
Sue Bell, raising her large eyes toward the oncoming and excited
bull, immediately turned and began to march away.
"She can't escape me that easily," Big Tex thought, as he closed
the distance in a steady gallop, her reddish coloring making him all the
more aggressive.
Big Tex finally reached Sue Bell and rared up on his hind legs onto
her back, prepared to make the frightened cow his latest in a long line
of conquests.

Suddenly... all went black for an instant, and Big Tex found
himself lying down in a pile of hay in a barn. Looking around, he did
not recognize his surroundings.
"What happened? This place doesn't look familiar," he thought as he
gazed around.
Climbing to his feet, Big Tex realized that his body felt wrong.
He was shorter than normal, and he could see that his body was now milky
white with at least one black spot on one of his legs.
His legs! His legs were now much less muscular, and he felt
generally weaker all over.
He was shocked and involuntarily let out a loud "Moo".
"What's wrong with my voice! It's never sounded so high pitched
and delicate."
All of a sudden Big Tex felt an unfamiliar movement just below his
"Udders!!!I have udders!!!" his mind screamed in revulsion.
Spying an old mirror laying against a wall of the barn, Big Tex
trotted over, noticing a strange sway in his rear parts as he walked.
He also noticed that something seemed to be missing from between
his hind legs.
"It can't be missing!" he thought in horror. "What I think has
happened, couldn't have happened!"
Big Tex reached the mirror and almost regurgitated some cud when he
saw the image reflected back at him. A cow! A VERY female cow was
staring back at him.
She/he had long lashes highlighting big delicate eyes. He could
see the large mammary sack hanging underneath him with the very obvious
udders poking downward. And, of course, the very heart and soul of the
prized bull was missing, replaced by the very female part of the cow
anatomy that he coveted so much. But he didn't covet it in this way!
"I can't be a cow," he thought. "I'm a bull! I've got to change
back somehow."
Just then a large man walked into the barn carrying a bucket. He
was obviously a farmhand. He grabbed a stool from the corner and pulled
it up next to Big Tex in his sleak new cow body.
"Oh no!" Big Tex thought. "I know what he has in mind, and I can't
go through with it."
The bull/cow started to lunge away, which angered the man, who
proceeded to steer Big Tex into a cramped stall.
"In my other male body I could have gotten away from him, but not
in this weak carcass," Big Tex thought.
The man placed the bucket under Big Tex.
"Here it comes," the new cow tensed.
The man grabbed the udders and began pulling on them. Big Tex was
surprised by the sensation as his udders stiffened under the caress of
the man's hand.
"Hey, this feels kind of good," Big Tex thought. The sound of the
warm milk hitting the metal bucket made the experience even more
pleasant for Big Tex.
"Maybe I could live like this, for awhile at least."

Six months later, Big Tex found that he did enjoy being "one of the
cows" as they huddled together in the fields munching grass. He also
found that he liked the attention he received from the bulls, and
realized that cows enjoy mating much more than bulls, something he would
have never dreamed.
Finally, Big Tex found himself to be the proud mother of a strong
young calf, possibly the future stud of the ranch.
He could not imagine ever going back to being a bull.
Life was udderly delightful!

Re:Reflections of a Transgendered Cow (-1, Offtopic)

BobWeiner (83404) | more than 12 years ago | (#4007600)

udderly ridiculous [pcweenies.com] . Your point being?

Re:Reflections of a Transgendered Cow (1)

debiangruven (576982) | more than 12 years ago | (#4007610)

WTF?? You been smokin that crack pipe already?

Hmmm... (0)

Gleng (537516) | more than 12 years ago | (#4007510)

Only 80%? Much lower than I suspected. There was one day I recieved 1075 spams from the same source. I kept a screen-grab as proof. ~grumble-bloody-grumble-hotmail-mutter-complain~ G

Re:Hmmm... (1)

akarnid (591191) | more than 12 years ago | (#4007737)

Haha, this is soo true. I'm getting now perhaps 10-12 spams a day, and the funny part is...that it all comes from people I know, using hotmail addys that I didn't know they had! Those address harvesters are working overtime...

Do we care? NO (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#4007517)

Because we are superior linux userz who never touch a hotmail account, due to its association with the evil empire. This is just another M$ marketing ploy. Did you Bill Gates name backwards spells 666?

Spam goes both ways (2, Funny)

Mattygfunk1 (596840) | more than 12 years ago | (#4007519)

80% Of Incoming E-mail At Hotmail Is Spam

Judging from my inbox it seems that 80% of outgoing email at hotmail is spam.

Where's that mentioned in the article?

Cost effective attractiveness [wallpaperscoverings.com]

Re:Spam goes both ways (3, Informative)

Rick_T (3816) | more than 12 years ago | (#4007802)

> Judging from my inbox it seems that 80% of
> outgoing email at hotmail is spam.

If you read the message headers, you'll probably discover that most of this spam isn't actually *from* hotmail. It just shows a hotmail address in the "From:" line. The "From:" line is no more accurate than a return address written in the top left-hand corner of a letter you'd get in the mail. In other words, it can say whatever you want it to say.

And as someone who has more than one e-mail account, bring able to change "From:" without trouble is a *good* thing ...

Re:Spam goes both ways (2)

Spruitje (15331) | more than 12 years ago | (#4007833)

http://www.chron.com/cs/CDA/story.hts/tech/15167 56

Well, i have a filter on my mail programm which redirects all mail from htomail.com, yahoo.com, aol.com and msn.com to the trash.
And that is enough to get rid of almost 90% of all the spam i'm receiving.

My first reaction (5, Interesting)

Alien54 (180860) | more than 12 years ago | (#4007522)

My first reaction, cynical as it is, is that the reason that this is happening is that no one really uses hotmail except as a junk mail account, something to use when entering an address into a form online etc.

Still, there is promised security of the MS passport system etc. In this case it looks like more like a spam enhancement system. since this is supposed to be something to verify your login across the net. This means that most email addresses there have been preverified by MS as being valid.

a gift to spammers everywhere.

Re:My first reaction (1)

evilquaker (35963) | more than 12 years ago | (#4007616)

My first reaction, cynical as it is, is that the reason that this is happening is that no one really uses hotmail except as a junk mail account

That may be true among the ./ "literati", but it's not true of the general public. My mom and my girlfriend's mom use Hotmail almost exclusively*, even though they have real accounts through their ISPs. They like it because it's easier and available from anywhere and they're familiar with the interface. They've learned to live with spam as just one of those things that happens, kinda like their computer crashing.

* == I've just recently switched my mom to using Netscape mail and being very careful with her email address (i.e. only I have it). My girlfriend's mom is hopeless: she still clicks on spam regularly.

Not junk, per se (2)

bildstorm (129924) | more than 12 years ago | (#4007731)

Actually, I use a yahoo.com account for my junk, since their spam filters are better.

Since I still have a Windows machine, I have Outlook Express installed and check my Hotmail through that, usually.

What's really stupid, IMHO, is that the best way to prevent excess spam is to block the domains, which I can do through the Hotmail web site, but not via Outlook Express.

In other news... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#4007524)

water is wet...
linux is more stable than Windows...
France surrenders...

Re:In other news... (1)

Monsieur_F (531564) | more than 12 years ago | (#4007584)

France surrenders...
Résistance !

Forgeries (3, Informative)

olman (127310) | more than 12 years ago | (#4007525)

Not only that. Since Hotmail implemented one-click filtering, spammers have been using to: and cc: instead of bcc: so the commercial messages you have requested get throught into your mailbox. Annoying as hell. One reason I went over to Yahoo. Later I changed to spamcop, since yahoo aka large-intrusive-popup-ad-parlour sucks :-)

No, spam does not have to work because there's so much of it. What does work is selling harvested email addresses to assholes.

Cindy (3, Funny)

chicoy (305673) | more than 12 years ago | (#4007528)

I quite like getting Cindy's email.

Makes me feel good.

It's pretty much the most interesting thing that happens in my day.

hmmm.. I think I need a new job.

Yay. (5, Interesting)

standards (461431) | more than 12 years ago | (#4007531)

Finally, a well-written article that highlights the downside of spam.

Yeah, we all know that email is a "powerful new marketing tool", but few have written about how much negative impact it has to the economy and our everyday lives.

I have an email address that I've never given out, and 90% of the messages I receive are spam. The email address on this posting ONLY receives spam... mostly in some funky character set that I can't bother to being to read. This address gets about 40 a day (and likely more after this posting).

So, industry self-regulation? Well that doesn't seem to work - and it didn't work with Enron (or WoldCom or Andersen or ...)

So I think it's time that we hit them where it hurts. Pass -strong- laws. Pass laws that permit individuals to sue in certain circumstances.

They passed laws to control the misuse of FAX machines... and although not perfect, they do help. Then again, how many people do you know that have a fax machine at home? Betcha most people have unplugged theirs due to FAX Spam.

Re:Yay. (1)

hanwen (8589) | more than 12 years ago | (#4007552)

ONLY receives spam... mostly in some funky character set that I can't bother to being to read.

Try adding the following rule to your procmailrc

# junk korean stuff. :0
* (Subject|charset).*([ksKS]_[cC]_5601-1987|=\?big5) .*

Those charsets are most often korean, and sometimes chinese. I wonder how Korean people filter their spam ...

Re:Yay. (4, Insightful)

anthony_dipierro (543308) | more than 12 years ago | (#4007617)

So I think it's time that we hit them where it hurts. Pass -strong- laws. Pass laws that permit individuals to sue in certain circumstances.

What good is that going to do? Do you actually know the identity of the person spamming you? You can't sue John Doe defendants in Small Claims Court.

Re:Yay. (1)

SysadminFromHell (535868) | more than 12 years ago | (#4007649)


I too get about 10 messages is strange charsets on this address. I think it started some time after I posted my first Slashdot message...

How can this be? I thought email addresses where always scrambled at slashdot?

Re:Yay. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#4007735)

I think theres an easier way to prevent spam.

Perhaps if they had options simular to a routers filter list.

Accept Jsmith@hampster.com email
Deny all email after above

After that, then there could be a simple function to request the ability to email to you on a regular basis, one shot basis, ect from anyone who you dont know who is sending you stuff...

Then, you are able to edit the option to accept anyone you put in your list as being able to send to you.

Fax Spam (2)

ttyp0 (33384) | more than 12 years ago | (#4007780)

At least they are paying for the long distance phone call when they send me FAX spam.

Re:Yay. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#4007801)

I want laws which prevent spammers from getting more rights. For example, it should be clarified that spammers have no
  • right
to have their garbage delivered into my mailbox. A network provider should not be forced to accept spam mail (what just travels through their network is a different story). But I do not want legislation against spam. Legislators will screw this up, especially since spam a completely international issue. We need to develop tools which enable us to make better and faster decisions when it comes to rejecting or accepting mail at the server level.

Is this really news... (1)

vuke69 (450194) | more than 12 years ago | (#4007534)

to anybody that has a hotmail account? My account has been unusable for the last three years or so du to the huge volume of spam.

And its not always due to the actions of the account "owner", you must have forgotten about Outlook Express giving out your email address to any websie that asks for it. That hole was open for what, like a year, before it was patched.

80% Of Slashdot Stories Are CRAP (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#4007537)

god this site sucks ass now.

No surprise (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#4007538)

I conducted a test about a month ago: I opened a hotmail account, disabling all the ads in the options and never used or gave that address to anyone. Two weeks later, the inbox was flooded with over 70 spam e-mails...

They should rename the service "junkmail"...


Re:No surprise (1)

Gravital.net (598281) | more than 12 years ago | (#4007559)

I tried the same thing a few months ago, and much to my disapointment, I never got one single email! Were you using a somewhat common or guessable name for your address? I guess nobody would try to write roofusmccoy@hotmail.com

Re:No surprise (2)

H3XA (590662) | more than 12 years ago | (#4007594)

and seeing how you just posted your email address to a publicly viewable webpage, I guess you can expect junk mail anytime now..... what makes you think the email-address-haversting-robot-web-spiders don't parse /. for wouldbe spamees ?

- HeXa

Re:No surprise (1)

Gravital.net (598281) | more than 12 years ago | (#4007732)

I've never used that email address. I only wanted to see if it would get spammed without ever giving it away. I'm done with the test, so I don't care if it gets spammed =)

Re:No surprise (1)

shepd (155729) | more than 12 years ago | (#4007658)

No kidding.

I have two hotmail accounts (both of which are only used to fill out junk forms at websites).
One is uzer@hotmail.com, the other realuzer@hotmail.com.

Guess which one receives 100x the volume of spam?

I like to keep them alive just to waste M$s money dealing with spam. Heh.

Other reports suggest ... (1)

Eros (6631) | more than 12 years ago | (#4007539)

That 100% of email outgoing from Hotmail is SPAM.

Re:Other reports suggest ... Uhm.. Not exactly.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#4007716)

Er, no.. I doubt anyone actually uses the hotmail service to send spam.

Now, its a good bet that many spammers put fake "@hotmail.com" From: headers in their messages, which is an entirely different thing altogether..

Re:Other reports suggest ... Uhm.. Not exactly.. (1)

Eros (6631) | more than 12 years ago | (#4007832)

It was a joke. ;p

Er... (1)

Kobal (597997) | more than 12 years ago | (#4007540)

Why would someone use hotmail in the first place, even for getting a junk address? Simple. When you need to register somewhere and you don't trust the service, it's quicker to create another one-shot account rather than getting back to the previous one, now clogged with spam originated from your last registration. Of course, you can still have perennial accounts to register to trustworthy sites or suscribe to mailing lists. And a primary account to get real mail only.

Re:Er... (1)

Gravital.net (598281) | more than 12 years ago | (#4007554)

In situations like that I like to use time-limited email addresses. This way, I can get replies easily for a period of time (like 5 days) while I wait for my order. After that, anybody using that email address must verfiy through TMDA [tmda.net]

Re:Er... (2)

SCHecklerX (229973) | more than 12 years ago | (#4007590)

Run your own mail server and create an alias for each registration. If I get mail from someplace, I know they sold my address. I get hit on the slashdot thing a lot, so I know that somebody is harvesting this page too.

Re:Er... (2, Funny)

Kobal (597997) | more than 12 years ago | (#4007638)

Last thing I would want is getting my own server hit by spammers. Looking for harvesters this way is a bit like painting your face with dung to know the way flies come from. I'm keeping all of this externalized and distributed, and I haven't read the header of a single piece of pure spam (that is, except newsletters I actually accepted and unsollicited but still worth reading info) for months. On the other hand, I wish I could get disposable snail mail addresses.

Re:Er... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#4007595)

At my office, _all_ of my co-workers have Hotmail accounts they use for personal mail. They have POP accounts with the company's domain, but they _all_ insist on using Hotmail. When I point out that Eudora is faster and uses way less bandwith (the office shares a 2.5MB DSL between 30 computers) than a browser, they don't care.

Somehow, non-technically-aware people think Hotmail is a Good Thing. When I suggest other free Webmail solutions (one good one is canada.com [canada.com] for us here north of the border), they look at me like I'm an alien. I set one guy up on that domain (he hadn't heard of Webmail). Within three months he had a Hotmail account.

It appears this domain has status among the great majority out there not reading Slashdot.

I have a filter set up to trash anything coming from Hotmail. Screw 'em.

Re:Er... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#4007790)

too bad canada.com is associated with/owned by Canwest, which is canada's own microsoft-esque media monopoly. being someone with a journalism degree, and someone who doesn't want the news spoon-fed to me by a bunch of right-wingers in winnipeg, i think i'll just stick with yahoo. (of course, there's also .mac, which i hear is an excellent value for the money -- heh, heh, heh)

Re:Er... (1)

gorbachev (512743) | more than 12 years ago | (#4007738)

The point of that article is not Hotmail and how much spam do you get in a Hotmail account.

The point is that spam is killing email, slowly, but surely and unless something is done, your grandkids won't be using Email any more.

Proletariat of the world, unite to kill spammers. The more painful, the better.

Re:Er... (1)

Kobal (597997) | more than 12 years ago | (#4007818)

Look at your snail mail box, how much by weight of what you get every day is actual mail? Yet, snail mail doesn't look close to dying. In the same way telemarketers didnt kill fax transmissions and phone. I'm not even sure the next technological evolutions will kill these, including e-mail. Parasites who kill their hosts too fast don't survive. Spam doesn't look like a dead-end in the marketing evolution, unfortunately. And regarding the next generations, if direct neural interfaces were to be developed, they'll hate spammers even more than we currently do.

Re:Er... (1)

gorbachev (512743) | more than 12 years ago | (#4007834)

Email != snail mail

1) you can send unlimited amounts of email with practically no incremental costs
2) you pay for receiving email (a fraction of a cent per one, but it adds quickly, if you're an ISP), and if you're on a metered net connection like most of Europe, you're f***ed.

These two factors alone will kill Email, if spamming is not stopped.

Another take on the same point: http://www.clifto.com/8345.html

Proletariat of the world, unite to kill spammers!

Of Course It Is (3, Interesting)

echucker (570962) | more than 12 years ago | (#4007541)

Considering Micro$oft sells your address with nanoseconds of signing up, who is surprised? There are numerous mentions of this in previous comments to /. stories involving Hotmail. The most telling of these are the ones that claim the address was never given out, and still had SPAM within minutes.

Problem with that theory... (2)

zaren (204877) | more than 12 years ago | (#4007816)

I've had an account with Hotmail that I created in November 2001 for the express purpose of trapping spam. To this date, I have yet to receive a single spam to that account, aside from the regular hotmail notices.

I have never displayed the address on it's own in public, so maybe that's part of the problem. It can be viewed on the web page I created for this trap test [geocities.com] , but nowhere else.

Hmm, now that I mention this page, two of the links seem to be down... looks like I have a bit of editing to do.

two windows. one message: (1)

geschild (43455) | more than 12 years ago | (#4007543)

A window with Hotmail open and indeed nothing but junk-mail.

Another window open with Slashdot and this article.

The funny thing about it is that normally those two windows side by side look like a total mis-match. They do so now but the actual content is uncomfortably the same...


Serious question (2, Interesting)

Goat In The Shell (320974) | more than 12 years ago | (#4007547)

One thing I always wondered is why providers of free web-based email accounts haven't started mining their users' inboxes/outboxes for more addresses.

For instance, I've got a nice spam-free email account w/ my ISP, but all my friends have accounts with shady-web-based-email-company.com. If I send them (or if they send me) messages, is my pristine address now at risk because it's now in their in/out boxes? Technically, this type of collection would seem trivial to implement.

I'm not sure if the big guys (Hotmail, Yahoo) sell even their registered addresses (I could be wrong), but does anyone have a report of a web-based email service engaging in this kind of practice?

I heard a rumour (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#4007588)

.. that slashdot sells your email accounts

Depends on the country where the server is based (1)

aepervius (535155) | more than 12 years ago | (#4007599)

For example I am using a free-email server based in germany, which has tough law on sharing private data. This means that if they sold my adress or personal data they would be open to jail/fine (that is unless they made a sneaky EULA asking me to agree them sell my data to use the service, but mouth-to-hear gossip would quickly put them out of client).

Bottom line : I don't thrust *any* firms, server, or people based on countries where law on data sharing aren't clear or inexistent. This is why I like French and german law on private data sharing. Now this may change in the future under pressure from corporation...

Re:Serious question (2)

ShaunC (203807) | more than 12 years ago | (#4007691)

I'd have to say that while this scenario isn't out of the question, it's probably unlikely. How many spams do you get each day, and are the envelope sender addresses valid? In my case, I get 100 or more spams per day across my various boxes and typically all of them are from forged senders. If my ISP were mining the addresses of people who sent me mail, they'd have gigs of bogus email addresses by now.

The same goes for outbound email recipients, if there's any truth in numbers. I have the AOL screen name "File," and a lot of AOLers seem to believe that CC'ing their email to "File" is supposed to save a copy to their local drive. I presume this habit comes from some email client somewhere but after years of receiving such misdirected email I haven't been able to figure out which one. (If only these people knew what they were sending to a real person, instead of to their local "File!") Anyway, I skim almost all of the mail I receive on that box - thousands a month, 99% of which are accidental carbon copies - and you should see some of the email addresses that people are sending email to:

"jim bob example com @www.com"

It never ceases to amaze me; there really are a lot of clueless folks out there who truly don't know how the heck to format an email address. IMO, it would be a waste to attempt to mine the recipient addresses on outbound mails, since (from what I see) so many of those addresses are bogus.


This article itself is pure spam (3, Funny)

fluor2 (242824) | more than 12 years ago | (#4007550)

This article itself is pure spam . . It contains information we allready knew about, and it contains a commercial for Associated Press. If slashdot had a block article button, I would have pressed it.

Well filter better ... (3, Informative)

blowdart (31458) | more than 12 years ago | (#4007551)

OK so filtering doesn't stop spammers sending, but hotmail could do the simple things,
  • Use blacklists, spews.org [spews.org] if you want to be really careful, or relays.visi.com [visi.com] or relays.osirusoft.com [osirusoft.com] to stop open relays connecting for a start
  • Check the sending domains exists when mail is sent.
  • Drop the common abusive domains
  • Increase the amount of blocked domains you can have. 250 is not enough when people use aaaa.com, aaab.com and so on
  • Data mine the individual block lists. If more than 20% of hotmail users block a domain, then it should be looked at

All these things are pretty standard these days, but webmail providers (not just hotmail) don't actually seem to bother. Remember, the more times you check your inbox, the more ads they have viewed.

They should be more aggressive (2)

eddy (18759) | more than 12 years ago | (#4007745)

As soon as a filter picks up a message as spam, the originating server should be probed to see if it's an open relay, and added to a blacklist network if it is. More agressive, probe every server that connects! (Hey, there's less than 2^32 of them :-)

This way a spammer would only be able to relay _one_ message onto hotmail, and if they do the must expect the server to get blacklisted everywhere within hours.

Instead of defining spam, hotmail could define spam combating.

The facts about it are.... (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#4007563)

all yellow skins are dirty.

I'm not racist cos it's true.

Re:The facts about it are.... (1)

H3XA (590662) | more than 12 years ago | (#4007597)

thanks for your valuable insight..... may I call you Casper the racist Whitey ?

- HeXa

No surprise here... (2)

Raetsel (34442) | more than 12 years ago | (#4007564)

I set up a Hotmail account on Sep 10, 2001. I needed to get a couple small files for a job, and since I had a cable modem I didn't have any internet access unless I was home. (Dial-up is so much more convenient in that regard...) Until that point, it was a small point of pride that I had not succumbed to Passport and all its' evil empire connotations. (So much for that...)

We soon realized there were more than a couple small files missing, so they FedEx'd a CD from Massachusetts to South Carolina. While I waited for the truck, I was reading /. -- and learned right here of the terrorist attacks. I ended up staring at CNN for an hour before the package came and I went to work.

Not a very auspicious start...

That hotmail account was spam-free for a month or so... I never used it other than to give the address to one person. I know for an absolute fact she didn't give it out or sell it or whatnot.

Let's see now... I haven't checked it in 2 days, so I wonder how much crap is in there?

  • 73 Messages -- all spam, of course
  • 362 KB
I don't know why I don't just let the account expire... morbid curiosity, perhaps?

Re:No surprise here... (1)

Puggs (562473) | more than 12 years ago | (#4007587)

looks at his own spam^H^H^H^Hhotmail email:

58% used -
4 messages to me (real emails)
153 spam - in the last week

i keep mine for 1 person who cant seem to figure out how to send my emails to a different address

Re:No surprise here... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#4007725)

>I don't know why I don't just let the account expire... morbid curiosity, perhaps

I just checked two hotmail accounts I setup sometime in 1999. Neither currently exist. I don't remember when I last checked them. [ a year ago? two years ago? ]

Conclusion: they do expire them. Just don't log in for months.

Laws won't reduce spam (3, Interesting)

smnolde (209197) | more than 12 years ago | (#4007566)

And we all know that. Technical solutions will curb spam. Solutions for users and consumers like Brightmail ans spamcop are steps in the right direction.

Now if only all the mail server admins (corporate and private) of the world get their collective brains together and start blocking all the spame using any combination and permutation of RBL possible, spam might not make it into our mailboxes.

SPEWS blocks ISPs. I like that. I don't receive crap from certain domains anymore since using SPEWS. I also don't accept mail from hotmai, yahoo, lycos, and many other free web-based email services except from whitelisted users.

At work I get about 15-20 spam emails daily from an old work email address when the company changed named two years ago. If only the HMFIC of email would block off that domain i'd receive none. Laws won't help in this case because the email server is located in another country. Only a technical solution.

I'm so sick of spam I run my own mail servers and filter the crap out of all mail. I receive on average 1 spam per week in my inbox. All the rest gets rejected or filtered into a spam filter that i oly perue occasionally, but I don't see it in my inbox.

Keep going SPEWS - it's a great system.

Only 80%? (1)

SirNAOF (142265) | more than 12 years ago | (#4007570)

That number seems a little low...I have somewhere in the range of 50 to 75 emails come in per day to my hotmail account, and it's all spam.

Probably because I use my hotmail account for anything that appears on the web, and never my real email address.

I guess if you include the number of people who actually use a hotmail account for their real email, that number still sounds about right.

SlashSnot (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#4007571)

maybe thats why i abandoned MicroSnot Windoze and M$N SnotMail years ago...

Simple Solution - Don't Use Hotmail (1)

Gravital.net (598281) | more than 12 years ago | (#4007572)

There are plenty of other free and non-free services out there. Why use hotmail? It's got a shitty quota, the interface is crowded, there are annoying ads, and a whopping 500kB attachment limit. Try something else!

Re:Simple Solution - Don't Use Hotmail (2)

H3XA (590662) | more than 12 years ago | (#4007605)

..... I remember back in the good ol' days when Hotmail was great and not owned by MS..... ah.... how sweet those memories are....

- HeXa

Bill Gates - I have the answer! (5, Funny)

Captain Kirk (148843) | more than 12 years ago | (#4007576)


Scott and Larry said you would like to know about this.

Are you tired of churning Hotmail accounts due to spam? Have you ever found yourself wondering if others have inside tips that are holding your back?

Wonder no more. I have the answer. Move Hotmail to Debian Linux, type 'apt-get install spamassassin razor' and your problems will be solved.

Send your credit card details now to pay for my $0.02 worth.


Re:Bill Gates - I have the answer! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#4007624)

Well, until not so long ago, HoTMaiL ran on BSD, which runs SpamAssassin just fine.
Maybe M$ should switch back? :-)

Re:Bill Gates - I have the answer! (3, Informative)

Huge Pi Removal (188591) | more than 12 years ago | (#4007670)

Or just move back over to your old FreeBSD servers and type 'cd /usr/ports/mail/spamass-milter; make install' (assuming Billy G doesn't mind using sendmail).

In fact, amavisd-new (or is it -ng?) supports spamassassin/razor now, so you get 3 milters for the price of one :)

Re:Bill Gates - I have the answer! (3, Informative)

thogard (43403) | more than 12 years ago | (#4007846)

spamassin has a bug that sometimes it decides things are in mbox format but it drops the empty line before the ^From\ line. This can be very bad if the 1st message is spam and the second one isn't. When I tried to report this, bugzilla was having a bad week.

Spamassin also is very bad at deciding attachments are spam because any large image will have enough 4 letter regex hiding that it hits. I figure it false positives at least 5% of time.

Going downhill. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#4007674)

Going from FreeBSD to Windows then to Linux is going downhill.

Best to go back to what worked...FreeBSD.

United States of Advertising (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#4007579)

Should you expect any less spam in the United States of Advertising?

Well (5, Interesting)

Mr_Silver (213637) | more than 12 years ago | (#4007580)

I've found that I've always had a problem with spam to my hotmail account. I don't sign up for anything, I don't ask for anything and I certainly don't publish my email address as it was only used for a couple of months.

Granted, a lot of spam gets through on guesswork (such as every common permutation of John Smith @ hotmail.com) but you have to wonder if something odd is going within the company when (as a test) you register ibtgsrq at hotmail dot com and within two weeks it starts receiving the usual fake degrees, penis enlargment and general porn stuff.

subnote: ibtgsrq stands for I Bet This Gets Spam Real Quick - and it did.

Spam techniques (5, Interesting)

flonker (526111) | more than 12 years ago | (#4007581)

Recently, I ran a script against the mail server logs, testing what email addresses receive how much mail. And I was quite surprised to find a large number of hits for mailboxes that don't exist. For example: ...
8 - diane@domain.com
2 - diane1@domain.com
2 - diane2@domain.com
2 - diane3@domain.com
2 - diane4@domain.com
2 - diane5@domain.com ...

And also, such classics as jsmith@domain.com (and all numbers attached.)

Obviously, they can't afford to do this all of the time, but do it once, and use web bugs to track who opens the message, and boom. Instant verified email addresses.

Re:Spam techniques (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#4007618)

Wow! How did you get to own such a classy domain name as domain.com.

Re:Spam techniques (1)

eddy (18759) | more than 12 years ago | (#4007757)

I'm getting this too. "carin", "stef", "sales", etc.

Social and technical measures - automatic fines (4, Informative)

Cato (8296) | more than 12 years ago | (#4007583)

One of the better articles I've seen on how to stop spam covers Social and technical measures (Google cache) [] , by Richard Jones - using Google because that site isn't reachable right now. It doesn't have all the answers, but has some very good ideas. Most importantly, they can be implemented by ISPs without legislation, important though that is in the medium term.

I think a combination of strong filtering, strong terms of service (e.g. take credit card numbers of those who sign up for email service, and have an automatic and substantial fine for abuse), and legislation could really help. Spammers moving offshore actually makes filtering easier, for those people who don't do a lot of business with China at any rate...

One key point is that spam-filtering should be controllable by the individual, to allow people to make sure they receive email that might look like spam (e.g. most commercial newsletters) and server-based so that nobody needs to download spam over slow dialup or mobile wireless connections. SpamAssassin is the best tool I've found so far.

Funnily enough... (1)

rweir (96112) | more than 12 years ago | (#4007592)

80% Of Outgoing E-mail at Hotmail is Spam!

tracking leaks through vanity domain mail (2)

Artifex (18308) | more than 12 years ago | (#4007598)

Since I have a mail server set up for my vanity domain, I switched for a while to giving out unique mail userbnames to websites, etc.

Over a year ago, I started forwarding webmillion@[mydomain] to postmaster@webmillion.com, because I was getting several spams a day to that account, and it was pretty clearly their fault.

Last month, I was cleaning up my rules, and decided to remove that rule, thinking that the problem had passed. Wrong! Within an hour I had 4 mails. So the forward went back on.

Oddly enough, Webmillion never contacted me about the fact that I was forwarding buckets of spam to them; I guess they are used to it because of the harvesting they apparently do, and just ignore that account.

If everyone on Slashdot started asking sites like these about their harvesting practices, or simply forwarded the crap mail back to them, they would inevitably find the parctice more costly than beneficial to the bottom line.

Punish The Users: The Microsoft Solution (2)

N8F8 (4562) | more than 12 years ago | (#4007601)

So what does MS do to solve the problem? Punish the users. Make the mail account smaller. Disable POP access. Post your user information to "affiliates". Nag you to death about your account being to big.

You mean I can't enlarge my penis by three inches? (1)

cranos (592602) | more than 12 years ago | (#4007604)

Damn, my wife is going to so dissappointed.

But seriously, this is why I have a hotmail account, so when I sign up to different sites all the spam that inevitably flows will go to that account and not clutter up my real box.

Perfect quote to show attitude of spammers (2)

MarvinMouse (323641) | more than 12 years ago | (#4007606)

"I think China is good place to be," Ralsky said. "You don't get the same kind of grief."

Obviously he would prefer to live in a non-democratic country and keep on spamming (read. annoying) people. Rather then try to provide a valuable service to the general populous.

As well, Ralsky is right, you don't get the same kind of grief, you get worse. But, that's the attitude of a con artist, no true intelligence or consideration for anyone else. I say, send the spammers to China. Hell, I'll pay for their plane ticket even.

Re:Perfect quote to show attitude of spammers (2)

Quixote (154172) | more than 12 years ago | (#4007764)

Considering that a large amount of spam originates from China, I'm sure Mr. Ralsky thinks China is the place to be. Sounds like heaven to him!

If you use hotmail (2, Informative)

rueba (19806) | more than 12 years ago | (#4007634)

Set Junk Mail Filter to "high" and Junk Mail Deletion to "automatic"

And block as many domains as you can in the block sender list. Every time you receive a new piece of junk add its domain to the blocked list if possible.

I just tried this recently and the spam I had to review went down from a 100 per day to about 10 per day which is much more manageable.

Of course the spammers will probably get more sophisticated and we'll just have to think of something else.

hotmail is slack at filtering (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#4007666)

I have other disposable webmail accounts (e.g. yahoo) and they get nowhere near as much as spam as the hotmail one which I decided finally to let overflow and die. The reason is hotmail DOESN'T CARE. They just want you to look at their banner ads.

Need info (1)

Jack Brennan (597055) | more than 12 years ago | (#4007677)

I missed the spam about Brittany's orgy
Could someone sign me up? I think she'll dig my 12" penis and maybe my large breasts too.
I'll be back from Nigeria later this week, hope I don't miss it.

the only thing that will stop spam (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#4007679)

Is a system of micropayments for email, implemented everywhere, say a nickel per email. You and I can afford to give friends some virtual cash. For a spammer, the numbers will add up.

This is news? (2)

theolein (316044) | more than 12 years ago | (#4007684)

I think we all knew this at least subconsciously didn't we?

YRO? (1)

VAXman (96870) | more than 12 years ago | (#4007688)

Why exactly this is a YRO article? Do people with free e-mail accounts have the "right" to never receive from any recipient besides their friends? Is /. defending the rights of spammers to flood Hotmail? I'm confused about exactly what rights are at stake here...

My secret desire.... (1)

11390036 (158863) | more than 12 years ago | (#4007701)

That hotmail would have *effective* spam filtering.

It seems like it would really save them money on server load & bandwidth right?

If its such a simple thing, why doesn't it happen?

spamming the infrastructure (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#4007704)

I would venture to guess that transporting spam worldwide requires more resources than hosting the accounts at Hotmail. Is Hotmail just a way for MSN to bleed it's competitors dry? Maybe AOL, Earthlink and others should sue M$ for the headaches that Hotmail causes. All this spam is a thinly veiled DoS attack. Was the expense of spam transport part of what bled Worldcom dry?

I'd like to hear what part of my monthly connect fee is related to spam delivery.

Any ISP's willing to give some percentage numbers on spam expense?

Microsoft's way of making money from Hotmail (2, Insightful)

ngtni (470389) | more than 12 years ago | (#4007715)

This has been said for months, but it's obvious why the spam gets through: because Microsoft lets it get through.

If you don't check your Hotmail account for a few weeks, spam will surely push you over the 80% mailbox size limit... and suddenly you get an email from Microsoft telling you that you've nearly reached your limit, and you should upgrade for only $x a month.

Also, don't they also have an advanced spam filter for paid accounts?

incoming? (1)

kylant (527449) | more than 12 years ago | (#4007724)

...I have the impression, that more than 80% of all outgoing emails from hotmail are SPAM.

That's what it looks like in my inbox.

money and laws are needed (maybe) (1)

skydude_20 (307538) | more than 12 years ago | (#4007753)

lets see here, each account is allowed 2 mb, so we could say 80% of 2 mb is 1.6 mb
saying there's only 10 million users on Hotmail, thats 16 terabytes of spam, which in my accounts, tend to fill every day so i'll say around 16 TB a day. At Compusa I can get 100 GB drives for about $200, so thats $32000 a day of wasted storage. Most of us know that that is usually not permanent over the course of time, but we could say that it is because Hotmail doesn't know what you want to keep and don't want to keep. So $32000 a day over a year would be $11.86 million on wasted storage. Its one of those few times I just might encourage Micro$ofts lawyers to find a way to handle this in a sensible manner, without of course infringing on free speech.

Spam and exploits make M$ more money (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#4007758)

Less spam would mean that fewer Exchange Server licenses and MSCEs (to install patches to crufty code) would be required worldwide.

Same thing goes for Outlook exploits.

Here's the business model:
Let's milk some rattlesnakes to make snake bite kits, then release all the snakes.

Snake Bite Kits right here. Step right up folks, you gotta have your Snake Bite Kit. Get it right here. We sell it to you now. Step right up. Snake Bite Kit SP2 is safer for you. Get your new Snake Bite Kit right here. Don't wait to be safe. Buy your Snake Bite Kit now.

my hotmail account for MSN Mesenger (1)

louzerr (97449) | more than 12 years ago | (#4007768)

A friend of mine is using MSN (but please don't hold that against him). In order for me to send him messages, I had to download the MSN Messenger client, and then sign up for a hotmail account. As soon as I had it all set up and running, a little window popped up saying I had 327 messages. How the heck did I get so many pieces of spam when I just opened my account?!? I would have to wonder if either a) microsoft is working with the spammers, bombarding the hotmail user, or b) there's a serious security hole in their mail services (hard to believe, I know). Worse, I had a legitimate email account in my own domain, that is now nothing but spam. I've told friends not to use this address, because there is so much noise (about 45 messages a day, where maybe once a month I get a real email). Part of this is from the US Congress and their "f*ck the citizen" opt-out policy. My wife actually believed those lines in spam email that said "click here to opt-out". But instead of being removed, most of these links only confirm your email address is valid, so it can be sold as a confirmed email address. This just goes to show why 'opt-out' does not work (unless you're a spammer!). What I would like to see, is a fee for sending email (go ahead and gasp here). Let's say your ISP lets you send to 50 (or any set number) addresses a month for free, and charges for each additional address beyond that number. For most users, things would seem pretty normal, but for those spammers, suddenly there's a cost involved! I'm not pretending that this would wipe out spam - but I think it would at least give them a little pause before blanket emailing the entire network! Or how about this - start calling spam a form of digital terrorism!

It's FREE, for crying out loud! (2)

Otis_INF (130595) | more than 12 years ago | (#4007769)

To all the people whining about how crappy hotmail is:

Read aloud:
"It's a free service, I get what I paid for".

If you want good quality webmail/email, hook up with an ISP who delivers that webmail/email for you. Yes, that probably will cost you money, but the last time I checked, my groceries weren't free either.

If you're dutch or from belgium: check out XS4all. This ISP has webmail, plus they have an antispam service, which lets you create a shadow mailbox which is used to dump the spam in (i.e.: you can check it if the filters have moved some mail as spam but it is legitimate). The filters use all blacklists available and some other sophisticated mailfilters. I received 25 spammails per day or so on my account there, and after I applied the filters this dropped down to 0.0. Especially the filters to block .cn and .tw originating domains was a good one. :)

How about outgoing mail? (2)

neema (170845) | more than 12 years ago | (#4007787)

What's the percentage on outgoing mail that's spam? I seemingly get the majority of my spam from hotmail or yahoo mail. Wish they'd implement a filter on that.

AAAAAHHHHHH!! For crying out loud!!! (2, Redundant)

Moderation abuser (184013) | more than 12 years ago | (#4007812)

Get Vipul's Razor[1], Pyzor[2] or DCC[3]. *They actually work*.

Done! Finished! No more spam!. Spammers are no more! And stop whining about bloody getting spam for Christ's sake!

[1] http://razor.sourceforge.net/ and http://www.cloudmark.com/ for Lookout.
[2] http://pyzor.sourceforge.net/
[3] http://www.rhyolite.com/anti-spam/dcc/

reason (2, Insightful)

outz (448278) | more than 12 years ago | (#4007813)

hotmails servers allow spammers to verify email addresses. so spammers use a program to verify every abc123 combo up to like 12 chars. Yahoo etc does NOT allow you to verify email addresses via their servers.. this cuts down on a lot of the spam.

Why do people use hotmail? (1)

fmita (517041) | more than 12 years ago | (#4007829)

I don't quite understant why people use hotmail. There are plenty of other free email services out there. Even if you use Yahoomail, I'm sure you'd get less spam. Searching on google, I can find plenty of free email accounts. Some of them are even POP3 accounts so you can use your own client. Why would anyone in their right mind use and stick with hotmail?
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