Frustration - what can we the community do ?
Problem reported by Curtis Kropar www.HawaiianHope.org - 12/28/2016 at 1:35 PM
This is more of a rant than any particular problem with smarter mail.  Maybe a quest of what we the community can do about this problem.
For the past few weeks I have been working on setting up the SMTP blocking, automating blacklistings, brute force blocking, etc. I have to say, it is INCREDIBLY  frustrating to sit and look at server logs and realize that the vast majority of the traffic our server is processing is saying "get out, stay out, no go away, no we dont want your crap, get your hands off my personal parts, stop touching me !" - How many times do you have to say no, before they understand what "NO" means ?
Literally, as much as 95+% of the traffic that is hitting our server is garbage.  And it's not like we are some type of high security installation, we manage the data of homeless shelters. What kind of LOOSER tries to hack homeless data ? (I know, its random blind attacks against a server, we are not targeted, but It just feels good to say LOOSERS attacking homeless data.) Hey LOOSER, will you feel better once you get access to Jim's email and learn that he has a nasty staph infection ? Or Laura's email and learn that she cant find a job and has to move out of her apartment ? Will that help your quest for power, LOOSER ?
And, this particular server has only been up and running for a little over 18 months.  I can't imagine some of you other guys that have had servers running for years, how much garbage you have to deal with. Millions of hits of junk a day ? 90+% of your processing power dedicated to garbage ?
Could you imagine if these LOOSERS bothered to focus some portion of their energy on solving any random world problem, how much further ahead we as a planet could be ? Dedicate some of that bandwidth and processing power to mapping cancer growth patterns or finding a better way to purify water or harness solar power.
What can we as a community of service providers do ?
What is your opinion of the can spam act ?
We need to shut these parasites down. How do we accomplish that ?
We should not have to  "oh, sorry, please take me off your email spam list" - It should be, "this is a professional spammer. Execute their servers, fine them and jail them, then confiscate their resources like you would a drug dealer."
Can we create a "do not contact" list ? Not of email addresses, but of mail server IP addresses. - "NO one on our server wants to hear from you - do not contact our server with spam at IP xxx.xxx.xxx.xxx"
What can we do to get these goofballs to refocus their energy ?
Our Cost, vs. Our Potential.
Back in 2009 one of our volunteers was from Africa. Great guy, one of my best friends. One day we got into this conversation and he brought up a topic that basically said he thinks the USA with all of our wealth should be doing more to help solve world problems, like water purification, dysentery, and a host of other things.  I told him, "I agree- maybe you can help make that happen ?" I asked him if he had any idea how much money the USA is forced to waste each year on cyber security. Fighting spam, fighting scam emails, etc.  I asked him to take a guess. He said "$100 Million Dollars"  I showed him a news article that said just the USA alone spent over $100 BILLION dollars ($100,000,000,000) that year alone on fighting cyber problems.
I asked him if he thought that if we sent $1 Billion dollars to his home country, does he think they could go a way towards fixing the water problems ?  You see, it only cost about $8,000 to dig a community well in Africa, $30,000 to dig a larger well.
He said that yes, $1 Billion dollars would make a lifetime impact for most of his country on that one topic of clean water. So then I asked him if he could call back home, and ask his friends, to talk to their friends, and their friends of friends, and ask his peeps to stop bombarding our country with spam and scams emails, and instead of wasting $1 Billion on cyber security, we might be able to give it to them for water projects.  And then I stated, again, $100 Billion was ONLY what the USA spent. That does not count every other developed country out there that probably spends as much. How much we could do as a planet if we could invest our resources into improving our lives, instead of fighting idiots that enjoy causing problems.  
Think of a researcher on the verge of breakthrough discovery. He jumps online to look something up only to be hit with some ransom ware that encrypts his research. So focused on progress, too busy, they never made a good backup.  The IDIOT cyber dirtbag may have just destroyed the cure for a diseases that his own child may be suffering from. Good Job Looser !
If every year we could take 10 Billion dollars and give a Billion to 10 life changing problems on this planet, how much further ahead could we be ? Clean Water, researching cancer, Alzheimer research, childhood diseases....   Instead, these scammers and criminals have everyone focused on protecting ourselves instead of helping our communities. And that is the ultimate paradox of stupidity. Ultimately the problems they are preventing us from addressing are the same problems they themselves probably will face in their lives, diseases that could have been cured, infections that could have been prevented, education that could have helped their families and kids earn an honest days pay and fix problems for their community. But they were too selfish to be interested in helping their own kids.
Signed, Frustrated With The Mess.
Thanks for listening.

www.HawaiianHope.org - Providing technology services to non profit organizations, low income families, homeless shelters, clean and sober houses and prisoner reentry programs. Since 2015, We have refurbished over 11,000 Computers !

6 Replies

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Peter M Replied
Dear Curtis, here is my naive idea: e-stamps. Every email would need a paid digital stamp to get delivered. A stamp might cost - let's say - 0.00001 USD. For our company this would cost about 5 USD per year, which would be a fair price for a clean inbox. The premise is that spammers would not be willing to pay these costs and you could then set up an email account to only accept paid priority emails. The paid priority emails could have a special prefix to distinguish them from non-paid emails (for example, something like peter+1@acme.org instead of peter@acme.org). A silly idea?
Paul Blank Replied
Peter, you are preaching to the choir, at least with me.  "Digital stamps" are a great idea - I've been talking about something like this for years, but for whatever reason, nobody of substance seems to be on board. It would save large corporations gazillions of dollars vs. fighting spam, because "free" email really just isn't free, is it?
Meanwhile, even though it's not perfect, may I suggest using a cloud-based filtering service, so that much of the junk never even makes it through your firewall, and of course never gets to your mail server. I use Symantec email security.cloud (I think that's what it's called now), formerly Messagelabs (Symantec has owned it for several years). It's not perfect, but it is substantially set-and-forget, once implemented. It costs something like $ 2.50-$3/user/month (NOT per email address, this is per seat). Yes some spam gets through, even some that could cause damage, but I'm pleased with it, as are my clients who have deployed it.
My usual disclaimer: I have no financial interest in Symantec, and YMMV. And there are, of course, other similar services, so do your research.
David Jamell Replied
I'm currently testing SpamHero (http://www.spamhero.com) and it works pretty well.  Reasonably priced too.
Anyone else using SpamHero?
Paul Blank Replied
Spamhero looks pretty good from here in terms of its inbound filtering capabilities. Some reviewers have said that Spamhero admins can view ALL incoming email; not sure if this is still so. Also, it does not filter outgoing email; that is a must for some applications. Also, from their website, it looks as if you need to spend $1/user/month for "Individual Quarantine Login." So if there are 20 users, under 100,000 total (spam included) incoming emails per month, and Individual Quarantine Login, our monthly price will be $ 24.95, still not bad. It does appear that each Individual Quarantine Login increases volume by 10,000 emails/month so I think you'll get 300,000 total incoming per month with 20 users.
I'd certainly be interested in what folks think after using Spamhero. However, in my clients' cases, lack of outbound filtering is a deal breaker.

David Jamell Replied
Yes Paul, the Admin can view all incoming mail. Both SPAM and Clean.
Paul Blank Replied
Thanks, David. If you're on a budget and upper management doesn't mind this "feature" (or you ARE upper management), Spamhero certainly deserves a look.

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