Stop Spamming My .Mac Account - or - Opportunity for the .Mac Team

by Matthew Russell

Ok, so apparently the spam engines that people are running finally got tipped off that there's a whole growing community of <someone>@mac.com addresses out there. Or at least that's what I keep telling myself when I receive bombardments for all of the latest and greatest male performance enhancers, rolex watches, and most recently, "The PayPal Game" solicitation.

But at least that one was sort of interesting: it's a pyramid scheme where you send money to the person on the top of the list, take their name off, add your name to the bottom, and forward it on. Then eventually -- after everyone plays along nicely -- you receive a bunch of cash. But guess what? I got ripped out of a pack or two of baseball cards as a kid, and it's not going to happen again. So stop it.

So anyhow, this brings up a neat opportunity for the .Mac team: why not develop or at least make use of some server side spam filtering or, better yet, provide .Mac users with a Mail plugin that performs better spam filtering than the one that comes standard?

Anyone else with a .Mac address been getting hit lately? And if so, would extra spam killing stuff from the .Mac team make you more inclined to renew?

32 Comments

freetouch
2006-04-01 18:12:21
If you want to win a lot of money on the web try freetouch www.freetouch.com
Larry
2006-04-01 19:17:48
My .Mac account has been getting spammed for a long time. I came to the same conclusion, that someone figured out there are a lot of people with mac.com addresses. Server side filtering would have been nice a long time ago, and I'm surprised Apple didn't do it from the beginning. It wouldn't make much difference to me now, though. I use JunkMatcher. It catches nearly everything that Mail's junk filter misses, although it can be a little bit too sensitive as well.
Flip
2006-04-01 20:10:19
I've got 3 different .Mac accounts. Only 1 gets any spam and that's the one a few friends know and like to enter in stupid sites like Evite. :-(
ChicagoBiker
2006-04-01 20:29:07
nOOb's!! Apple went down this road when .Mac (then called iTools) first started and everyone went BONKERS that a third party (Apple) would be pre-filtering their e-mail! Lawsuits were threatened, people switched to Windows, all hell broke loose.


The amount of spam has been pretty steady for the last 2 years, but there has definitely been an increase in the last 3 months. I don't think there's a good solution to eliminating electronic spam other than with your e-mail client. Other solutions either won't work or will greatly limit the freedom of the internet.


(@mac.com e-mail address since May 2002)

pg
2006-04-01 22:55:35
I was getting hit hard for awhile. Mail's junk mail filter eventually got good enough at filtering the junk that I don't ever get any in my inbox anymore. In addition, I always forward the email with full headers to spam@mac.com, as outlined here:


Why was I "spammed" at my .Mac Mail address?

zo
2006-04-01 23:33:36
I don't think Steve "does" spam. My dot mac address has always let thru spam that comcast filters out, that gmail filters out - and for this I pay money? As well as for the world's slowest backup disk?


Whereas the Mac is sooo hot. What's up with this?


MaartenSneep
2006-04-02 05:15:28
To ChicagoBiker: .Mac should not be filtering (neither should the other mail providers). However, I have no problem with server-side marking of suspect messages. That kind of detection is a lot easier (receive a few hundred identical or near identical messages in quick succession, to subscribers in alphabetical order: that is probably spam. That is easier to detect at the server than on the individual addresses. Add a header which marks the message as suspect, and Mail (or anyother mail reader) can do the rest.


Maarten

gm
2006-04-02 07:43:52
I get very little spam in my dot mac account. Maybe 10 to 15 a week at the most and I've had my account for about 3 years. What little I do get is handles quite nicely by Mail. I believe MacDevCentre had an article way back about how it works and the math behind it. It seemd quite complex and I think it does work well once trianed. It might be nice if the online mail and Mail.app would share the same mail filter database. I use the web interface quite a bit at work and either have to leave mail running at home or process what little spam I do get manually.
gm
2006-04-02 07:47:59
Ok, I knew there was an article on how Mail.app does and why it works well once trained. Here it is.


http://www.macdevcenter.com/pub/a/mac/2004/05/18/spam_pt2.html


Now if the server could do it and share the same personal database as my Mail.app that would be great.

lee harris
2006-04-02 08:23:22
I too am receiving way too much of this stuff now.... I have had my account from almost day one when they were free, and i would say within the last 6 months i have seen a large increase, alot gets caught but still too much is geeting through.....welcome to the the real world i guess?
Mark Hunte
2006-04-02 08:27:01
( my theory any way)
Mark Hunte
2006-04-02 08:31:01
Not sure what happened there.??


I have had a about 3 or 4 over the last couple of days.


As with Apple and BT your main email address is tied in with your account. So you can not just dump it.
If you start to get loads and loads of spam. So the main theory is use filters.
Thats a lot of if buts do this or do that on one email address.


I would like to be able to use Aliases a lot more with my .Mac account.
But the way apple do it, is poor.


also have a BTYahoo account. I get 500 aliases to use.
I can chop and change them at will.
I use them for signing on to sites, buying from companies that want your email. Each one is tailored to
each task it was used for.


example:
mysig-oreillynet@yahoo.co.uk


If I have problems with it I can kill it and I know where it the most likely got passed
onto the spammers from.


I never need to complicate my main BT email address with filters and do not get much spam to it.
Anything that does go there and is not from the bt team will be trashed. End of.f


Also I get on my sub accounts 500 more aliases each.


So even if apple use spam filters.
The biggest improvement IMHO is with expanding the use of aliases.


Also try not to attracting spam.


example:
You have friends who send all rounder jokes,pictures ... to you and everyone they know.
The problem is a lot of those people send them on also, the propagation of these at some point has to reach a spammer.
( my theory any way)


If you have friends that send emails like this give them an alias . And then use rules/filters to only accept emails to it from those people. all else goes into trash.


Or politely tell them not to include you.


Your main address is safer and less complicated.


both of these things have worked for me.




@mac.com
2006-04-02 10:21:16
I've been getting spammed since DAY ONE (almost literaly since I've been a .mac user for years). And, no, my junk filter doesn't work as advertised either! I've simply gotten used to scanning my "junk" folder for valid messages before "command-K"'ing the thing.
Joe
2006-04-02 11:47:15
.Mac does employ spam filtering -- it has for years. I believe it's Brightmail but I'm not sure.


Server-side spam filtering can't be 100% effective. My experience is that I'm getting more spam than I used to, but it's like 1 a day, maybe. It's really hard to filter spam that is sent directly to an email address without getting a high rate of false positives -- which most people consider unacceptable.

S. Elliott
2006-04-02 15:03:59
It's funny, but I see my .Mac account as my only haven from spam. All my other accounts are bombarded with junk and even though I have SpamCop running server-side and Mail's own junk filters client-side, junk gets through to those accounts. My .Mac and Gmail accounts though are completely free of anything.


I'd say while Mail's junk filter is not awesome, it's very solid. It catches 1800 junk emails a week from 3 different accounts letting about 100 through. That's a pretty good percentage considering it "never" (so far) gets false-positives and removes what I don't want it to. To me, that's more important than getting all the junk out.

Robert
2006-04-02 20:09:42
I get lots of spam everyday from my .Mac account. It has gotten worse in the last 6 months.
Todd
2006-04-03 10:09:02
I have been a .mac subscriber since before it was .mac. I use my email address as a backup (in case my work address had problems) so some friends and family have the .mac address. I don't think I've ever gotten any good email on it, but I get tons of SPAM. Apple does have server side SPAM filters installed (they say they use Norton). They also say to forward your SPAM to spam@mac.com. The problem is this mailbox is almost always full and the messages sent to it bounce. As for me, my .mac expires in 4 days. I'm not renewing it because of spam. It's too bad, earthlink offers great spam protecton with is challenge-reponse system so you know it is technically possible. Yahoo offers great spam protection. Gmail offers good spam protection. And they later two are free.
harpo
2006-04-03 10:27:39
yep started getting flooded just about 2-3 weeks ago. i have had my account for 6 years now with nearly spam free mysteriously till now.
Hartmut
2006-04-03 11:28:17
I get very few spams at my .mac mail account. This may be partly due to not giving away this adress too generously. I set up a special .mac adress which I use for whenever I am forced to leave an email adress . This will be dumped as soon as the spams start hitting me.
Socrates
2006-04-03 15:07:20
I find bouncing those emails back to the sender works well with me. I really don't get that many, nowadays.
Rob Speed
2006-04-03 17:06:18
It's probably a spoofed email address and not really coming from Apple's servers.
Jered Taylor
2006-04-04 14:46:41
Yes, I agree that .Mac users have been getting more spam recently. I've been getting maybe 5 or less pieces per week, but that's a lot considering I used to get none at all. I've been a member for several years now. I'd renew the service even without the new feature, but not if my address kept getting a lot of spam.
Bodog Olah
2006-04-07 01:25:39
I've had my .Mac account for two years and have never received a single unit of Spam. I always thought this is due to a server-side filter, but from the comments here, maybe not. I use this account for signing up to all sorts of forums and such online and it's the one I use for personal correspondence with friends, so their worm-riddled address books likely have it stored too.


Still no Spam.


Mail's built-in Spam filter combined with JunkMatcher catches *everything* from my other accounts. I have no idea why I am so lucky.

Hate Mac
2006-05-11 17:14:05
Why the hell do you idiots use Apple Mac Hardware?
Hate Mac
2006-05-11 17:15:53
You can only delay spam on Mac for a while. You cannot stop people sending spam. Its impossible! Their is always a way to send Spam. Watch out Mac noobs!
Dan
2006-09-15 08:09:45
I agree with this comment, I am tired of hearing about stocks, and other crap. This would be a nice thing the mac folks could do, or at least build a folder of questionables, that I would be able to comb through once a blue moon.
Mike
2006-11-02 16:07:39
I found this article because I'm desperately searching for an Apple Mail plug-in that does better SPAM filtering.


One of the problems with Apple's filter is that it doesn't allow for scanning the entire contents of a message. For example, I happen to know that somewhere in the messsage header the real, genuine originating domain is listed: "domain.com", but apple's filter fields don't allow for scanning every single bit of the message so that text can be found and used as an elimination factor.


If the .Mac and Mail team don't provide a much better solution soon, I may have to cancel my .Mac membership because it is becoming too painful to try to use .Mac mail given the recently increasing amount of SPAM.


Oh, and by the way, there IS a good way for Apple to filter at the server. There is an an industry-standard way of flagging suspected junk mail. All Apple has to do is apply that flag and then allow the Mail user to write their own rule to handle it. No harm, no foul; the mail gets through and the user gets to make the decision whether to filter it or not.

jinniyah
2007-01-03 12:51:23
same here. i am not renewing. i don't pay for spam.
i don't think spam killing stuff would change my mind.
fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me.
gmail is the best email solution i've ever had. i synchronize everything on it.
Steve g
2007-01-09 10:24:42
I never got spammed at my preferred address until I made a submittal to youtube. Now I get at least one each day from online pharmacy creeps. I believe my address was sold by youtube.
Clare
2007-04-11 21:00:00
I'm so glad I'm not the only one! I am some what new to the mac.com community and I keep thinking that I'm just missing the spam button on the dot mac account. At this rate I dont think I'll renew my subscription next year if they dont fix this, I'm averaging 12 spam emails a day!
LifeConnect.com
2007-05-25 09:53:26
There is one very easy soution to this. Just one button should allow users to simply click one time and have all communication from the @company.com stopped. There is certain material I don't want filtered to trash, marked as junk, or anythings else. The inappropriate material need not to even enter my account ever again. BLOCK button. I have a block button for users on LifeConnect.com


One button should give users not just the ability to mark what they view as trash, junk, ect. If certain material after it has made it's way through all these layers and still gets to me, I should be able to hit block and never see it again. The government needs to step in and get control just like that did with the the telemarketers www.donotcall.gov.

Maxine
2008-07-14 15:44:02
Well I for one am fed-up. I get so much spam and NONE of it ends up the spam folder. Also, the spam folder is useless, because I select all of the spam and identify it as spam, it gets moved into the spam folder... and guess what... another day comes and the spam flows in from the same people.


I was told by Tech support that I should create an alias which I did and use that one. This way if any spam comes in under that alias I can identify how and even close out the alias. Unfortunately this info came in well after my regular email address was established.


Lastly this MAC account is only for business. I actually have a gmail account for friends and a gmail account for SPAM (i.e. barnes & noble purchases, quotes from moving companies, flowers ordered for someone, travel sites etc). It is amazing to me that for a site I pay money for I get more spam than my FREE gmail spam account I created.


My membership just renewed, but I am done after the year is up for my membership. It's just not worth it. I can create a FREE business account with gmail and have NO SPAM what so ever.