Home > Technical > The Tail Wags the Dog: Spammers outwit Spamcop

The Tail Wags the Dog: Spammers outwit Spamcop

Friday, September 22nd, 2006

The ManKind Project uses a list server to broadcast emails to members throughout the world, and has something like 750 lists, 120 list administrators, and thousands of subscribers.  Spamcop is a service that helps out Internet Service Providers (and individuals) to weed out spam by blacklisting IP (Internet Protocol) addresses that source spam.  Unfortunately, Spamcop’s system is not smart enough to differentiate between real spammers and legitimate list servers.  In this case, somehow Spamcop’s spam trap email addresses are getting email from our servers.  This may be because someone has spoofed the MKP address well enough to fool Spamcop, or it may be that someone has compromised our list administration system. 

It’s creating difficulties across the world for our international organization.

In this round (and I know there are many), it seems that the spammers have outwitted Spamcop and the ISPs who use this service.  More damage is being caused by using Spamcop than would be caused by additional spam.  The tail is wagging the dog.

My ISP (who uses Spamcop) offered to whitelist the MKP servers, and further was able to effectively stop filtering emails to my addresses

In my opinion, this situation represents a failure to adequately serve some subscribers: it seems the focus on fighting spam is taking precedence over meeting my subscriber needs.

The source of the issue is the spammers, who persist I suspect because of those folks who respond to spam, who actually click on links or reply to emails.  I have published some info on dealing with Internet issues here.  Meantime, please don’t respond to spammers!  And be aware of how your ISP tries to block spammers: they may be blocking legitimate email.

Categories: Technical