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Stopping Spam: Stamping Out Unwanted Email and News Postings [Paperback]

Simson Garfinkel , Alan Schwartz
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)

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Book Description

11 Oct 1998 156592388X 978-1565923881 1

This is a book about spam -- unwanted email messages and inappropriate news articles -- and what you can do to prevent it, stop it, and even outlaw it. It's a book for people who have seen their mailboxes fill up with useless messages and unsolicited advertisements, and who are tired of footing the bill for them in their Internet service charges. It's a book for people who are upset that they can't find the on-topic postings in their once-helpful newsgroups, and fear that the community of newsgroup readers will dissolve in disgust.Stopping Spam looks at the problem of spam and explains ways you can eliminate unwanted messages and news postings. It provides information of use to individual users (who don't want to be bothered by spam) and to system administrators (also news administrators, mail administrators, and network administrators, who are responsible for minimizing spam problems within their organizations or service providers). It covers:

  • Introduction to spam: what is it, why is it a problem, who are the spammers and why do they do it, what are the types of spam (spam that sells things, spam that contains political messages, spam that hurts people's reputations), what is its history, what is its impact on the Internet now and in the future?
  • Internet messaging: a brief look at the technical underpinnings of Internet messaging to explain how email and spam work.
  • User's guides to email and news spam: how to protect your email address, filter email and news articles, and respond to spam.
  • Administrator's guide: how to trace spam, make policy choices for your site, block both incoming and outgoing spam, and select the right technical tools.
  • Community responses: how to join forces to defeat spam. There are many possible responses to spam: simply delete it, complain to spammers and/or their service providers, share information, trap spammers, litigate, campaign for legislative solutions, use the media.
  • Other resources: offline and online documents, tools, mailing lists, and more.

Product details

  • Paperback: 201 pages
  • Publisher: O'Reilly Media; 1 edition (11 Oct 1998)
  • Language: French
  • ISBN-10: 156592388X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1565923881
  • Product Dimensions: 22.9 x 17.5 x 1.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,473,976 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

More About the Authors

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Product Description

From the Publisher

This book describes spam -- unwanted email messages and inappropriate news articles -- and explains what you and your Internet service providers and administrators can do to prevent it, trace it, stop it, and even outlaw it. Contains a wealth of advice, technical tools, and additional technical and community resources.

From the Author

The goal of this book is to provide general concepts and practical advice that doesn't quickly become obsolete, as well as hands-on overviews of important techniques in the area at the time of publishing.

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Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars
3.8 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
I bought this book precisely because many sites recommend it as the book to read on spamming. It is also listed on blacklisted hosts sites. However, I was very disappointed with it. In fact it was probably too much detail for the average email user. I was more interested in how email administrators could prevent their servers being used as open relays etc. I expected better from O'Reilly
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
Although I found this book the usual good o'reilly stuff, I thought there were a few shortfalls. I mainly bought the book hoping it would have some useful information on how to prevent spam at a server level.
Instead, it seems to mainly deal with what you should do if you get some spam in your inbox and who you should complain to if you're a user. While it seems to be very good and complete in this respect it falls very short of the mark if you look after a mail/news server and want to prevent spam from reaching your users.
There's only about twenty pages for admins, mostly on how to have an effective acceptable use policy and how to enforce it. There is very little technical detail on how to filter spam, or make your servers less likely to be used for spamming.
All in all a rather dissapointing book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
This book accomplishes its goal: to reach and to satisfy the vast majority of intelligent email-savvy users. Its comprehensivness dispite its shortness is impressive. Its effective use of historical annecdotes to push home its points is especially gratifying, considering the profusion of bone-dry pure techy writing that's out there. This book is both technically informative and journalistically entertaining. In short, it is a good book that everyone from the novice to the webmaster can use.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Book 16 Dec 1998
By A Customer
While books tend to suffer in quality as compared to on-line resources, this one is an exception to that rule. It covers spam from the very origins of it and why it is bad, for the benefit of newbies, to more advanced things like how to filter spam and track down the source of a spam and complain about it to the right people. Finally, it contains information for administrators and ISPs on how to protect their systems from spams and prevent their users from spamming.
This book is definitely worth buying!
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 3.5 out of 5 stars  20 reviews
14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Sysadmins shouldn't waste their money. 12 Mar 1999
By Rob Szarka <> - Published on
Stopping Spam is a good introduction to the major issues, but despite its claims has little to offer the system administrator. An example of a topic that should have been covered in depth, but wasn't, is the configuration of a mail server to use Vixie's Real Time Black Hole. It's not a bad book, but it's not the bat book, either.
Having said that, it would make a nice gift for your pointy-haired boss who needs a whack with the cluebat. It will even be of use to the advanced user who wants to write their first procmail filter to cut down on the spam in their mailbox.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Perfect for the home user who wants to go the next step.... 12 July 1999
By A Customer - Published on
This book is not just a great resource for home users annoyed by dealing with its subject matter, one gets a great and very readable overview of just WHAT all that alphabet soup at the top of your Email and Usenet postings actually is. Also, excellent recommendations for using Eudora's filters and other out-of-the-box softare, etc. are included.
However, I have to admit: This book is for intermediate users. An absolute beginner would get lost and a sysadmin already knows MOST of this stuff. Also, it is quite Unix-centric and gives zero advice on how to use MS-based mail servers and clients. However, IMHO it's good for anybody, if just for the URL's of important antispam sites and software download sites.
Another "Animal Book" masterpiece here.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome book with real solutions 1 Jan 2001
By S. Jackson - Published on
Don't let the publication date scare you off. This book is timeless in its applicability. It covers all types of spam very nicely, and is acutely aware of the potential speech-related issues content-based filtering can bring about.
This book offers many options for combatting spam on the user and system levels, and makes sure to present the best way to stop spam: by teaching responsible system administration and shutting down open mail relays and public NNTP servers that allow posting.
I have had to admin mail and news servers for clients in the past, and I personally receive about 30 pieces of unwanted email daily. I've been particularly interested in the Procmail-based "friendly sender database", and the book presents the solution in a clear, concise fashion.
If you're tired of receiving more spam than real email, or having to really look hard for high quality, on topic postings in your newsgroups, then I strongly recommend this book.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A dated book. 10 July 2003
By Mathew A. Shember - Published on
It is an old book so some of the info is rather dated.
However, it is good for a historical perspective and it gives an ok overview of the whole concept.
It will not give you answers to what you need to do as much of the spamming techniques have changed since it's publishing.
For example HTML based spam, spam fighing software, and Baysean formula came after this.
It was a book for its time but it has passed.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Lots of information and exactly enough help 6 Sep 2000
By Elaine Wilson - Published on
Though I took copious notes on reading headers, reporting mail fraud, and tracing spammers back to their sources, this book solved my problem with one simple piece of advice. I set a filter in Netscape to shunt any mail that doesn't have part of my own email address in its "To:" field into a "low priority" folder, except for a few mailing lists (like Suck) that I actually want. It works perfectly. The junk e-mail doesn't clutter up my inbox, and I can get rid of it all with a glance and a click.
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