Spam is annoying not only to users. For website owners, it can be a pain in the neck. Businesses and cybercriminals use spamming for different purposes. Effects range from mild irritation to serious damage. Malevolent links can snatch sensitive data, both personal and financial. Luckily, spammers do not remain unpunished.
Today, there are effective methods of counteracting spam. Filters in mail clients cope with the task, but only to an extent. A more reliable approach involves reporting every spam IP to a special list of spam IP addresses. Any user can submit individual complaints. Once their number rises over a certain threshold, the IP is blocked. The same can be done with domains and email addresses.
How Lists Are Compiled
New data is fed from two sources. First, automated systems detect open relay servers, spamming software, and other offenses. On the other hand, users report senders using their IP/domain information. In this case, reports may be triggered by purely subjective factors. Users may:
- forget/not remember signing up,
- be unable to find the link for unsubscribing,
- be inundated with messages in general, or
- dislike the content of the emails.
There are also special ‘spam traps’ whose purpose is self-explanatory. These are email addresses that are no longer used. If your messages reach them, your IP is blacklisted. This is particularly relevant for companies that conduct email marketing campaigns. They should keep their address lists updated, and check the status of their IPs/domains.
Popular blacklists are gigantic. One of the biggest sites for anti-spam defense has over 13 million email addresses, just under 5 million IPs, and almost 1.5 million sites on its blacklist. Such databases never stop growing.
These are used by ISPs (Internet service providers) for cyber protection. Defense against spam is based on the same blacklists. This means that every single complaint contributes to the war against Internet offenders. Here is the core principle of auto-systems.
Every mail sender has a unique IP. It is logged every time a message leaves their system. On the receiving end, this data allows the server to verify the source. It establishes a connection to available blacklists to run the check.
Mail Abuse Prevention Systems and other services identify sources of fishy active mailing. Their IPs and domains are recorded and added to the lists. If prior spamming activity is detected, the email is redirected to junk or rejected. This depends on the number of violations.
Both checking and reporting are simple and intuitive. All you need to do is head to the blacklist site, enter the identifier (IP/domain), and launch the process. To report a spammer, also specify the type of attack. Next, launch the process! If you are checking your own IP, the system will indicate a match or absence thereof.