Search

Search

Pages

Categories

Popuar Topics

Search

Categories

Main menu:

Tags

Weblogs of Interest

Viagra Spammer Defeats Comcast Anti-Spam Filter

When high-speed Internet was introduced in my area about 6 years ago, I was thrilled to finally dump my slow dial-up service. There was one thing, however, that I really missed about my old dial-up service.

I was getting my dial-up service from Earthlink (formerly Mindspring) back then and they had a very nice spam filter which literally stopped all spam from reaching my in-box. That particular filter is also known as a white list, and just like it sounds, it is the opposite of a black list.

With white list filtering you are able to configure your e-mail account so that it rejects every e-mail message except those coming from the e-mail addresses that are on your white list. It is the absolute best way to stop spam.

My new high-speed Internet access was provided by Adelphia when I first got it and unfortunately, they did not offer white list filtering. The spam filter they offered was reasonably good, but spam would sneak through every so often.

When Adelphia went bankrupt a while back (the company was run by crooks) the service in our area was taken over by Comcast. Although I am no big fan of Comcast, I was very happy to discover that they offered white list filtering for e-mail accounts.

One of the first things I did was to set up white list filtering on my main Comcast e-mail account. I have never received a single spam e-mail message on that account as a result. Until a few days ago that is.

Imagine my surprise when I received a spam e-mail message from some Canadian pharmacy outfit that was pushing, what else, Viagra! I stared at the message in disbelief. How could they have gotten around my white list filter?

It did not take too long to figure it out. When the spammers sent the message, they put my e-mail address in the “From:” field. In other words, it looked like a message that I sent to myself.

It’s quite trivial to send an e-mail message with a phony “From:” field and spammers have been doing it for a long time. In fact, it happened back when I had my Earthlink account because I had put my own e-mail address on the white list in case I wanted to forward something to myself for some reason.

With the Earthlink account, it was a simple matter to just remove my e-mail address from the white list and that was the end of the spam for good.

With Comcast, this is not the case. Apparently, the Comcast white list filter includes your own e-mail address by default and I could find no way to remove it. In fact, it does not even show up on the list!

I wish I could say I am surprised. It looks like Comcast has found yet another way to prove that they suck.

I’m not sure I am going to even take the time to report this to them as a problem since I don’t usually get a satisfactory answer from them when I have taken the time to report something to them.

Most of the the Comcast customer service people I have talked to so far have been utterly clueless and spend most of their time trying to convince me that whatever problem I am having is the fault of Microsoft or the company that made my PC. Apparently, the one training class they require their customer service people to attend is called “Passing the Buck.”

Unless Comcast closes this white list loophole, more spammers are going to exploit it and the white list filter will become useless. Nice going, Comcast! I’d really love to see you spend more time fixing your problems and less time passing the buck.

Write a comment