net abuse : Java Glossary

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net abuse
There are three main types of net abuse:
  1. Viruses and worms sent via email in attachments.
  2. Email spam — ads, pornography or other unwanted junk mail.
  3. Wildly off-topic posts to newsgroups, usually ads or pornography, but sometimes political.
What can you do about them?

For email viruses and worms, you need a virus checker such as Norton Antivirus or Panda Antivirus. You can get by without one if you simply delete all incoming attachments without ever opening them, and never use Microsoft Outlook or Outlook Express which will often automatically open attachments.

For email spam, see my essay on spam.

For newsgroup abuse, view the message header. In Agent you do this by hitting H. You will see many fields among them ones like this:

Path: pd7tw2no!pd7cy1no!shaw.ca!pd7tw1no.POSTED!53ab2750!not-for-mail
X-Trace-PostClient-IP: 24.68.232.84
From: Roedy Green <see@mindprod.com>
Message-ID: <hge180lubp50rjl2jkal4592k2khv4t993@4ax.com>
NNTP-Posting-Host: 24.64.223.206
X-Complaints-To: abuse@shaw.ca
X-Trace: pd7tw1no 1082178196 24.64.223.206 (Fri, 16 Apr 2004 23:03:16 MDT)

Each of these lines gives you a clue, especially X-Complaints-To, as to someone you can complain to. For this particular message you could try these email addresses you see hidden that gibberish:

The following websites are mentioned. You could visit them and look for a contact email, or try sending to or , and for the other domains as well. The following IPs (Internet Protocols) are mentioned. You can look up who owns them at arin.net or www.domaintools.com. Both 24.68.232.84 and 24.64.223.206 belong to Shaw Communications and the whois service tells you their abuse hotline is (403) 750-7420.

When you complain, enclose a complete copy of the offending newsgroup post along with the complete header. It contains clues to help track down the culprit. use the subject "newsgroup abuse complaint" so your message will less likely be dismissed as spam. Don’t feel shy about sending your complaint to as many parties as you can find. Most of the mail will bounce. Most will be ignored. You need shotgun approach to get any action.

You can also post a newsgroup comment to the offending message listing the email addresses of where you sent your complaints, and suggest others do likewise to build the pressure, and possibly mildly intimidate the abuser.


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