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Effective domain blocking - 12/02/06

From: Email Guy
Subject:       Effective domain blocking
Date: December 2, 2006 9:39 AM
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In my earlier post about using the Blocked Sender list, user Eli Polonsky gave us a terrific trick about how to effectively block spam from foreign domains that you would never get any real email from anyway. Here's his tip:

To the person who asked about blocking foreign domains, there is a way that you can block a good deal of them without using up many of your 500 alloted blocks. Here's the hint: if you enter the two last dotted suffixes into your block list, it will block all e-mails with those two last suffixes. For example, if you block co.uk, it will block all e-mails from all domains that end in co.uk. It won't work if you just enter the last suffix (just entering uk won't work), but the last two does work.

I've blocked the following suffixes to greatly reduce foreign domain spam: ac.uk, bk.ru, co.il, co.jp, co.kr, co.nz, co.uk, co.za, com.ar, com.au, com.br, com.cn, com.hk, com.tw, ne.jp, net.au, net.mk, net.pk, net.tr, org.uk. That block all e-mails that come in with those domain suffixes, regardless of the domain prefixes.

Posted by: Eli Polonsky | December 1, 2006 7:18 AM

Thank for the great tip Eli !

For more information about using the Blocked Sender List, see this post.

Discussion

Posted by: Vicki Desatoff   |   December 7, 2006 12:50 AM    |   (1)

I can't find where to go to post these partial foreign emails.

Posted by: Email Guy   |   December 7, 2006 12:52 AM    |   (2)

Vicki - there are two ways to get there. Click Preferences then click Blocked Sender List. Or click spamBlocker then Settings then Blocked Sender List.

Posted by: Greg Bruno   |   December 13, 2006 11:06 AM    |   (3)

It sure would make things easier if Earthlink allowed us to block the LAST dotted suffix. My spam problem would be more than cut in half, if I could block all of China, Russia and France (CN, RU and FR).

Greg

Posted by: Email Guy   |   December 13, 2006 11:40 AM    |   (4)

Greg - I agree we need to make a change to allow top level domains, with some exclusions so users don't inadvertently block .com or .net, for example.

Posted by: Jerry   |   February 15, 2007 7:22 PM    |   (5)

This is the best tip I've ever read. Wish I would've seen it earlier! Thanks.

Posted by: Nate   |   March 2, 2007 11:56 PM    |   (6)

I have my webhosting with you and I get a lot of spam sent to mailto_cgi@mydomain.com
Is there a way for me to make any mail sent to that specific email address simply be deleted?

Yes.
If that is a real mailbox that you have created under your domain, delete the mailbox. If not, then you are using the "catch-all" feature available to hosting accounts, where you have chosen to accept all email sent to any address under your domain, whether the mailbox exists or not. Turn that off in your Hosting Control Panel and only accept messages to real mailboxes.

Email Guy

Posted by: Jeff   |   March 17, 2007 9:26 PM    |   (7)

Any progress on allowing users to block Top Level Domains on their Blocked Senders list. You said it was a good idea, but is Earthlink planning on implementing it? Are they currently working on it? If so, is there an estimated date the feature will be available? I've been wanting this feature for ages.

I'm glad I saw a link to this blog at the sign-in screen, it renewed my hope that I can get my concerns addressed by Earthlink (I've had no or poor luck with email [lack of replies] and chat customer support [non-responsive or inadequate replies]). I'll post my questions elsewhere (unless they've already been addressed) and look forward to getting some responses.

Yes, we are definitely going to add support for blocking top-level domains. It is one of the requirements of the 6.0 release that is in development now. If you have other good suggestions, post them to this blog and I will at least give you an answer.

Email Guy

Posted by: Jim   |   March 27, 2007 8:13 AM    |   (8)

I continue to find the Blocked Senders List to be difficult to use, certainly to edit.

1) You can't copy line items there already to edit them (copy and paste don;t work)

2) you can't post multiple entries into the block these addresses list (or I haven't found a way)

3) there's no aging or stats available to see how freq they spam

4) there's no interface to output or input from Excel (or comma delimited) formats for edting


I think it should be presented as an editable spreadsheet interface to make it easy for users to use.
Jim

Posted by: Greg Bruno   |   July 25, 2007 10:56 AM    |   (9)

Will we be able to block top-level domains soon?

We plan to add that feature this year.

Email Guy


Posted by: Greg Bruno   |   December 5, 2007 11:45 AM    |   (10)

It looks like we won't get the ability to block TLD's any time soon. Why is this simple feature so difficult for EarthLink to accomplish?

It isn't difficult, it is just another thing on the list that we have to get to. I'm sorry it is taking so long, but that feature is definitely coming.

Email Guy


Posted by: WD Goodwin   |   December 11, 2007 12:21 AM    |   (11)

TLD blocking hopefully will be available soon -- the other feature worth considering is to block obsolete email addresses set up in the past when utilizing a "catch-all" domain name mailbox -- we have many of these used for limited time market tracking purposes, which spammers have harvested and circulated. Would you please consider a blocking list for these, or simple allow these to be added to the existing block list and your system would know enough to block any incoming mail sent to one of these obsolete email addresses. PS, we still very much need the "Catch-all" domain name email feature, so we would prefer not to turn this off.

That is a feature of your domain hosting account, not of Web Mail (and non-domain customers don't have it). I'll pass on the suggestion, but you should also submit this through the feedback link from your hosting control panel site.

Email Guy


Posted by: John Cheek   |   March 15, 2008 11:31 PM    |   (12)

I recently started getting spams from users xxxx@yahoo.co.uk. About a week ago, I added the domain yahoo.co.uk ro my blocked sender list. Since then, I have still been getting some spam from this domain, but I have also been getting spamblocker reports indicating that it has been blocking some spam from this domain. Why does your spamblocker catch some but allow other spam from the same domain? (The ones that are getting through are going into my Known Spam folder, but I thought the point of the spamblocker is to stop them entirely.)
Also, I have been getting spam from users at gpc-bmXX.com where the number XX varies. I have added entries to my Blocked Sender list from gpc-bm05.com through gpc-bm35.com, but the spamblocker does not catch any of them. They still go into my Known Spam folder. Any idea why it isn't working? I might add that last year I had a similar problem where the spamblocker wasn't working. I contacted your tech support a number of times & was continually told the problem would be fixed, but it never was.

The spamBlocker filter comes first, before your personal block list. Your block list only acts on messages that are not already caught as spam by EarthLink filters. I'd actually like to see this order reversed, but that's how it works today. Messages in your Known Spam folder do not count in your storage quota.

Email Guy


Posted by: John Cheek   |   March 18, 2008 11:35 PM    |   (13)

Posted by: John Cheek | March 15, 2008 11:31 PM | (12)

I recently started getting spams from users xxxx@yahoo.co.uk. About a week ago, I added the domain yahoo.co.uk ro my blocked sender list. Since then, I have still been getting some spam from this domain, but I have also been getting spamblocker reports indicating that it has been blocking some spam from this domain. Why does your spamblocker catch some but allow other spam from the same domain? (The ones that are getting through are going into my Known Spam folder, but I thought the point of the spamblocker is to stop them entirely.)
Also, I have been getting spam from users at gpc-bmXX.com where the number XX varies. I have added entries to my Blocked Sender list from gpc-bm05.com through gpc-bm35.com, but the spamblocker does not catch any of them. They still go into my Known Spam folder. Any idea why it isn't working? I might add that last year I had a similar problem where the spamblocker wasn't working. I contacted your tech support a number of times & was continually told the problem would be fixed, but it never was.


The spamBlocker filter comes first, before your personal block list. Your block list only acts on messages that are not already caught as spam by EarthLink filters. I'd actually like to see this order reversed, but that's how it works today. Messages in your Known Spam folder do not count in your storage quota.

So what you are saying is that the Blocked Sender list is slightly better than useless at blocking spam, right?

See this FAQ, and this one. The purpose of the two features is different (spam filter, or block list). EarthLink delivers all email sent to you whether we think it is spam or not, we just put it in a separate folder to keep it from cluttering your Inbox. I do agree there would be a benefit to some users if the block list took precedence, if only making it easier to scan the "spam" folder for anything that might be good. That's about the only benefit, as that folder does not count in your quota, and it is autodeleted for you (only holds most recent ~100 spam).

Email Guy


Posted by: Jackie   |   June 18, 2008 12:17 PM    |   (14)

Ok, the problem is still the limit of only being able to block 500 urls. I don't want ways to empty existing addresses, or old addresses, I want ways to add more than 500. It has been a fews years (2006) since a long blog was written explaining the "why"....has the technology been updated yet? Can we increase the limit yet?//

Posted by: Vicky   |   June 1, 2010 1:29 PM    |   (15)

All of a sudden one of my clients started going into the spam folder. I clicked the box and told earthlink that it was not spam, however all future emails from that client are being put into the spam folder.
The problem is that I have to log into web earthlink email to get to the spam folder because I'm using outlook for my email.

Is there a way to permanantly tell earthlink that I want this clients email to not go into the spam folder

Posted by: Robert Melson   |   August 13, 2010 1:23 AM    |   (16)

OK, so has TLD blocking been activated yet? I get what seem like hundreds of emails daily from .ru and .cn domains and would like to block them before they get to my local machine. Any word?

Posted by: Chris   |   February 7, 2012 4:40 PM    |   (17)

So what is the progress on this. Reading through the comments, this discussion was taking place 6 years ago and still no TLD blocking??

Virtually all my spam comes from the .info TLD. No actual human has ever sent me an email from .info, it's 100% spam. If I could block that, my spam would go down by 99%.

Why oh why doesn't earthlink allow me to block this TLD! Setting that up would be effortless and it's 6 freaking years and no progress on this??! Ridiculous!

Posted by: Byron   |   March 1, 2012 10:53 PM    |   (18)

http://mailblog.earthlink.net/webmail/2006/12/effective_domain_blocking.php?page_section=335460#comment-335460

I see lots of new comments from others wishing to block TLDs. From your reply in the message linked above and elsewhere here on the webmail blog, you have said this feature was coming and it isn't difficult to implement. It is at least half a decade since you first said it was coming and it still isn't here. WHY NOT? For me it would be the single biggest improvement earthlink could make to webmail.

Please give us an update, even if it isn't what I'm hoping to hear/read.

Things don't always go as planned and other distractions get in the way. But I'm really trying to get that put in this year, possibly in the first half. The problem has definitely gotten worse.

Email Guy


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