Too Cool for Internet Explorer

Thursday, April 7, 2005

One More Down, Almost Infinite Possibilities To Go

Thank you, Ben Slaight, for assuming with no evidence whatsoever that sales@ this domain is a valid e-mail address. You’ve succeeded in doing nothing but getting it deactivated since I couldn’t care less if it doesn’t actually work.

As for the rest of my readers, allow me to mention that the tactic I described a long time ago for combatting spam appears to be working. I’ve had this domain for more than a year now and have only been spammed perhaps three (four at the most) times—all to aliases that are easy to assume, such as info, sales, etc. In all cases, the alias was blocked and I was spam free for many months.

So bring it on, butt-munches. I’ve got plenty of combinations I can block. And for those anal-retentive types who’d like to know exactly how many, chew on this: assume 26 letters of the alphabet and 10 single digits, for a total of 36 characters. Then assume that e-mail addresses are only 10 characters long—sure, that’s not realistic, but let’s make the math easy. Consequently, 36 to the power of 10 is 3,656,158,440,062,976. That’s more than 3.5 quadrillion combinations. Even if I scale that down and only make my friends have to use a maximum of 5 characters, we’re talking 60,466,176 combinations. And this doesn’t even factor the possibility of hyphens, underscores, or periods in the address.

» Posted by ALBj at 09:49 PM (ET)
Category: Housekeeping, Idiot of the Moment, Rant


The problem with that is that you’re always the one playing catchup. Say, for instance, a spammer decides to use your domain name as the return address for a bunch of spam messages, and for each and every one of them, he creates a random address like asdfwehjk@… If he sends out, say, 1 million (a conservative estimate) and 1% of those bounce or come back to you as a result of spam filters, then you suddenly have 10,000 bogus messages to deal with. That’s what happened to me (but the numbers, I think were higher) and what finally convinced me to only accept “valid” e-mail addresses. When I give out addresses, though, I do put a tag on the end of it that helps identify me. The standard says that + can be used for this, but my mailer is also setup to use -. So, for instance, my e-mail here is lovelace-secondinitial@… That, for me, gives me both the advantages of being able to block specific addresses and not having to worry about random return addresses some spammer uses.

» Posted by Tanner Lovelace
April 9, 2005 09:07 PM

Sorry, due to comment spam abuse, new comments on this entry are closed until I find time to upgrade Movable Type and enable registration and moderation.