||© 2003 Technology Exponent
I always get spammed, and it is very annoying. Then I thought instead of getting mad, I should at least try to get even. So I wrote Spam Revenge
Replying to spammers asking them to stop spamming does not work, because the spammers usually hide their actual email addresses. However, the spammers usually try to sell something, and they must put some valid URL (Web link) in the message. In other words, generally, there is a way to reach either the spammer or the products being advertised by the spammer.
Spam Revenge will search the spam message for all email addresses and URLs, then sends a reply to the found addresses requesting that spam be stopped.
Of course, if few people only use Spam Revenge, it will not have any practical impact, but if many people use Spam Revenge, the servers hosting the spammers or their products will be overwhelmed and may force the spammer to stop. For example, if a million people use Spam Revenge and mail to a Viagra merchant that they do not want to be spammed, this can get their attention. Even if the merchant does not care, a million message hitting their server, could get their Internet Service Provider (ISP) to stop them.
Note that when you send an email message to:
The message will reach the host and then get rejected because the name is not valid, but it will get processed by the host.
If somebody asks you to visit the web site
www.viagra-for-cheap.com, you can send an email to
email@example.com, your email will reach the
viagra-for-cheap.com server even if it does not have a user named
(Please note that
viagra-for-cheap.com in this document are fictitious. If you own them please understand that I am not attacking you)
Installing Spam Revenge
is very easy:
- You must be using an MS-Windows operating system. I tested it on Windows 2000 and XP but it should work on earlier versions.
- Create a folder that will contain Spam Revenge. For example:
SpamRevenge.zip. (See end of this document).
SpamRevenge.zip contents into
SpamRevenge.exe is the program, double click on it to start Spam Revenge.
- If you like you can create a shortcut to Spam Revenge on your desktop.
When you start Spam Revenge
for the first time, click on the <Configure> button, the Configure window appears.
You must populate some of its values before you can use the rest of the program. The window has the following buttons:
- Save: will save the current configuration.
- Lock/Unlock: will lock or unlock the configuration values.
- Reset: will reset the values of the filters to the original set. Use it if you mess up the addresses filters.
- Close: close this window.
The configuration values are:
(You must click the <Lock/Unlock> button before you can edit the configuration values)
- Show List of "Send To" Before Replying:
When you reply to a spammer, do you want to see who will be replied to. The default is yes. This allows you to modify the list if you like.
The name that the spammers will see with the email they will receive from you. I advice you not to put you real name.
- From Address:
The email address that the spammers will see with the email they will receive from you. I advice you not to put you real email address.
- Mail User Id:
Your email id as given to you by your ISP or network administrator. This must be valid. It will not be sent to the spammer.
- SMTP Mail Host:
(SMTP: Simple Mail Transfer Protocol). The name of your mail server. Check with your ISP or network administrator. This must be valid. It will not be sent to the spammer. If you use Outlook or Outlook Express, check this value in Tools/Accounts. Many times the SMTP server is in the format:
Filters determine how to extract URLs and email addresses from the spam message. If you do not know Regular Expressions, do not modify this section. (Regular Expressions are sequences of letters and symbols that describe a pattern or a sequence of characters). The <Reset> will reset the filters.
- List of addresses which you do not want to reply-to even if they appear in a spam mail:
Sometimes the spam contains valid addresses that you do not want to reply to, for example you do not want to reply to government agencies, or to yourself. Make sure to add your won email address at the end of this list.
When you are done configuring Spam Revenge, click <Save> then <Close>. You can modify your configuration at any time in the future.
Using Spam Revenge
Start Spam Revenge
and make sure it is configured correctly.
When you receive a spam mail, copy and paste its text into the text area at the bottom of the window. Then fill out the following:
- # of Replies To Send:
How many emails do you want to send to the spammers. The default is one. You may enter more, however if you enter a large number, say 1000, you yourself may be considered a spammer, so be aware.
- Message To Send To Spammer:
The text of your reply to the spammer. You can put any reply you want.
- Spam Received From: (optional)
If you have the address of the spammer, paste it here. Be careful not to put the addresses of other spam victims here.
- Reply's Subject:
Put the subject of your reply to the spammer. Be creative ;-)
When you are done, push the <Reply> button.
Show List of "Send To" Before Replying Was Checked:
If you had checked the Show List of "Send To" Before Replying in the Configuration window, a new window titled "Who Will Be Mailed Back" will appear, where you can modify the list of the recipients.
If you want to continue with the reply, click the <OK> button, otherwise click <Cancel>