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VPoorEmail
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Message 21 of 60
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Re: VIRGIN MEDIA - AN IRRESPONSIBLE ORGANISATION - ALLOWS SPAM IN BUT NOT OUT

To coenoby.
Thanks for the tip about "No emails please". Just another Virgin trick to trip you up. Default it to overriding another setting, but keep it a secret.
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ravenstar68
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Message 22 of 60
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Re: VIRGIN MEDIA - AN IRRESPONSIBLE ORGANISATION - ALLOWS SPAM IN BUT NOT OUT

Why should I be more professional?  I don't get paid for this.

Just because the software has Virgin Media branding on it, doesn't mean that Virgin Media writes it themselves.  In fact prior to using OpenXChange Virgin Media used Gmail with Virgin Media branding added.

Your combination of rules doesn't make sense.

Reject with reason means that the email gets bounced back to the sender and not placed in the inbox.  Therefore you don't need to follow up with a discard rule.

Tim

Edit - I did try it anyway and guess what.  The mail was bounced back to the sending email and did not appear in my inbox.

Try again.

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ravenstar68
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Message 23 of 60
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Re: VIRGIN MEDIA - AN IRRESPONSIBLE ORGANISATION - ALLOWS SPAM IN BUT NOT OUT

I've taken the regular expression provided by @VPoorEmail and created a mail rule with it to divert mail to a folder called caught.

First thing I noted is that the filter is not infallible!  In crafting a mail to test how well the filter works, some mail was not caught.  It did however catch bitcoin mining as the subject.  So the next thing I did was to change the rule from File into <folder> to Discard.  I then recreated the mail that had been caught earlier and sent it to my blueyonder inbox and my personal domain.

Result:

The offending mail turned up in the Inbox on my personal domain (expected behaviour in this case)
The offending mail failed to turn up in the inbox on my blueyonder (behaviour expected from mail filter)

Checking my mail server log for the send

Dec 15 08:35:03 box postfix/smtp[23535]: 66B3517C1A1: to=<me@blueyonder.co.uk>, relay=mx.tb.ukmail.iss.as9143.net[212.54.56.11]:25, delay=3.3, delays=2.1/0.04/0.39/0.69, dsn=2.0.0, status=sent (250 2.0.0 MXIN650 mail accepted for delivery ;id=p5nSknjFVU4EJp5nSkhjnw;sid=p5nSknjFVU4EJ;mta=mx10.tb;dt=2020-12-15T09:35:03+01:00;ipsrc=51.195.149.130;)

Confirms the time that Virgin Media's servers "Accepted" the mail - (Note that the discard happens quietly after the mail has been received by Ziggo's Mail Exchanger)

So I will reiterate - Your assertion that the discard rule files emails into a users inbox anyway is false.

Tim

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ALF28
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Message 24 of 60
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Re: VIRGIN MEDIA - AN IRRESPONSIBLE ORGANISATION - ALLOWS SPAM IN BUT NOT OUT

having had the same issues myself I use filters which need constant updating.

virgin allow spam  to the inbox but will not allow emails with spam content to be sent on their servers for phishing reporting etc, very odd.

the discussion on the posts are enlightening, I will use the new regex string suggested regarding bitcoin.

rather than discard, I send to a folder, in case genuine  emails are sometimes caught by filtering as suggested.

one solution is to forward emails to gmail for example, that blocks most spam (they use machine learning AI) using a dedicated email as a forwarding address but leave a copy on the virgin server just in case because gmail deletes spams after 30 days, and slowly migrate all contacts to the new email address and the virgin email remains active if required and if a primary email has to be still linked to your account.

As the virgin email, like most free emails has to be used regularly or closed after 90 days so best to monitor it  regularly.

most people know what emails to expect form their contacts so unsolicited emails/spam/newsletters are usually easy to spot, in my case I no longer use the virgin email, except for a few  chosen newsletters I have subscribed to, so 90% is spam but as my email is approx 20 years old I still do get some emails from my old contacts mixed in, I usually then change them over to my new email (non virgin).

I do agree with the statement that stopping spam is almost impossible,as the spammers constantly adapt their emails to avoid spam filtering.

However some providers (non virgin) do a better job of spam blocking, spam is detected and goes to spam but the spam filters are that good they also block some genuine emails which then have to be marked as not spam, the balance of spam/not spam is never perfect.

Once the spammers get hold of an email address they will continue to send spam for many years.

virgin will not allow the primary address to be changed, it is fixed for ever so will be spammed for ever.

Only by closing the account can a primary email  be removed, or the other alternative is to open a virgin secondary address, mine gets zero spam.

 

 

 

 

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VPoorEmail
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Message 25 of 60
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Re: VIRGIN MEDIA - AN IRRESPONSIBLE ORGANISATION - ALLOWS SPAM IN BUT NOT OUT

Tim,

Thank you for your latest message.

Regarding the previous one...

One dictionary definition of professional is "... the personnel performing the services will possess the skill and competence consistent with the prevailing business standards in the ...  industry". You don't have to be paid to act professionally.

Everything on the Virgin website is Virgin's responsibility.

There are two ways of producing and publishing software.

The professional way includes having a clear definition, clear documentation, and testing every possible input that the user may submit.

The non-professional way is to publish something with no reasonable documentation, and assume that the user will work it out.  Then test a few things that you think are 'sensible', and hope that nobody notices.  This could come to be known as the 'Virgin Way'.

 

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ravenstar68
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Message 26 of 60
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Re: VIRGIN MEDIA - AN IRRESPONSIBLE ORGANISATION - ALLOWS SPAM IN BUT NOT OUT

I actually agree with one of the original premises of this thread.

Virgin Media have indeed got their spam filtering backwards, and don't appear to be in a hurry to do something about it.

However the thing that got my goat is when the OP in their eagerness to find something else bad to say about VM (or at least that's how it comes across) stated:

1. BAD NEWS: If you use the 'discard' action, then the Virgin software does just the opposite - it accepts the message into your inbox. What a surprise!

Now lwhy does it get my goat?  Well lets see:

  1. The 'Virgin software' isn't written by Virgin Media at all.  It's provided by a company called OpenXchange and skinned with Virgin Media branding.
  2. To say the discard action does the opposite would imply that the programmers can't even get a basic function right, which is more likely/  That, or that the rule used isn't quite as exhaustive as you think it is?
  3. I've done a test to check the action of the discard rule.  That action is not going to change - if it discards once, it'll discard anything that matches that rule.  Therefore if mail reaches the inbox, it's more likely that the mail does not match the rule that triggers the discard action rather than the discard action itself suddenly deciding to work completely differently.
  4. I really hate it when people post rubbish as if it was fact when in reality it's only an opinion.  The user thinks Virgin Media are rubbish, so seeks any opportunity to belittle them.

Certainly if the discard action itself was doing the complete opposite, I'd be the first to flag it to Virgin Media for an urgent review.  However one of the things I do is make sure that I can repeat the findings where possible.  Neither myself or Coenoby can find evidence that this is the case. 

Tim

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VPoorEmail
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Message 27 of 60
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Re: VIRGIN MEDIA - AN IRRESPONSIBLE ORGANISATION - ALLOWS SPAM IN BUT NOT OUT

Alf,
Thanks for your positive input.
Before using my Bitcoin string, I've noticed the odd problem. I'm still trying to work it out, but I'm beginning to think that all the square brackets [] should be replaced by parentheses. But the first square bracket ensures that the string must begin with a 'B' or 'b'. More to come.
Your idea of redirecting everything to Gmail sounds good. I'll be trying it.
I recognise all the problems - it'll never be possible to stop 100% of spam, some might become false positives, such as 'Mum asking about Bitcoin', and letting spammers know that the mailbox is active is like suicide - although I have toyed with sending a reply consisting of just a full-stop (just to puzzle them, if anybody reads it), before TRYING TO discard it.

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Message 28 of 60
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Re: VIRGIN MEDIA - AN IRRESPONSIBLE ORGANISATION - ALLOWS SPAM IN BUT NOT OUT


@VPoorEmail wrote:

 redirecting everything to Gmail sounds good. I'll be trying it.


Or you might like to take a look at the free version of this product https://www.mailwasher.net/ 

I have never used it with VM email but I used if for years in conjunction with MS Outlook.

If you are interested, the back story was that around 2008/2009 the (non VM) email address I was using for my business and personal emails had become swamped with spam. My initial reaction was to sort it by using the "Rules and Actions" option in Outlook. The rules worked but I eventually gave up because I  realised that I was spending too much time creating new rules or adjusting existing ones as the spam either morphed to beat my rules or completely new sources of spam came along.I also noticed that I ended up with loads of rules that were no longer used because the spammers had moved on.

That's when I switched to using the paid for version of Mailwasher (in conjunction with Outlook) with all the email addresses I was using. Then a few years ago I decided to move over to a new email address and these days the spam filters in Gmail and Outlook do a great job dealing with the small amount of spam that I get so I don't need Mailwasher.

I am sure using rules to create your own spam filter it is great if you love the challenge of writing new code but if you just want to get on with your life there are better ways to spend you time than faffing around tweaking email rules. That's how I see it anyway 😲

My personal view is the rules facility in any email service is really intended to allow you to auto manage manage your inbox, automatically moving new emails to dedicated folders (Work, Bank, Ebay etc for example). Much more than that you are doing it because you love the challenge basically.😉  Of course lots of people love a challenge. 

Coenoby

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ALF28
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Message 29 of 60
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Re: VIRGIN MEDIA - AN IRRESPONSIBLE ORGANISATION - ALLOWS SPAM IN BUT NOT OUT

like many issues I have posted, not always possible to get an answer so eventually you find a way to solve it yourself or it remains not answered.

I appreciate the technical knowledge of the members and it has helped me to come to my own conclusions.

I used to use discard spam via filters but was not aware it may not function from the tests done by other members, I just assumed it was deleting the spam.

I also now use a named folder to hold the spam for some time, which I filter out and have one for 2018, 2019, 2020 so I am collecting the spam to see how many I get, over 900 spam emails this year to date.

I will modify my regex filter for bitcoin, with  parentheses as advised thanks.

I would not advise replying to spam, unless using a vpn the spammer or hacker then has your ip address. I did for a while send a vacation notice with the words please remove me but it had  no  effect.

reporting to action fraud may be a better alternative, but they will not forward if they have spam content or already reported.

have myself tried mailwasher, the free version works for 30 days and then stops working properly, was good while it worked, but had to recover some emails that were deleted from server that I wanted, perhaps the paid for version is better.

I first reported the spam issue in October 2019 when I joined the community, and 500 + posts later the same spam problems still exists.

I do not think it can be stopped, so best to control/manage the spam or use an alternative email which may more secure. and has better spam filtering built in.

Virgin must be well aware of the issue, the only advice given is to delete spam or mark it spam or use alternative emails.Some members like myself use filtering to minimise spam to the inbox, I go a step further and whitelist my inbox for known contacts only and the rest goes to other folders.

Interesting that my spam started in 2016 but the problem is spreading to other members recently, so may be the data breach in march 2020?

 

 

 

 

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Message 30 of 60
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Re: VIRGIN MEDIA - AN IRRESPONSIBLE ORGANISATION - ALLOWS SPAM IN BUT NOT OUT


@ALF28 wrote:

I will modify my regex filter for bitcoin, with  parentheses as advised thanks.


I would caution against using the previous or proposed variant until @VPoorEmail confirm it does not match subjects that make no mention of bitcoin, for example previously expression would match “Buy Intel CPU on Insight's website” and proposed expression “Beware criminals are operating in your area” (emphasisd text indicate pattern match in text).

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