Posts Tagged ‘Mac’

Spam: Fighting Back!

Posted: August 3, 2011 in Tips & Tricks
Tags: , , , , , , ,

Before you read on, this how-to post is specific to the Mac OS X mail client (Mail), but should be just as easy to set up in other mail clients that support custom mail filtering.

You probably hate spam mails just as much as I do, so share with you what you can do to fight back and hopefully make the spammer blacklist your e-mail from their “service”. Keep in mind, while reading this, the process of retrieving information about the owner is not necessary if you already know the individual or company’s e-mail address — which is ultimately what we’re looking for. Spam services often mask their identity, or make it hard to find any contact details about them (and you can’t reply to spam-mail), which is why we need to go find them ourselves. For the sake of demonstration I’ll be trying to find my e-mail knowing only a domain.

Firstly, identify the owner of the domain from which the spam is coming from. This can be done via whois services, for example http://www.whois.net/. For example, if you were to look up my domain at http://www.casperbhansen.dk/ you’d be presented with these informations about the owner  (in this case me);

[Querying whois.dk-hostmaster.dk]
[whois.dk-hostmaster.dk]
# Hello 131.103.218.176. Your session has been logged.
#
# Copyright (c) 2002 - 2011 by DK Hostmaster A/S
#
# The data in the DK Whois database is provided by DK Hostmaster A/S
# for information purposes only, and to assist persons in obtaining
# information about or related to a domain name registration record.
# We do not guarantee its accuracy. We will reserve the right to remove
# access for entities abusing the data, without notice.
#
# Any use of this material to target advertising or similar activities
# are explicitly forbidden and will be prosecuted. DK Hostmaster A/S
# requests to be notified of any such activities or suspicions thereof.

Domain:               casperbhansen.dk
DNS:                  casperbhansen.dk
Registered:           2009-05-01
Expires:              2012-05-31
Registration period:  1 year
VID:                  no
Status:               Active

Nameservers
Hostname:             ns1.dnsplus.dk
Hostname:             ns2.dnsplus.dk
Hostname:             ns3.hosting2.dk

# Use option --show-handles to get handle information.
# Whois HELP for more help.

From this information, you can see that my site is hosted by a company called ‘DK Hostmaster’, so now we’ll go to the hosting company’s site and see if we can get some contact information on their client (me) — now this site is in Danish by default, but there is an English version available if you want to follow along with me in the process of retrieving the necessary information.

On the main page, we can search for available .dk domains in the box with the title ‘Find .dk domænenavn’ (or in English ‘Find .dk domain name’) — so we’ll search for ‘casperbhansen.dk’, and voila!

The return result has several informations about the owner (me) and how to contact me. From here on out, you can decide how you want to combat the problem; you could try calling them by phone and talk them into blacklisting your e-mail from their service, you could do the same by visiting the address, or as I do, find an e-mail associated with that individual/company responsible and let them taste their own medicine.

So, armed with a name/company, telephone number and address, finding an e-mail address should be easy, especially since most spam-services would be associated with a company. There are several ways of doing this; try searching for the company name, and an e-mail address should be easy to find on their website, or searching for a company associated with the telephone number or address should be just as easy.

Well then, now that we have an e-mail address, let’s perform our counter-attack!

  1. Open up Mail and under the ‘Junk Mail’ pane in the preferences window and make sure that ‘Filter junk mail before applying my rules’ is unchecked.
  2. Afterward, go to the ‘Rules’ pane in the preferences window.
  3. Click the ‘Add Rule’ button and set up the rule as shown below, where ‘spam-domain.com’ corresponds to the domain from which you are receiving spam, and the ‘mail@company-domain.com’ corresponds to the contact e-mail address you found at the company’s site.
  4. Click the ‘Message…’ button to add a message to the spammer if you want, maybe something along the lines of ‘I believe this belongs to you.’
  5. Click ‘OK’ and you’re good to go!
From now on, mail sent to you from the spam domain will bounce (get forwarded) to the company’s contact e-mail address — which will probably annoy them quite a bit. Oh, and any mails received from that domain will never appear in your inbox ever again, as it is automatically trashed.
I hope you enjoyed this article and make good use of it — let’s show these bastards that we’re not that easily fucked with, have fun!
Advertisements

So, there’s this service we have in Denmark called NemID (English translated: EasyID), and for some reason, probably of lack of knowledge about how the Mac platform’s log files are organized, they’ve decided to put a log file in our user directory – URH! wrong place.

This has been bothering me quite a bit, and for quite a while now. Since I don’t think they’re going to fix the issue anytime soon, I thought why not apply a temporary fix and share how to do this with all of you who might have, if not the same, maybe similar problem.

Be gone, danid.log!
Getting rid of unwanted log-files is actually quite easy on the Mac, all we need to do is to set up a folder action from within Automator that will move a file to the trash should it be the nagging log file we want to get rid of.

1. Fire up Automator and choose the Folder Action from the template listings.

2. Choose the folder in which the unwanted file appears.

3. Search for the ‘Filter Finder Items’ action and add it – fill out the options as necessary to zero in on the unwanted file, in my case the file is called ‘danid.log’.

4. Search for the ‘Move Finder Items to Trash’ action and it below the previous action.

5. You’re done, save the folder action.

 

Be sure to make a test file, a dummy-replica of the unwanted file, and try to put it into the folder.

A full trash can and the file going missing once you drop the test file into the folder indicates a correctly programmed folder action.

By sheer accident, I discovered the Mac App Store supports searching based on the file format you are looking to work with — Mac OS X will even ask you if you want to search the store for an application capable of reading a file, should it not have one installed already.

Search terms
I’m not quite sure whether or not there are more ways of search the content on the Mac App Store, if there is I will update the following list accordingly – please do comment below if you are aware of more ways to search.

  • extension:argument — searches for any application that is able to read/write files of type specified in the argument (ie. ‘extension:nib’)

UPDATE: The event will be streamed live by Apple on their website. A link has not been released yet, but this has been confirmed by italian Apple PR — we will probably see it on Apple’s site within an hour or two before the event begins. My educated guess, judging from the previous stream they provided and the archived event footage page links, is that it will probably get streamed from http://www.apple.com/apple-events/october-2010/.

I’m a little late on this one, but I’m gonna give my thoughts on it anyway! Last Wednesday Apple sent out invitations for an event, taglined it ‘Back to the Mac’ and it comes with a pretty picture with a lion peeking out from behind a cut-out of an Apple logo. Now, while the picture speaks for itself, some people have speculated that we’re going to see some hardware updates, I’m not entirely convinced of that just yet. I firmly believe that this event is focused on software, and software only. However, one could imagine they’d throw in a new MacBook Air for kicks, but I doubt it.

    My Expectations
  • A preview of Mac OS 10.7 — supposedly code-named ‘Lion’ by the looks of the invitation.

    The invitation banner isn’t very subtle on this, now is it. We’re talking big cats again, and my expectations are high for this major iteration of Mac OS X. I think this one will be focusing mainly on the graphical user interface, possibly borrowing a few concepts from the iOS platform, as suggested by others — I believe this will be the ‘wow-factor’ of the presentation, discarding the ‘Aqua’ interface with a more minimal look and unified user interface [insert some random code-name for it here]. Other than that, we can only imagine what Apple has decided to implement into the ‘Lion’, since the last iteration of Mac OS X was heavily focused on improving the very foundations of the system, this one will probably be very feature-rich. Lastly, with the support by Steam that we saw earlier this year, Apple really needs to see the opportunity in this and embrace it by making gaming on the Mac a major focus for them — possibly by writing a few helpful API’s for gaming specifically, or their very own OpenGL engine?

  • A preview of iLife ’11

    iLife is getting old. The last iteration done on it, was ’09 which definitely could use some love from Apple. I see more social network integration in it, a few ‘wow-features’ and probably a major overhaul of the entire suite, with the exclusion of some of the products it currently has, like iDVD. In terms of specific feature I won’t even try to guess at it, because knowing Apple I’m probably going to be wrong about most of it — they usually top anything I can think of. Wishful thinking would include a complete rework of iWeb that doesn’t just have the ‘push-a-button-to-make-a-website’, but the option to get more involved with the actual code.

We probably won’t see an immediate release of Mac OS X, however we might get a release date on it. I don’t think they’re going to wait until WWDC 2011 to release it, simply because Apple has so much to show off at WWDC now that iOS devices are becoming an increasing focus for Apple —which I don’t like one bit at all—, and showing a Mac OS X release usually takes the bulk part of a keynote presentation — but then again, that might be why Steve is going to show it to us now.

I think we’re in for a nice long presentation of Mac OS 10.7 Lion with ‘one more thing’, which is the iLife ’11 suite and the possibility of a new MacBook Air. The event takes place today at 10am Pacific Time.