Newsgroup filtering with host server software

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I'd like to setup something like Hamster to filter NG's since Windows Live
Mail filtering is pretty inept.  Hamster may be fine, but I only saw the
German site when I went looking to download it.  Can someone recommend an
app that is well supported in English (site and/or download link
appreciated)?


Re: Newsgroup filtering with host server software
victek@invalid.invalid says...
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Why not use a real, actual, Usenet client instead of the broken email
clients that MS provides?

If you provided a little more information - what are you wanting to
filter?

--

Leythos
- Igitur qui desiderat pacem, praeparet bellum.
- Calling an illegal alien an "undocumented worker" is like calling a
  drug dealer an "unlicensed pharmacist"
spam999free@rrohio.com (remove 999 for proper email address)

Re: Newsgroup filtering with host server software
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A number of public NG's that I frequent are being spammed so bad they are
unusable.  alt.comp.freeware is a good example.  Users and domains can be
blocked in Windows Live Mail (WLM), but then the message store has to be
reset to actually remove the blocked messages.  I'd like to be able to
filter all this crap so that it doesn't reach the newsreader at all, but if
I can't do that I'd like to use a reader that immediately removes messages
after the senders are marked as blocked.  Outlook Express worked this way,
but WLM doesn't.  I thought that a local server like Hamster might be a good
way to exert more control, but perhaps a better reader would be enough?


Re: Newsgroup filtering with host server software
victek@invalid.invalid says...
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Try Gravity newsreader v2.7.
http://sourceforge.net/project/showfiles.php?group_id=95245
It has an excellent "Kill File" that can be set to block
the objectional posts.
Casey

Re: Newsgroup filtering with host server software
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I will, thanks!

Re: Newsgroup filtering with host server software
On Mon, 24 Dec 2007, in the Usenet newsgroup comp.security.firewalls, in

Holiday Season Greetings.

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Seeing as how Hamster was created by a German author - that's sort of
expected, isn't it?

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http://www.dmoz.org/Computers/Software/Internet/Servers/Usenet /

However, if you insist on using windoze, you will be somewhat limited in
your choices.

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That's certainly good advice - there are dozens of real news readers
with more adequate filtering capabilities, although most of them do
expect you to have some idea of how filtering works - that is, what
headers you can most easily filter on (those in an NNTP XOVER list,
which is "From:", "Subject:", "References:", "Date:", "Bytes:",
"Lines:", "Message-ID:" and "Xref:") and how to make the mail reader
display these headers.

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I don't look at that newsgroup, and a quick glance suggests it is of
little possible interest to me, but even looking at the last 100
articles posted suggests several types of posts that might be
objectionable.  Advertisements:  subject keywords, posting name or
domain, message-ID components.    Religious postings:  same as
advertisements (which in a way, they are).   Trolls and troll feeders:
posting name or domain, message-ID components - subject keywords may
also be useful.   Sporge, also called Hip-crime attacks: best dealt
with by screaming at the news provider to have them reject the spew,
(many do this automatically) and if necessary, de-peer with the idiot
news provider that is being used as an injection port.

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Sounds like a pretty useless application.

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A problem about blocking "by sender" is the fact that frequently the
sender name is false and may change several times a minute. Most
users are not aware of other possibilities. Reading the RFCs that
define how USENET works (RFC0977, RFC1036, RFC2980, and RFC3977) may
be helpful in this understanding.

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Another possibility is to use a News Provider that doesn't have their
head up and locked and actually has a real live person (or more) who
monitors what's going on and filters the obvious crap before your
news reader (or news downloading tool) even has a chance to see it.
None the less, you are correct that a local server can exert a lot more
control over what your reader sees.

[compton ~]$ grep -vE '^([%\\[ ]|Score|$)' /var/spool/slrnpull/score |
 cut -d' ' -f1 | sort | uniq -c | column
    923 From:                12 References:           2 ~Subject:
      2 Lines:              305 Subject:
     15 Message-ID:          78 Xref:
[compton ~]$

No, I don't expect you to understand UNIX command line, but this shows
that my news spooler (slrnpull) has been told to ignore "From:" lines
(you call this "Sender") with 923 different rules. It filters on the
"Message-ID:" headers to (FOR EXAMPLE) ignore spam posted from google
in several newsgroups. Several trolls in the groups I read have unique
"Message-ID:" headers, and the "References:" rules are used to filter
replies to the trolls.   As noted, you need to look at those headers,
and then you can make simple filtering rules.

        Old guy

Re: Newsgroup filtering with host server software
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You're correct that Windows Live Mail has poor filtering capability, but
it's good for Hotmail which is my main reason for using it.  I some other NG
readers though, such as Gravity.

Regarding NG servers, I currently use news-byoa.prodigy.net because my ISP
account gives me access, but I would happily switch to a different server.
Do you have a recommendation?

Thanks for all the information about filtering.


Re: Newsgroup filtering with host server software
On Wed, 26 Dec 2007 00:49:33 GMT, Victek wrote:
[...]
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Xnews and 40tude Dialog are two of the better Windows newsreaders with
good filtering/scoring capabilities. If the news server(s) used
support filtering on any header then look at Xnews first, and if the
news server(s) used don't support filtering on any header then look at
Dialog first as Dialog can filter twice - headers in the overview and
any other header during article retrieval.

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News.Individual.NET (NIN) <http://news.individual.net/ is about the
best for text, very reliable, charge a small annual fee, and do a good
job with spam and sporge.

Otherwise try Motzarella <http://motzarella.org/ , as it's one of the
better free news services, although NIN do a better job with sporge
(last time I compared two of the ongoing sporged groups).

--
Rom

Re: Newsgroup filtering with host server software
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Motzarella works great - thanks!

Re: Newsgroup filtering with host server software
On Wed, 26 Dec 2007, in the Usenet newsgroup comp.security.firewalls, in

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Never saw a reason/need for Hotmail.  Any mail from a hotmail account is
assumed to be spam as no one would be using it for business, and at work
we simply block access to the IP ranges used by Hotmail (and yahoo, and
gmail, and others). Family/friends know I drop all mail from these kind
of accounts - but then, a lot of them do the same.

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I intentionally don't recommend one provider or another.  Partly, this
is because it's a personal choice issue akin to "which is best" (to
which I may respond "I dunno - is Ford better than Chevy?" to get the
idea across). Alternative servers may be free (choose with caution if
you want your posts to be seen, as they may be filtered/ignored by
others if they fail to control of newsgroup abuse from their users -
http://www.dmoz.org/Computers/Usenet/Public_News_Servers/ is a
relatively up to date list), or minimal costs - a lot of people mention
news.individual.net for about US$15 a year, but they are far from the
only one.  There are also commercial servers - but these tend to be
more expensive.

You should also consider what you are trying to see in newsgroups. A
number of the free/cheap news servers are text only (no binaries) to
control their costs of bandwidth and data storage. Retentivity (how
long they keep articles) may also be an issue.

        Old guy

Re: Newsgroup filtering with host server software

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If they are on the road they might. Someone would almost certainly use
a Hotmail account, if they are away on a business trip to get thier Email.
One would just simply set the forwarding on their work Email account to
forward everything to their hotmail account, then they can pick up their
Email while they are on the road.

I travel a lot running my online radio station, and I use hotmail, when I am
on the road, to get my Email. When you are travelling, it is the most
convenient way to keep in touch.



Re: Newsgroup filtering with host server software
Chilly8 wrote, On 26/12/07 22:55:
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No, in a sensible company they will be provided with some method of
accessing their company email account if they are expected to read it.
For example by being provided with company WebMail access or a
Blackberry. There are many other solutions that do not rely on relaying
email to an external email account.

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Personally I would find it the *least* convenient method. However my
company provides webmail for when I can't use my company notebook and
other methods for when I can. The same with my personal email.
--
Flash Gordon

Re: Newsgroup filtering with host server software
X-No-Archive: Yes

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Of course that depends on the type of server the company may have. If
the company is using a Unix-based mail server, its a snap to create a
.forward file and have the mail relayed where you want it to go. However,
 very few corporate setups use Unix, either on servers or on workstations,
so this is a non-issue in most companies. That is the only problem with
Windows servers. Windows does not have a function for providing
mail forwarding, and nearly every corporatation around uses Windows,
because most business software is written for Windows. Even if the
SERVER is Unix or Linux, the workstations will likely be Windows.

In this day and age, there is no POSSIBLE a way an office can run
wthout at least having the WORKSTATIONS running Windows,
even if the SERVER is running something else.ww



Re: Newsgroup filtering with host server software
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For someone advocating windows sos trongly, you have a remarkable lack
of knowledge about windows.

Re: Newsgroup filtering with host server software
Flash Gordon wrote:
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It sounds to me as if we're mixing up outgoing and incoming mail. I get
most of my incoming e-mail via Yahoo (using YPOPs!, which emulates POP3
on a localhost port), or through a free Fastmail account (using IMAP),
but all my outgoing mail (and news posting, I believe) goes through the
SMTP service provided by my ISP.

I haven't thought about what other SMTP servers I might use away from
home, but fortunately, my ISP has plenty of access numbers all over the
place. I believe YPOPs! is capable of emulating SMTP through Yahoo!'s
webmail interface, but I haven't tried it.

--
Marshall Price of Miami
Known to Yahoo as d021317c

Re: Newsgroup filtering with host server software
On Thu, 27 Dec 2007, in the Usenet newsgroup comp.security.firewalls, in article

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Ignore the troll - it imagines that every business operates as it does
in a single user account at home.   Maybe if the troll read the rest of
the sentence that got clipped by someone, where I wrote:

]]]] at work we simply block access to the IP ranges used by Hotmail
]]]] (and yahoo, and gmail, and others).

it might understand hotmail, et.al. just isn't an option. As for
"forwarding everything", that's even against US Federal law in some
cases - but in the trolls imaginary world, that's irrelevant.

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Depends on how the company has set up remote access.

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"company WebMail access"???

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You really should talk to your "company engineers" and if this is all
they can offer, fire them and get someone who can _spell_ IP.

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Personal email isn't the company's problem. As far as accessing the
company services, if it's important that you be able to do so ACCORDING
TO THE COMPANY, then there are alternatives.  If the company IT staff
are not aware/capable, there are numerous IT consultant companies who
would be glad to offer advice. If the company doesn't feel like spending
the coin to get that secure capability, they probably shouldn't be using
the Internet for business activities.  Allowing Joe User (or more likely,
Joe User's son/daughter because Joe has trouble just using a web browser)
to set up remote access on his work desktop is the height of folly.

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What you do with your personal mail is your personal decision. Company
mail should not be accessible from non-company servers. If you need
access from "outside", you should be using an SSL service requiring both
dedicated hard/software and a "password" (that isn't "remembered" by
some application).

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Sounds like you are describing personal services. If you are doing
company business, the ISP should be nothing except a common carrier
transporting encrypted packets.   It's really not rocket science.

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Personal stuff I access through an encrypted tunneling function that
gives access to my home network.   Workplace access is controlled much
more closely.

        Old guy

Re: Newsgroup filtering with host server software
Moe Trin wrote, On 27/12/07 20:00:
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In my case I can be behind another companies firewall and that other
company may well block access to hotmail et.al. but *might* be prepared
to poke a hole to let me access my companies system.

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There are many ways to do it and I did not specify which should be used.

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Yes, my employer provides me with a web portal to the company email
system, i.e. company webmail. I know that both the Domino Server from
IBM and Exchange from MS can provide this. Of course, it should be done
over SSL and there should (IMHO) be a reverse proxy in front of the server.

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He probably wants ones who can spell IT as well ;-)

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Agreed. I should have pointed out that I run my own email server and set
up my own webmail access to my email just as I suggest can be done by a
company.

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Agreed, and the point of my post.

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Fortunately I am not "Joe User" but someone who helps out our
undermanned IT department and probably know more about making *my*
machines secure than our IT department. I agree with your points though.

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My comments can be applied equally well to both incomming and outgoing
email.

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Agreed. I accept that in transit the email is not secure, but once it
arrive at a company I am doing business I expect it to stay on their
servers (well, maybe get pushed over a mobile phone network to someone's
Blackberry).

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<snip>

I would not always go that far. That is our *main* method of external
access to email, but I can use webmail when there is no other method.
--
Flash Gordon

Re: Newsgroup filtering with host server software
On Thu, 27 Dec 2007, in the Usenet newsgroup comp.security.firewalls, in article

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Depends - we're an R&D facility, so we're rather tightly controlled. We
basically don't allow "visiting computers", though we do have several
computers scattered about that are isolated from our network that can
be used by visitors (and employees for non-business activities).

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We tend to frown on web access - especially for mail.

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My wife works at a large, but privately held company, and the owner had
been cutting corners and underfunding things like computer security.
One of the users got owned, and through lack of security setups, the
company's network because an open spam relay and mail-drop. That was
bad enough, but then the law got involved because some idealist had
filed a criminal complaint (I dunno - maybe the pills didn't work).
Fun, frolic, and a new IT department.

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Our auditors (internal, and those from customers) won't allow that.

        Old guy

Re: Newsgroup filtering with host server software
Moe Trin wrote, On 28/12/07 19:58:
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Yes. Where I used to work there was no option of *any* access from the
outside. If you were not in the office you had no access to email.

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Some of our customers are like that as well. This is where Blackberries
and 3G cards come in useful. Then although you cannot plug in to the
customers network you can still get at your email.

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My attitude is that the email has already passed unencrypted through the
internet before it hit my inbox. So if a customer allows me to plug in
to their network and allows web access but not the other email protocols
we use or VPN it is useful for me to have web access to email.

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My company is not large, but all IT in it is underfunded.

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Painful. We (when I was not involved in our IT infrastructure) have had
machines "owned" and spewing out spam before. Now outbound port 25 is
blocked except for our outbound mail server.

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Oh what fun.

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Yes, some companies have more stringent requirements than others.
Personally I am trying to push my company slowly in to making things
more secure, but as I am the only one who seems to have any real concept
of security or risk (and I am *not* an expert) it is slow going.
Fortunately it is not actually my responsibility so if I fail to get
things tightened up and we hit major problems it is not my neck on the line.
--
Flash Gordon

Re: Newsgroup filtering with host server software
On Fri, 28 Dec 2007, in the Usenet newsgroup comp.security.firewalls, in article

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[hole poke through firewall]

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Here, it's not so much lack of access as

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BIG signs at all of the entrances warning about that - and the visitor
access agreement that has to be signed (and witnessed) before entry is
granted specifically prohibits visiting computers. People _should_ be
aware, though we manage to have 2 or 3 visitors a year that think it
doesn't apply to them.

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We had a problem back in the 1980s - minor lawsuit over viewable
pr0n, and another division in California got dragged through the
barbed wire for it. In ~1990, corporate came down with the no
visiting computers edict, and wouldn't you know the first person
we nailed was the CEO who was visiting our facility a week after
signing the policy, and the bulletins announcing it.

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Doesn't do much good in our buildings - heck, even cell-phones don't
work inside (joy of joys).

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Don't see all that much external mail, but the internal mail outnumbers
it by many orders of magnitude.  But the main objection is that nearly
all of the main is plain text (we don't run windoze anywhere in this
division, and my understanding is that it's limited to a few boxes in
corporate accounting and marketing - neither function located on this
side of the country). Hypertext offers us nothing in mails. (The other
advantage - no-one is mailing PowerPoint presentations back and forth.)

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That sounds reasonable - we're restricted here due to _the possibility_
that the mail may be deemed sensitive, so everything gets encrypted.

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I have NEVER known an IT department that was overfunded, and most of
them today have to fight to get the budgets they really need.

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to put it mildly.

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We're a lot better off because we're a *nix shop (mal-ware is much less
common) and because our users rarely have (let alone use) elevated
(root, like administrator) privilege. Don't have permission to install
anything on the system.  Most of my wife's facility has been changed
over as well. There was some resistance, mainly due to "it's different".

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There are a slew of other ports used by proprietary mail services and
most of them don't see the light of the Internet day, but you may also
want to be blocking 587/tcp (RFC4409).

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The combination of a R&D facility and occasional government contracts
can take all of the joy out of things.

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   Practical UNIX and Internet Security Practical UNIX and Internet
   Security , Third Edition
   By Simson Garfinkel, Gene Spafford, Alan Schwartz
   February 2003     ISBN 0-596-00323-4   984 pages   $54.95 USD
  
   This edition of Practical Unix & Internet Security provides detailed
   coverage of today's increasingly important security and networking
   issues. Focusing on the four most popular Unix variants today--Solaris,
   Mac OS...

I'm NOT suggesting that you _buy_ this (as it's mainly *nix,) but the
network and basic security concepts still apply. See if you can find a
copy in a library (here, there is a thing called an "inter-library loan",
where "your" library has arrangements with others in the area, allowing
them to obtain books for you from those libraries - VERY handy). You
may want to look around http://www.oreilly.com , as they also have a
number of books on the windoze end of things as well.

        Old guy

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