Changes at Spamcop


Earlier this week some ESPs started asking if other ESPs have seen an uptick in Spamcop listings. The overwhelming answer (9 of 11 ESP representatives) said yes. I’ve also had clients start to ask me about Spamcop listings. All in all, there seems to be some changes at Spamcop that means more senders are showing up on the Spamcop radar.
Luckily, Spamcop provides us some insight into their data processing. If you look at the current monthly volume graph, we can see some very interesting changes in data.

Spamcop volume graph
Volume of received mail went way up in late September.
We can see, before the volume spike, that the number of reports sent tracked closely to the spam submitted. The number of reports stay reasonably consistent through the volume spike. I think it’s a reasonable interpretation that SpamCop has started receiving some new data sources in the last few weeks. I suspect these new data sources are the ones driving the new listings.
There are people who attribute the increase in listings to new spamtraps coming online. The data does seem to suggest that something brought more data to Spamcop, and a new trap feed is highly likely.
This is just another example of the continual adaptation of filters. Filters are going to try and catch as much spam mail as possible. And part of that is bringing on new spamtraps. Spamhaus does it, Spamcop does it, commercial spam filtering companies do it. M3AAWG has even published a best practices document on creating spamtraps (.pdf download).
If you’re seeing an increase in listings on the Spamcop blocklist, you’re not alone. If these really are spamtraps, then you should look at your bounce handling process and see why these addresses weren’t removed in the past.

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By laura

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