Re: Dealing with spams


era eriksson (
Sun, 18 May 1997 20:25:20 +0300 (EET DST)

On Sat, 17 May 1997 11:10:05 -0800, wrote:
<... quoting Omer Zak <> ...>
> On 1997-05-17 said to
>> It should not matter because I affix an appropriate note to all my
>> messages to mailing lists and newsgroups. Other people can fend
>> for themselves.

Omer, I don't think the warning you have in your .signature is legally
any more helpful than the snippet you had thought of including in your
FAQ. Feel free to demonstrate otherwise -- few things would make me
happier than being wrong on this.

> What do you think of this?
> WARNING: Due to some unexpected interaction with my Procmail files
> and Majordomo, all spammers are inadvertently subscribed to my
> DR. Kervorkian Mailing-List. To be removed from the list. Have a
> relative send E-mail to the list-server address with:
> Subject: (Spammers Address) Deceased! At this time body is optional.

I think that countering net-abuse with more net-abuse is a Bad Idea (tm)
and that empty threats will accomplish very little but harm your
credibility quite a bit.

On Sat, 17 May 1997 06:47:44 -0400, (Larry W. Virden, x2487)
> How in the world would you prove the spammer got the addresses from your faq
> though as opposed to harvesting them from the newsgroup or mailing list itself?

Here are some ideas, most of which have been presented here or in
other circles every now and then:

* You can use a "marked" or dedicated address for FAQ mail. If your
provider has support for "plussed" addresses, you can have a
single account but receive FAQ mail with a slightly different
"To:" line which you could process somehow using e.g. Procmail or
Eudora's filtering capabilities. (There's a [very Unix-centric]
pre-FAQ for how to do those "plussed" addresses by Eli the Bearded
at <>.)

* You could plant a few fake addresses in there whose only purpose
would be to receive illicit unsolicited mail. Since the spammers
usually don't read the material they cull addresses from, you can
safely include a human-readable explanation. See my .signature for
an example. (This is an example I just cooked up, so the address
doesn't really exist. The whole point, of course, would be to have
an account on a fairly well-connected host where you could even
receive "early warnings" for spam that is about to hit your real

You could always do something nasty to the addresses in the FAQ
itself, as Mama Lani suggested. Note that rendering the domain part
invalid is better than fiddling with the local part of the address,
because that way the spam will never leave the spammer's system (or
the poor innocent relay host, as the case may be). If the spam bounces
only at your doorstep, it will cost the Net just as much as if you had
in fact received it (and maybe more, in case you don't routinely
complain back [which is a sad but understandable position]).

Finally, hasn't the spam issue been discussed quite enough on this
list already? :^)

/* era */

In addition to my real address, which is "era at eye kay eye dot eff eye",
this .signature contains a fake address whose sole purpose is to attract 
unsolicited e-mail. Please don't post to this address. * <> *