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Please die horribly and also quickly.

ETA: After cleaning out one hundred and fifty bounces, with no doubt more to come, I will settle for horribly.

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( 9 comments — Leave a comment )
terri_osborne
Feb. 20th, 2008 09:06 pm (UTC)
You, too, huh? Horribly would be too good for them, IMO.

And people wonder why I get paranoid when I don't hear back from editors for a while. I've actually had three spam e-mails today from my own e-mail address.
phillip2637
Feb. 20th, 2008 09:45 pm (UTC)
I'm also designing a special hell for stupid system administrators who bounce to forged 'From' addresses instead of checking 'Received' headers. Their laziness just magnifies the problem and dumps garbage on people who had no part in creating it.
msagara
Feb. 21st, 2008 03:38 am (UTC)
I'm also designing a special hell for stupid system administrators who bounce to forged 'From' addresses instead of checking 'Received' headers. Their laziness just magnifies the problem and dumps garbage on people who had no part in creating it.

I assume that it's all automated, and given the sheer amount of spam, I'm not sure how easy it would be to automate a check of both from and received mails to see that they don't match. Would it be a trivial task?
phillip2637
Feb. 21st, 2008 01:44 pm (UTC)
My first point would be that bouncing spam to the 'From' address has approximately zero chance of ever reaching either the immediate sender or the spammer responsible for the junk -- who, these days, is usually someone else entirely. So, since the value of those automated bounces is always negative, start the improvement by simply not doing it.

Then, if the sysadmin wants to apply some anti-spam pressure (which I think is a great idea), the question is how to go about it. With 'From' being 99.a-lot-of-nines percent useless (and even in the best of cases, redundant), that leaves the most recent 'Received' header. (The other ones can be forged and I'm not confident that automatic analysis can reliably detect which are legitimate.) Decode that and send the complaint there. This still will have no direct effect on the spammer, but if the ISP at that address is responsible, it may result in a compromised system being taken down and cleaned. Enough of those and...who knows....

Sorry for the soapbox, but this has been a minor specialty of mine for a long time. And you asked. :-)
msagara
Feb. 21st, 2008 05:50 pm (UTC)
My first point would be that bouncing spam to the 'From' address has approximately zero chance of ever reaching either the immediate sender or the spammer responsible for the junk -- who, these days, is usually someone else entirely. So, since the value of those automated bounces is always negative, start the improvement by simply not doing it.

I will say that when I was emailing a friend at cern, 1 in 3 emails would get bounced back - to me - as spam. I'm not entirely sure why they were bounced, so I'd reword everything and try it again. I think he's the only case in which I was aware that my non-spam mail was being bounced. It's possible that there are other bounces which are put in the middle ground that I don't see (sff.net has a very heavy spam filter, but also a "junk" folder which you can check. I forget to check, sometimes, and one of the bounces was a small press publisher).

But... it's a one time occurrence that I'm aware of, and I'm not entirely sure that the cleaning out bounces from the latest sending is worth the auto-bounce, rather than the auto-delete =/.

Sorry for the soapbox, but this has been a minor specialty of mine for a long time. And you asked. :-)

I live with a programmer, and my house frequently contains a programmer/mathematician, so I didn't even notice the soapbox. Are you sure it was there?
sphericaltime
Feb. 20th, 2008 11:56 pm (UTC)
I saw you post on Scalzi's blog, and I was going to try to exhort an update from you. Nice to see that you're alive. If another of my favorite writers were to die after James Rigney, I don't know what I would do.
sphericaltime
Feb. 21st, 2008 12:09 am (UTC)
Oh, right. I asked if you would be up for an interview via email back in November, 2006. I still would be honored to do that, if you have the time. I realize you probably don't want people emailing you willy-nilly right now that you don't know, but my email is worldsandtime -at- gmail.

Thank you so much for the consideration.
msagara
Feb. 21st, 2008 05:11 am (UTC)
I remember this -- I actually did reply positively, and then I think you emailed a little while later and asked if we could start now, and I said yes, but, ummm, there were no questions. So it's entirely possible something bounced between either you or me.

My email, though, is Michelle.Sagara@sff.net
moskevyu
Feb. 21st, 2008 02:52 am (UTC)
Aargh. Something similar happened to me on Hotmail about a year ago. Admins suspended my account because I had so many bounces clogging up their bandwidth. I ended up leaving and setting up an account with a private email provider.

I'm sorry this is going on.
( 9 comments — Leave a comment )