[Xorg] excessive bounces or excessive spam / viruses?

Daniel Kasak dan at enthalpy.homelinux.org
Fri May 14 04:32:26 PDT 2004

Gene Heskett wrote:

>Spam never contains a valid return address, so all you are doing is 
>setting up a forever bounce until one side or the other says screw it 
>and dumps you in the incoming bit bucket.  Bouncing spam is dumb, and 
>viri often falls into the same trap.
While spam hardly ever comes from a valid email address, it's untrue 
that bouncing it sets up a bounce loop.
The key is to bounce it /during/ the smtp transaction, which I do.
This /greatly/ decreases the amount of spam I receive. In fact, I only 
get 1 piece of spam attempting to get into my inbox every 3 days or so, 
and the reason is that whenever I get on a list, my email address is 
removed from it as soon as I bounce a message. Well that's the theory. 
The point is that my inbox is clean.

In the case of spam to a mailing list, it obviously doesn't work like 
that, because there is a mailing list server in between me and the 
spammer. But I don't think this sets up a bounce loop, because the 
return address on my bounce messages is <> - I think most email servers 
use this intentionally to avoid a bounce loop in such cases.

I think if the mailing list servers can handle the viruses & spam that 
they're currently taking, then a few bounces from me for each of the 
above that come in can't have that much more of an effect. Surely the 
solution is to implement some filtering on the mailing list server?

When I get some time, I will modify my mimedefang filter file to 
silently discard viruses, since just about everyone seems to be against 
bouncing viruses. But I really think bouncing spam is the right way to 
handle it. It's at least better than doing nothing.


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