Just so you know... It's not your fault!

By jobeard
May 6, 2008
  1. Computer World is noting a cause for email spam
    At first I thought it was just me. I'd open up my e-mail inbox in the morning to find over a hundred messages telling me that people at OhMyGoshAndGoodness.com or NowWhatWasThatAllAbout.com didn't need my spam. Spam? Me? I don't think so!

    Adding insult to injury, bounceback backscatter, as it's called, is also really hard to deal with. There's really not much at all you can do if you're getting it. It's all coming-probably-from real mail servers trying to deal with bad messages.

    The solution lies with the ISPs sending the bouncebacks in the first place. For starters, ISP can just stop sending bounceback messages when a message is sent to a user who doesn't exist. The experts also told McMillan that the problem would get better if people stopped using 'vacation' messages and 'challenge/response' anti-spam systems.

    OK, the first I can see happening. The second two, no, I can't see people no longer using vacation settings and challenge/response systems. They're too darn useful for the people who use them.

    So, the way I see it, I'm just going to have to live with occasional bursts of bounceback backscatter. I'm also tinkering with my SpamAssassin mail filters to see if I can find a way to zap these messages while at the same time letting me know when another outburst is hitting my mail box. After all, while I don't want to see the bounceback messages, it's always possible that one of my boxes really has been compromised and is spreading spam. If that were to happen, any tool I can use to alert me that someone has gone amiss will be welcome. ​
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