blocking messages with <form> tags

Quentin Campbell Q.G.Campbell at NEWCASTLE.AC.UK
Tue Jul 22 11:53:41 IST 2003

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Sylvain Phaneuf [mailto:sylvain.phaneuf at IMSU.OXFORD.AC.UK] 
> Sent: 22 July 2003 10:19
> Subject: blocking messages with <form> tags
> Hi everyone,
> I have upgraded MS to 4.22-5 last week, and selected to block 
> messages containing form tags. I am quite puzzled to see how 
> many messages we have stopped because of that. It seems that 
> a lot of genuine mail is coming with those form tags, e.g. 
> from medical /scientific abstract services.
> I haven't got a clue how dangerous can these forms be. Should 
> I continue stopping these messages? I noticed that a few 
> services seem to know that their messages are likely to be 
> stopped, they have the following line in plain text at the 
> top of the message: ""If you cannot view this email, please 
> copy and paste the following link into your browser: 
>> ""


This site receives 1,000+ messages per day containing form tags, most of
it in spam. However we had to switch forms blocking off because it was
causing so many problems for recipients of genuine list traffic from
professional sources such as academic news letters, alerting services,

In addition I discovered that our Admissions 0ffice sends out
applications to Post Graduate enquirers as "forms" in e-mail. However it
should be possible to use a ruleset to exempt local outgoing traffic
from the block. 

Forms can be used in scams to harvest personal information from
unsuspecting recipients. If the form is presented immediately the e-mail
is opened then it is considered preferable to trying to encourage the
recipient to click on a link in an e-mail.

PHONE: +44 191 222 8209    Computing Service, University of Newcastle
FAX:   +44 191 222 8765    Newcastle upon Tyne, United Kingdom, NE1 7RU.
"Any opinion expressed above is mine. The University can get its own." 

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