SV: Bouncing Spam

Anders Andersson, IT anders.andersson at LTKALMAR.SE
Fri Jan 9 15:07:03 GMT 2004

> -----Ursprungligt meddelande-----
> Från: Quentin Campbell [mailto:Q.G.Campbell at NEWCASTLE.AC.UK] 
> >-----Original Message-----
> >From: Julian Field [mailto:mailscanner at ECS.SOTON.AC.UK]
> >
> >At 12:09 09/01/2004, you wrote:
> >>I have been using MailScanner for a year or so. We used to 
> flag spam 
> >>messages but accept them. As the volumes of spam increased 
> we have now 
> >>started to bounce spam messages. We bounce rather than delete
> >so as to be
> >>polite to people who send legitimate messages which are
> >'falsely' marked as
> >>spam.
> >[snip]
> >Result: They get very annoyed, as they can't see any of 
> their real mail 
> >among all the MailScanner spam bounce messages. Result of that: They 
> >complain to me about it, and I can't help them. Result of that: 
> >MailScanner gets a very bad name, and you have wasted yet more of my 
> >time that I have to spend answering these (often rude, abusive and 
> >threatening) emails.
> [snip]
> Julian
> I sympathise with your problems. However I am equally at risk 
> from sanctions or abuse from people who think that I am 
> deliberately ignoring their mail when in fact it was (a false 
> positive) deleted automatically as probable spam. 
> For this reason I have chosen to use the MailScanner option 
> to send an explanatory message when spam to me is deleted. In 
> truth I am more concerned about the people who _need_ to know 
> what has happended to their message to me than I am about the 
> consequences of collateral spam that results.
> One reason I have moved to using MailScanner to delete 
> probable spam is that we have many mailboxes on 
> Outlook/Exchange. That system cannot permanently delete 
> tagged messages through the Rules Wizard when Outlook is 
> switched off. This can be a serious problem and results in mail being
> lost if quotas are exceeded (over vacations for example).    

Since I cant tell what kind of servers you got I only tell you what we've
First, I never stop incoming mail to a mailbox... that is just the wrong way
to go. I do block ppl sending when they reached quota but never stop
incomming mail. Using an RBL to block about 80-90% of the SPAM before I even
get them, hence nothing will be deleted. If you are running exchange and the
hardware cant stand some SPAM I would consider 2 things... hardware upgrade
or start uing RBL to block the mails from entering you system, dont let
other ppl suffer.
Thinking you solved the problem by bouncing them to innocent ppl most be the
worst solution...  

> I receive so much spam each day that it is not practical to 
> have tagged messages delivered then moved to a "spam" folder 
> (by a personal mail
> filter) where I am supposed to inspect them for possible 
> false positives. 
> I would be interested to hear what alternative strategies 
> have been adopted by people in my position.
> Quentin

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