Autoresponder Evils?

Rick Chadderdon mailscanner at
Tue Sep 12 19:59:05 IST 2006

John Rudd wrote (in the thread: RBL blocking emails by
> - autoresponders aren't evil,

Of course not, not an absolute evil.  But if your autoresponder responds
to mail from the internet, sending automatic replies to any address it
sees in the "From:" header, then *your* autoresponder *is* evil - and
should be banned.  I don't know how you're set up, but if it's possible
to flood a third party by firing off a bunch of forged messages to your
mail server, you're set up wrong.  I've seen quite a few people so
adamant in their defense of autoresponders that they don't bother trying
to make one that does its job without burdening the rest of the 'net for
the convenience of the operator.

What about those automatic spam detection messages that I've been
fighting with increasing frequency?  Not long ago I got saturated by a
ton of "Your message was rejected because it's spam" automated
messages.  There was no reason for me to have been sent those - the
domain in question has a published SPF record and the spam clearly did
not come from an authorized IP address.  There's no reason for those
messages in the first place - virtually *all* spam comes from a forged
address.  But no...  Some idiot somewhere wants to be sure that if *his*
important, legitimate email gets rejected the person who sent it will be
notified.  As long as *he* isn't inconvenienced, everything is fine. 
Never mind the fact that he's become a spammer himself and is
inconveniencing thousands of other people - his own problem is solved.

Challenge-response?  Same thing.

Bogus virus warnings?  Ditto.

And, usually, out-of-office and information autoresponders fall into the
same category.  A significant percentage of the unwanted email that gets
through my filters comes from autoresponders of one kind or another. 
Perhaps yours is properly configured and shouldn't be banned...  That
would be a nice change from what I normally see.


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