[linux-elitists] polluting spammers databases

Don Marti dmarti@zgp.org
Mon May 21 16:48:55 PDT 2001

begin  Andy Bastien quotation of Mon, May 21, 2001 at 07:29:37PM -0400:

> I'm not sure I understand where free mail relates to this (except for
> spammers using fake or bad free email addresses in their headers, but
> I don't care about those).

Not free as in no monthly bill; free as in anybody can talk SMTP to 
anybody else (right?)

Any automatic form-submitter script could be considered a denial of
service attack. Running one more than once against a given target site
could get you in trouble. 

And sites advertised by spam are not always responsible for the spam. A
false-flag spam is a potent attack; I'm surprised there aren't more.
Much as I dislike spam, I wouldn't allow my box to participate in a mass
form submit.

But it does seem like a good idea to dilute spam lists. (I do not agree
that the world of "most people can send mail to most other people with
a chance of it getting read" is gone; elitist mail filtering is only
getting started.)

There are three kinds of addresses that it would be good to get onto
spam lists:

1. Seemingly valid addresses that silently discard mail (black holes)
These are very easy to set up, even for a domain hosted by an ISP where
you get your mail by IMAP.

2. Addresses that feed into an early warning system or cooperative
filtering list (hey spam crawlers! paul@vix.com)

3. Addresses of people who (a) you don't like and (b) will not actually
give the spammers any money.

I don't think it's worth the time to give spammers addresses that
bounce.  They'll get removed from the list eventually.  Addresses that
seem good will get pressed onto CDs and circulate forever.

Don Marti              "I've never sent or received a GIF in my life."
http://zgp.org/~dmarti    -- Bruce Schneier, Secrets and Lies, p. 246.
dmarti@zgp.org    Free the Web, burn all GIFs: http://burnallgifs.org/

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