spam trapping (was Re: Double Irony! (was Re: [linux-elitists] ruben's stupid filter))

Don Marti
Mon Apr 8 13:42:22 PDT 2002

begin  Mr. Bad quotation of Sun, Mar 10, 2002 at 11:51:30AM -0600:

> So, I got to say, I really, really, really hate this auto-reporting
> white-list challenging crap. It's goddamned rude to your absolutely
> legitimate correspondents.

Auto-reporting is only justified if it's done only for mail that
comes to a dedicated spamtrap address, or other automatically
answered address.  (Auto-reporting mail that your spamassassin
thought was spam is dumb, because it's not known spam, just guessed
spam.  If people wanted to filter based on SA guesses, they could
run it themselves.  Duh.)

I'm now working on a secret plan to get _more_ spam.  Not to my
regular address, but to a spamtrap account, so that I can have
plenty of spam to try out future anti-spam schemes on.  Want to
hear about it?  Good.

Getting spamtrap addresses into spammers' databases isn't terribly
hard for me, since I can just put them (clearly marked as "do
not mail this address") on the Web's number 1 site for "gifs"
( or better yet the number 1 site for "free live
nude linux warez".

So I now have a trickle of spam coming in to the account "spamtrap"
which is done with some ever-so-simple lines in /etc/aliases,
which look like this:

aaronandrick: spamtrap

(All "couples" addresses at are spamtraps, since I wouldn't
want to make up a spamtrap address with a certain name and then have
somebody want that as their login on my server.  Couples addresses
are fine since I would never be friends with the kind of couple
that shares one email address.  Ewww.)

But...what to do with the spam?  

The spamtrap account has a .forward file consisting of:

\spamtrap, "|/usr/bin/vacation -z -j spamtrap", "|/usr/bin/spamassassin -r"

which means that all incoming mail goes to the /var/mail/spamtrap
mailbox, gets reported using spamassassin -r,'s the
possibly tricky part...gets a reply.  The -z option to vacation
means that the envelope sender is <>.  The -j option to vacation
means to reply to all mail, not just mail to

I chose vacation because it's supposed to be a reasonably
well-bahaved autoresponder, will only reply to each sender once,
and is relatively unlikely to mailbomb the crap out of somebody.

The .vacation.msg is From: a _different_ spamtrap address, and
simply says:

Subject: This server does not accept unsolicited bulk mail.

Do not reply to this message.  This is automatically generated mail.
See below for contact instructions.

Do not send unsolicited bulk mail to any email address.

No addresses at accept any unsolicited bulk mail.

To report any problems with this autoresponder or any other service
at, please mail our postmaster address or call the telephone
number listed in whois.  Do not send any mail to the From or Reply-To
address of this message.

Anyone see problems with this?  I'd like to start encouraging
everyone to run as many spamtrap addresses as they feel comfortable
with -- since at the very least, the more spam ends up in a spamtrap
the less effective spamming is, and hopefully, the presence of good
100% spam streams will help advance the state of filtering and spam
protection science.

Don Marti                                                        Help spread accurate information                      about Xenu and the Church of Scientology.
KG6INA           <a href="">Scientology</a> on your web site.

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