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[filmscanners] Re: spam magnet



On 31/03/2008 halftone@troutcom.com wrote:
> I don't know why my email address shows on the replies I made to this
> board but other people's don't, but the result has been that I am
> being inundated with spam.

The sender's email address appears on every message, not just yours, in
the 'from:' header field. The 'sender:' field is filmscanners@halftone.co.uk

I can strip the 'from:' field from the listmail headers but you will not
know who messages were from without this.

> This address is used *only* for this scanner forum, and the spam
> started immediately after my first reply.

I run the list and spend a lot of time keeping it safe from attempts to
distribute spam through it via 3 separate levels of spam detection. That's
why spam never gets onto the list. The same care is applied to trying to
keep list members' addresses safe. Only registered users can post through
it, and the membership list is not exposed to anyone except me.

Needless to say I have never and will never distribute user addresses to
anyone.

This is located on a server under my desk and is well protected.
Occasional hack attempts have got nowhere.

The only possible explanations I can offer, and which I can do nothing,  are

1. addresses are somehow being harvested from the archive at
http://www.mail-archive.com/filmscanners@halftone.co.uk/

That does not present email addresses in clear, but there is a form for
contacting the poster which includes the username and host as form field
values, ie

<FORM METHOD="POST" ACTION="/cgi-bin/Nomailto.pl">
<INPUT TYPE="HIDDEN" NAME="user" VALUE="tonysleep">
<INPUT TYPE="HIDDEN" NAME="host" VALUE="halftone.co.uk">
<INPUT TYPE="HIDDEN" NAME="subject" VALUE="[filmscanners] Re: Dust brush
for Polaroid 4000]">
<INPUT TYPE="HIDDEN" NAME="msgid" VALUE="47C38E55.3030903@halftone.co.uk">
Reply via email to<br>
<INPUT TYPE="SUBMIT" VALUE=" Tony Sleep ">
</FORM>

Mail-archive scripting prevents bulk mail through these forms. I am sure
they'd spot a scripted harvesting attempt, as it's a separate http:
request for every archived msg across hundreds of lists. Highly unlikely.

2. Someone else on the list now or at some time past, has an archive of
past list posts and/or has you in their address book (from list posts) and
has a trojan-infected machine that is being used as a spambot. This is far
the more likely explanation.

> Due to the spam, I will be abandoning the address in a couple of
> days. I would, however, like to know how I can subscribe to the list
> in such a manner that my email address is *not* exposed whenever I
> decide to say something.

All I can do here is change the listmail headers so that only the
orginator's name appears in the 'from' field, not their email address.
This will of course make it impossible to send personal email to a list
member unless you already know their address, which is why I haven't done
it in the past. You lot can tell me which you'd prefer.

> I will properly unsubscribe before abandoning the email address, but
> I am delaying its demise until Tony or someone else who knows the
> answer to my question has a chance to respond.

Spam is just something you have to learn to deal with because there are
always going to be routes like 2. above. It's a pain, it takes time and
costs money.

I can't change my address and it's public, I've had well over a million
spams in the past 2 years, but thanks to filters I see only a handful a
day. I'd be fully in favour of airstrikes because I see no other solution.

--
Regards

Tony Sleep
http://tonysleep.co.uk

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