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Aug 30

Stopping the From: spammers

Tech Add comments

Paul Hammant has just spoken up on ‘Did you send this’ – another weapon against spam?.

This is much needed (as are other ideas like this).

I just got hit by this recently. A set of penny-stock spammers started to use the domain for a company that does stock analysis. Obviously it makes sense to them. The real company IS to do with stocks, and DOES send out newsletters and updates to its users. As such, they can piggy back on a valid domain that can get through some spam firewalls.

There is nothing that we can do. Anyone can set From: to whatever they want, and we just sit here watching the millions of bounced emails come to us.

We need reverse DNS for email, so From: addresses can be verified.

11 Responses to “Stopping the From: spammers”

  1. Chris Says:

    I’ve been getting nailed by From: spam replies lately. Out of office replies, auto-verification replies, and the occasional admin asking me to stop spamming them. I have no idea why someone would choose my domain to use, but it’s really annoying because most of the replies to their spam make it through my (Gmail’s) spam filters.

  2. Jeremy Kemper Says:

    There is hope.

    http://www.postfix.org/BACKSCATTER_README.html

    http://www.backscatterers.com

  3. Bob Lee Says:

    We already have it, and I’m pretty sure both Gmail and Yahoo Mail support it: http://antispam.yahoo.com/domainkeys

  4. Dmitri Colebatch Says:

    The thing I don’t understand is why we don’t adopt s/mime fully. It is a relatively simple way of knowing who the sender or an email is and that information would solve 99% of the spam problems – once email is traceable then the From header becomes irrelevant and we can instead rely on the signer.

  5. Andy Says:

    There is of course SPF (no not Sun Protection Factor but Sender Policy Framework) it uses a TXT DNS record to say who are the authorised mail servers for a domain.

    http://www.openspf.org/

    There was also some Microsoft effort that never got of the ground – I think.

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