Powered by Movable Type 3.121
Home The Book Training Events Tools Stats
Web log archive.
A Dispatch

« The Phisher Doth Protest Too Much | Main | Subject: payless for W!!nd0ws Millenium »

December 02, 2004

Bounces Tell a Story

Because one of my email addresses is "out there," I of course get a lot of spam at that address. But the address is also used frequently as the forged From: address of spam runs. This gives me the "opportunity" of receiving a variety of bounce messages sent by mail servers that stupidly accept bogus incoming mail (or mail addressed to invalid addresses at its domain) and then send a bounce message to the address in the From: or Reply-To: fields of the mail—even if those addresses were forged.

It doesn't take many of these bounce messages to realize that spam is transforming, if not ruining, the email practices of everyday folks and organizations that want to do the right thing by allowing themselves to be contactable on the Internet. I get a lot of bounce messages similar to this one:

Thank you for contacting [name withheld]!
Unfortunately, we are no longer replying to messages sent directly to this e-mail address. Going forward, please review our FAQ pages by selecting the topic that best fits your issue on our website here:
If you are unable to find your specific question addressed, please scroll to the bottom of one of the FAQ topic pages to "contact us".
Thank you, [Name Withheld] Customer Support

I get these from organizations and individuals who have simply given up on email as a mode of initial contact. Spam has driven them underground in a way. Very sad.

Posted on December 02, 2004 at 11:18 AM