A word in the ear of email providers

If you’re an email provider, try to reject unwanted mail during the SMTP exchange where possible. Once you accept a message for delivery, then decide that it shouldn’t be delivered, you are faced with the unenviable task of where to send the non-delivery report. You can’t rely on the validity of the “From:” and “Reply-to:” headers, and sometimes even the “Envelope Sender” or “Retrun path” details, because sender credentials are commonly forged in order to divert attention away from the real sender. A misdirected bounce only adds to the spam problem. Even the “Received:” headers can be tampered with.

The IP address of the system wanting to deliver email to your system is one of the more reliable pieces of information available to system admins – the internet relies on accurate IP addresses in order to work properly.  DNSBL technology is a well established method of quickly and efficiently learning about the reputation of a particular IP address. Both Spamcop and Spamhaus are well established providers of DNSBL services. Using one (or both) should help you stop spam in its tracks. Be sure to read their terms of use. Take the time to read AND understand what they do and how they work.

There are several websites available to help you do your research. The resources provided by WhatIsMyIpAddress and multirbl.valli.org can be of immense help.

Don’t be fooled by claims that you are obliged to pay for removal from one of the UCEPROTECT and Backscaterer lists. If you fix the problem that resulted in the listing, the removal will happen automatically. The payment is only required if you can’t wait a week (or more) after fixing the problem.

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Spam is NOT welcome

For some reason, several Chinese spammers have attempted to contact my Lisati persona with Chinese language messages – click here for an example. Any such messages which make it to my inbox WILL be reported as spam, even if the subject tries to claim that it is NOT spam. For anything that has no connection with Ubuntu, Launchpad, or the contents of this blog, please visit my other blog.

 

Command line and code.

I’m old school and believe that what you type in at the command prompt isn’t necessarily a code, but is nearly always consists of one or more commands (which is why the command line, sometimes referred to as “terminal”, is called the command line). It might seem like some kind of secret code to someone who doesn’t understand what it does, but the intent is to command the computer to do something. What I type might sometimes include codes, but it’s still a command. I might enclose it in “code tags” when sharing it on a forum, but that has more to do with formatting than what it is.

Ubuntu Forums

  • The mods and admins at Ubuntu Forums are all volunteers. They do not own the forum or have access to the hardware. Canonical owns the hardware and relevant infrastructure.
  • If you have a beef with the actions of one of the forum staff, feel free to politely state your case in a thread in the Resolution Centre.
  • If you are experiencing problems using the forum, the place to visit is Forum Feedback and Help.
  • To alert the forum staff to a post that you think needs their attention, use the “Report Post” button.
  • Avoid making support requests via Private Messages.
  • The forum has a set of rules, to which you will need to agree before signing up.

Email woes

My email system has a more sophisticated set of spam filtering than that used by the typical home user. Because of this, I’ve set up an information page designed to help people figure out what went wrong if their email to me bounced back as undeliverable. For more information, visit http://lisati.homelinux.com/postmaster

Update, 11 August 2016: I no longer have that domain, so forget it!