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  1. #1
    Platinum Lounger
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    Some spam processors, MailWasher is an example, allow one to "Bounce" spam email back to the source.
    I think the idea is to make the originator think that the purchased email address is poorly constructed (somewhat akin to the drug user finding that 30% of the white powder is talcum powder), and remove the email address from the list.

    Whether the laundering takes place or not is unknown to us, but let us suppose that it is done.
    The spam operates in the millions of addresses, so anything that can be done to increase the effectiveness is a Good Thing for the spammer.
    Reducing the proportion of fake email addresses would therefore be a profitable exercise (given the millions of email addresses being processed), and if *I* were spamming people, I'd write an automated task to remove bounced emails from my mailing list.

    But I'm smart, smart enough to know about spam filters (such as MailWasher) that bounce spam, so *I* would write an extra piece of code that compares the date-time I receive the bounce to the date-time I issued the spam.
    If the difference is a matter of a couple of minutes, then the bounce might be a real bounce, and the email address might be a real fake (I love typing that!).
    But if the difference is greater than two minutes, then chances are strong that a Real Live Human Being caused the bounce (e.g. because *I* emitted the email at midnight, but the bounce didn't take place until you sat down at 8 a.m. with your coffee), and so I should NOT purge the address; instead I should mark it as a prime "live" candidate, who sees my email and responds with an action.

    If laundering via bounce does NOT take place, then bouncing is a pointless exercise.

    If laundering via bounce DOES take place, then bouncing is a pointless exercise, because any spammer worth his/her/its salt is probably going to include a simple "lag time" test in the filtering code and ignore my bounce anyways.

    (I am purposely ignoring the cost of bandwidth in bouncing emails)

  2. #2
    Plutonium Lounger
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    I very much doubt that spammers do clean their address lists. What do they care? Sending e-mails is free.

    Bouncing spam only serves to increase the ratio of spam and spam-related e-mail to "real" e-mail even further.

  3. #3
    Super Moderator BATcher's Avatar
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    [quote name='HansV' post='797487' date='12-Oct-2009 15:08']I very much doubt that spammers do clean their address lists. What do they care? Sending e-mails is free.
    Bouncing spam only serves to increase the ratio of spam and spam-related e-mail to "real" e-mail even further.[/quote]
    Succinct and accurate...
    BATcher

    Time prevents everything happening all at once...

  4. #4
    Uranium Lounger
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    I simply have OE delete the crap from the server based on the blocking rules I set up and anything that gets through, I delete out of hand. No reason to add to the problem by regurgitating the unwanted garbage back into cyberspace.
    <IMG SRC=http://www.wopr.com/w3tuserpics/DocWatson_sig.gif>

  5. #5
    4 Star Lounger
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    Also, a lot of spam has a return address that doesn't belong to the spammer, but to some unwary soul who has had their email identity stolen. These poor creatures will merely be bewildered by a bounced message that they didn't send. Or worse they might hunt you down and... well I'm sure you can fill in the rest.
    John (Unreconstructed Jacobite)

  6. #6
    Super Moderator
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    Most of them would NEVER even see any of the replies since they are NOT using a valid address in which to access them.

    Now running HP Pavilion a6528p, with Win7 64 Bit OS.

  7. #7
    Super Moderator jscher2000's Avatar
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    If the mail has already been accepted from the source server, it is too late to bounce it to the actual sender. You would be bouncing it to the stated sender, which too often happens to be you or me or another innocent victim.

  8. #8
    Super Moderator BATcher's Avatar
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    Our antispam mechanism has recently been trapping stuff where the spammer hasn't even bothered to fill in the "reply to" address correctly, hence 'addresses' like pluvius@invigilator...
    BATcher

    Time prevents everything happening all at once...

  9. #9
    Platinum Lounger
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    [quote name='HansV' post='797487' date='12-Oct-2009 10:08'][/quote]
    Thank you one and all for your comments.
    I agree with them all.

    I realize now that I should have made the thrust of my email more clear (obviously it wasn't clear even to me at the time), and that is

    "A bounce feature in an email client is a waste of time or at best a poorly-thought out idea"

    My line of reasoning was meant to show that just having a bounce feature was pointless, as distinct from the colossal waste of resources that results from implementing it.

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