[OS X TeX] junk

Matthias Damm osxtex2 at macpla.net
Wed Aug 25 18:38:18 EDT 2004

Am 25.08.2004 um 23:31 schrieb Stephan Hochhaus:

> Is it possible to adjust the mailing-list software so that a user who 
> obviously spams the list is blocked until he contacts a list admin? 
> The trigger could be a number of x messages in a given amount of time. 
> Let's say a sender lets 10 mails lose on the list within two minutes 
> (hoping that noone here can type that fast)

It might be hard to find a proper solution here (x mails in y minutes 
might not work too well, since people with dialup-connections or with 
mobile computers might write a number of mails and send them later at 
once), but I am sure that there are solutions here.

> OR a sender sends ten messages with the same bodytext the block 
> becomes active.
> Any thoughts on such a solution in order to avoid 1200+ mails spamming 
> every subscriber?

A solution might include simply delaying postings of possible 
mailing-list-flooders longer and longer the more postings they are 
sending. If somebody sends really many postings, the delay might raise 
to some hours or something. This reduces the negative effect for 
dial-up users (their postings will be processed, but only some time 
later), but although some postings might make it on the list in the 
first place, but a catastrophe like the one we have seen cannot happen.

The most important point however is this: Never, really never set up 
any anti-spam tool to send any reply Emails automatically! Your 
messages will probably never reach the person you want to reach (in 
spam mails, the sender's address almost always is forged and you only 
will annoy some innocent person whose address has been abused by the 
spammer), and as we have seen in this rather impressive "demonstration" 
today, the risk of such a mechanism is enormous!

I would like to strongly recommend the list maintainers not to admit 
the person responsible for the flooding on the list again before he or 
she has made absolutely clear that he has understood what has happened 
here and has disabled his stupid "anti-spam" software!

btw: Although the effect of the flooding was quite bad already (see the 
posting from several people to the list), we still were lucky: It were 
some 2200 messages, but each of them was rather small. Just imagine if, 
just for example, the auto-responder would have included a copy of the 
original message in every new message. Or if it would not have been 
August, and there would have been not 10 but 100 messages to the list 
in the loop!


Matthias Damm
mad at macpla.net
PGP key: http://macplanet.macbay.de/MatthiasDamm.asc
PGP fingerprint: CED3 6074 7F7D 3148 C6F3  DFF2 05FF 3A0B 0D12 4D41

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