[Mailman-Developers] Yet another mailman weirdness....

Chuq Von Rospach chuqui@plaidworks.com
Wed, 31 Oct 2001 09:33:58 -0800

(guess who? Mr. "karma machine")

Found another weirdness in mailman this morning. One of our users mailer got
sideways, and we showed up to a really, really large requests.db (something
like 500 messages or more).

We found it almost impossible to get the admin page to display, and even if
we did, processing something that large out of a browser is, well, painful
at best. I finally blew away the requests.db file to clean up the problem.

While this was an accident,  it has the side effect of being a pretty good
DoS attack against a list, especially moderated ones. You can't limit the
number of requests in the request.db, but you can keep things moving if you
limit the number that the admin page attempts to display at one time to 20
or so. Yes, you'd still need to grind through discarding them all (hmm.
Maybe a "discard all from this address" meta button?), but you could. As it
stands, Mailman tries to create a web page that a browser may or may not be
able to display because of memory issues, adn the end user may or may not be
able to process if it IS displayed.