[Mailman-Users] Stopping Spam

Stephen J. Turnbull stephen at xemacs.org
Tue Nov 30 06:37:47 CET 2004

>>>>> "Gary" == Gary Smith <gary8smith at yahoo.co.uk> writes:

    Gary> In one of the previous posts (Allow members to send e-mail
    Gary> to another list) it was mentioned that intelligent spammers
    Gary> could monitor the output of a list and then spoof one of the
    Gary> subscribed addresses.

    Gary> I dont know much about emails, but how is this possible that
    Gary> they can monitor the output?

1.  They could get the mail from the archives.
2.  They could be subscribed to the list.
3.  They could buy access to list traffic from a list member.
4.  They could steal access to a list member's files using a virus.
5.  They could get access to the mail in transit (either by suborning
    an ISP, or by cracking it).

There are probably other ways that someone with worse experience or a
more devious mind than mine could come up with.
    Gary> It is possible to stop it easily?

No.  Unless you encrypt it, email is like a postcard.  Your wife can
read it over your shoulder, your daughter can read it sitting on the
kitchen table where you left it, the mailman can read it, any of the
postal employees can read it, etc.  Sure, you can close of some of
these routes easily, but you have to close them _all_ to be safe.
That's not easy.

Of course it's unlikely that any spammer would target _your_ list
specifically.  But _all_ mailing lists are a bonanza for spammers, so
if one notices that you have a mailing list going, they will try to
crack it.

Institute of Policy and Planning Sciences     http://turnbull.sk.tsukuba.ac.jp
University of Tsukuba                    Tennodai 1-1-1 Tsukuba 305-8573 JAPAN
               Ask not how you can "do" free software business;
              ask what your business can "do for" free software.

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