[Mailman-Users] Preventing spam to list owners

Stephen J. Turnbull stephen at xemacs.org
Sun Sep 30 19:08:14 CEST 2007

Gary Spivey writes:

 > former, does somebody have a recommended way to stop them? I have a SPAM
 > filter running on my end system, but I am just tired of the constant
 > flow of SPAM. 

There's no recommended way.  As Mark says, only a choice of evils.
The basic problem that we face is that email (and wikis and HTML
forms) are *designed* to be open access.  That means that they're open
to spammers too.  All of them can be abused; email is easiest/cheapest
to abuse, HTML forms are typically hard/costly to abuse.  But somebody
is going to try.  That's the nature of the beast.

As I see it there are three basic strategies:

1.  Private networks.  The design varies, but the basic idea is that
only authorized users can post.  This is the strategy that ensures
that your users don't get (much) spam.  This strategy is inappropriate
for an admin address, because "the doorkeeper won't let me in" is a
very common problem that legitimate users have.  You can't use the
same doorkeeper for the support channel!

2.  Automated filtering, laxer than the moderation standard, set to
"discard" (not "reject", as somebody suggested, because that leads to
backscatter).  This is basically abdicating much of your
responsibility, because legitimate inquiries may get discarded without
notice.  However, it's fairly easy to tune these to pass all
legitimate internal mail (mail from Mailman is very stylized and
doesn't look like spam, although nobody in their right mind enjoys
reading it :-/ ).

3.  Improved human moderation.  I have two queues, one which basically
amounts to "spamassassin rating 1.0 to 5.0" and the other is Mailman's
moderation filters (not a member, etc).  I have separate script (using
grep and rm -i) which more or less allows discarding the former a page
at a time.  It's still a burden, but one I find acceptable since the
lists are support services for free software, and so I prefer them to
be essentially open-post.

If (3) interests you, I can go into more detail about my solution, but
I gotta run right now.

More information about the Mailman-Users mailing list