[spambayes-dev] A Question about SpamBayes

Seth Goodman sethg at GoodmanAssociates.com
Thu Feb 19 14:25:43 EST 2004

> [Joachim Engelhardt]
> The return
> address from non-spammers should be a good one - and the autoreplies to
> spammers with fake return addresses end up in limbo.

Unfortunately, that is not the case.  Many of the return addresses on spam
are legal addresses belonging to someone else that the spammer has forged.
This is known as a "joe-job".  It is meant to make it look like some
innocent domain sent out the spam.  If you've ever been the victim of a
joe-job, you'd know that you can receive hundreds or even thousands of
bounces and complaints each day which will overwhelm you mail system, or at
least your ability to deal with the volume of mail.  Since the bounces and
complaints are "coming from everywhere", there is really no way to block
them and filtering would be very difficult.

Because of this, sending messages to the supposed originators of the spam
will often wind up punishing some innocent third party.  BTW, spammers often
forge addresses that have submitted abuse reports, so you may be punishing
the very people who are trying to fight spammers!


Seth Goodman

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