[amsat-bb] Re: Spam through amsat.org
ko6th.greg at gmail.com
Thu Oct 31 20:05:54 PDT 2013
Interesting idea. I think what you are suggesting is to turn the Amsat
email forwarding service into an email lookup / reply service, where the
sender of the original message would receive a means for contacting you
(your contact email address) in a non-machine readable form. The
original message would be discarded. They would then contact you via a
second message, to that (human readable) address. Spam would be
eliminated, and the legitimate people wanting to contact you would be
enabled to do so directly.
A few thoughts...
1. As has been noted by others, most folks aren't getting a lot of spam
(I've received a couple over the past many years, but not nearly enough
to be a problem), so the service as it stands seems to be working. If I
recall correctly, there was a problem a few years ago, and that was
corrected by switching providers or something like that. The folks
maintaining the reflector seem to be on top of things.
2. The current service does hide your real email address from the
as-yet unknown-to-you sender; your response to them can be from any
email address you choose, or not at all, depending on your mood at the
time. An automatic reply would disclose your address to someone unknown
to you without your knowledge. Though the address could certainly be an
address you specifically set up for this purpose, and the auto-responder
could notify you of the attempt, the horse would have already left the
barn. So, it is a bit of a security concern.
3. Machine-based Captcha response engines are reported to be getting
pretty good, and in theory could be modified to bypass your gateway.
It's probably not worth it, at least right now, but if your concept were
deployed widely, and on sites with higher potential payback, the
spammers attention might be directed to do the required engineering.
Phil Karn wrote:
> A significant fraction of the spam I get on my primary email account
> comes by way of the amsat.org email reflector; by my count, 18 of the 76
> spam emails I've received in the last day.
> But I don't want to just shut it off; sometimes people I do want to hear
> from make contact that way. And I've used it to contact others whose
> email addresses I don't know, but who I know to be AMSAT members.
> I wonder if it would be possible to set up some sort of auto-responder
> on amsat.org so that instead of just forwarding email, returns a message
> to the sender with a non-machine-readable image of the user's actual
> email address, possibly accompanied with a sound file with the same
> information for anyone with impaired vision. Spammers couldn't handle
> it, especially since most don't even use valid return addresses. But any
> real human could resend his email directly to its destination.
> What do people think of this idea? How much of a problem is spam for
> everyone else here?
> Sent via AMSAT-BB at amsat.org. Opinions expressed are those of the author.
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