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A Spam Idea

Something I’ve been nothing, and this obviously isn’t a serious problem on a system as small as the one I administer, is that spam bounces frequently fill up the queue.

What happens is that some spammer sends spam to one of my legitimate users (illegitimate users are rejected right away, which may make gathering legitimate names easy, but avoids illegitimate bounces). Some of my legitimate users have their mail forwarded to verizon.com, which enjoys refusing to accept email. Of course, my policy on MY email server is to accept all mail: my spam filters (e.g. spamassassin) can be wrong and therefore are only advisory. When verizon refuses to accept the mail, my mail server is stuck holding the bag: I can’t deliver it, and I usually can’t bounce it either. I’d like to just dispose of it, but my queue lifetime is 7 days, so I have to keep it in the queue for 7 days while qmail realizes that verizon is never going to accept it, and the return address doesn’t exist.

So here’s my thought: have two qmail installs, one with a queue lifetime of 7 days, one with a queue lifetime of 1 day. Then, put a script in the QMAILQUEUE chain that decides which qmail-queue to use (the 7-day one or the 1-day one) based on whatever I want (i.e. the X-Spam-Score header, or the $RECIPIENT envariable).

Probably won’t happen on the WOPR here, because, of course, people are skittish about that kind of fiddling (read: it’s a production machine). which means it’ll basically never get done. Oh well - but it was a thought.


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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on June 27, 2005 4:40 PM.

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