develooper Front page | perl.fwp | Postings from November 2001


Thread Next
Scott R. Godin
November 27, 2001 14:36
Message ID:
has anyone implemented a 'better version' of the vacation program for 

I'm particularly interested in 'screening' the bulk-mail type messages 
that list me in their "bcc:" header so that my address does not show up 
in the "from:" or "cc:" address listings, thus preventing 
/usr/bin/vacation from triggering and sending the response. =:P (fat lot 
of good that does me)

I've noticed that near 99% of the spam I receive uses this method to 
mask it from reciept, so typically I filter this with my mailer into a 
dumping ground, but the sheer amount of spam lately (235 items since Nov 
5th) has caused me to form a desire to tackle this more forthrightly and 

Ideally, it should return the offending mail to postmaster@* (where * is 
the supposed 'from' address) to report the abuse, and include a full 
copy of the original message including headers (along with a nice terse 
little message regarding the laws involved). Additionally it would be 
nice if it could forward the spam to my OWN postmaster for additional 
reportage and filtering at their end.  

I'm quite unsure how to go about this. I'm loathe to start messing with 
it without some direction, against the possibility of perhaps breaking 
things or doing it VERY wrongly and seriously pissing off my own 
postmaster hehe ;) without some starting point references to work from, 
and I don't have a testbed here to play with, until my friend finishes 
the work on the redhat box he's been tossing together for me in his free 
time. :-) 

Can you kind folks offer some pointers to me as to how I can go about 
such a task, and what would be some of the traps and pitfalls to avoid 
(of which I'm quite sure there are many) in the process? 

I'm very anxious to get back at these spamming bastards somehow, as this 
intrusion into my personal e-mail is MOST unwelcome, and I've got a 
growing passion to stamp out this *expletive deleted* practice as often 
as I can. 

Hitting them where it hurts with *minimal* manual intervention, seems 
the best way. >;D

I've considered also, the possibility of stuffing them in a database, 
and then periodically checking it interactively with the program, and 
triggering 'bounce' type messages to said postmasters on a specific 
basis -- as this way I don't auto-trigger "I'm-annoyed-by-your-spam" 
responses for *legitimate* 'bcc' messages.

 something sort of like an 
    $ ~/bin/ -X (where X will be whatever flag I decide on to 
enter the database processing stage)

    You have (n) messages in your holding cell. Proceed? (y/n) _
    <list of from/subject lines, numbered>
    Enter a Selected line number, or 'a' for all. [#/a] _
    <message headers>
    Preview, Accept, Bounce, Delete [p/a/b/d]? _
(if Preview is selected)
    <message body>
    Accept, Bounce, Delete, 
-all-instances :D [a/b/d/m]? _m

    Domain '' Captured. OK?
        <Return to accept, or enter corrections>: _

(where (A)ccept could possibly add the From address to a list of 
acceptable e-mails that get passed through automatically from then on. 
:-) as well as passing the mail on to my proper inbox, just like a 
\$user in my .forward file would.

this is just a stray shell account, that I retain around on my prior ISP 
for testing purposes, perl-wise, and in case some people still haven't 
upgraded their addressbooks, so delaying the mail a bit won't kill me. 
(particularly considering the volume of spam it's recieving lately) I 
don't even get 1/20th the amount of spam to other accounts I have. :/

With enough pointers, I think I can complete the beastie -- I mean I DO 
have a pretty complete 'vision' of what I want. :-) I just need some 
pointers on how to get there. I'll happily contribute this pup to the 
CPAN scripts archive if I can get it working exactly the way I want it 
to. I'm SURE some of you could find a use for it. ;) 

Your thoughts and contemplations are anticipated with great desire and 
gleeful hand-rubbings and evil-grinning eyebrow-wagglings to "Make it 

If stuff like this isn't one of the things that makes Perl so "fun" I 
dunno what is. :D 

(note that while I'm sort of broad-casting my initial hopes on this to 
four groups on (perl.scripts, perl.beginners, 
perl.macperl.anyperl, perl.fwp), I'm confining responses (via reply-to 
and followup-to) to 
aka nntp:// 

to consolidate things and reduce the required effort of following this 
thread to a single track. I hope this is the proper way to go about it 
-- despite years of experience with cross-posting on usenet, this is the 
first time I've thought about doing such a thing on a group that was 
also mirrored out as a mailing list. :\ Apologies and if this is the 
wrong thing to do, will the moderators let me know in private, and I'll 
do what I can to correct it. :)

print pack "H*", "4a75737420416e6f74686572204d61635065726c204861636b65722c0d";
Scott R. Godin            | e-mail :
Laughing Dragon Services  |    web :
It is not necessary to cc: me via e-mail unless you mean to speak off-group.
I read these via, so as to get the stuff OUT of my mailbox. :-)

Thread Next Perl Programming lists via nntp and http.
Comments to Ask Bjørn Hansen at | Group listing | About