Damn the spam

Don’t you just hate spam. It is bad enough having to filter out spam that is being sent to you, but last night I was the unfortunate recipient of another wholly more annoying form of spam. That’s the sort when your email address has been used by a spam bot somewhere as the sending address for a batch of junk mail. Now sadly there is absolutely nothing you can do to prevent this. You could not tell anyone your address and never use it, then, so long as it isn’t one that may be tried at random, it probably won’t be used by anyone sending spam. That sort of defeats the object though. If your email address ends up in somebody’s address book (and we are pretty much talking Windows and Outlook here), or is referenced on a public website, then there is a risk of it being harvested.

So last night I received just over 1000 bounce messages in one of a variety of formats and languages – from mailbox full, through notifications that the person has left the company, to requests to validate the message manually, and others. With my current ‘in limbo’ mail setup I also ended up with another 1000 or so frozen messages in my mail queue. I really must sort that out. I guess it would be worth looking into the spam filtering too, since surely if the message is included in the return then it should be possible to filter it out automatically – another thing for my mail revamp to consider!

Point and Click ‘experts’

I’ve been resisting blogging this piece for about two months, but it bugs me so I’ve given in.

I’ve been working with somebody who hasn’t upgraded their mail server for a while now and they have been using a well known local company (which I will not be naming or identifying in any way). Sadly I am only involved on the domain side of things and not the implementation. Thankfully for the end users I know enough about their setup to save them from the ‘experts’ doing the work.

The first thing to do was install a new ADSL line ready for the shiny new Exchange server. The first I was aware of this was a request to point the MX record at the IP of the new ADSL connection. I almost did this on the assumption of some degree of technical competence, and more significantly the assumption that they had installed the new server they were talking about. I wasn’t completely convinced though, so double checked. The new server was not installed, and they knew little if anything about the existing setup. They were unaware of the following information:

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