Sunday, August 19, 2007

A Lady in Distress; or Then Again, Maybe Not

A two user domain gets bounces for seven hundred, grep and sed to the rescue, spamd saves the day

The past week moved along with only minor disturbances on the keep-systems-running front. The time consuming frustrations were generated elsewhere, and (un?)fortunately I am not at liberty to discuss the details. Incompetence was involved, next week it's somebody else's problem.

All the while, the spammer trapping experiment has been moving along at a leisurely pace.

Generally keeping the lists (both the web version and the live one) updated would cost me a few minutes' browsing of greylist dumps two or three times a day or whenever I felt like it, with a typical catch of maybe fifteen new bogus addresses to feed to the trap list each day.

For the last three or four days the haul has been smaller, with essentially no new captures yesterday, for example. Now I've found out why. They have moved on, alpabetically.

Done with, the dominant group of spammers moved on to generating addresses in the D domains including and I'm bound to have missed a few, since the grand total by this morning had yet to reach a full thousand. By now, they seem to have reached the Es. This morning I noticed the overnight greylist dumps were bigger than usual.

The reason:, the domain we set up mainly for my wife's use (read: her email), appears to be the current home of made up From: addresses, with roughly seven hundred accumulated by the time I was done with morning routines of breakfast with coffee and browsing the overnight incoming mail.

That is by far the largest addition to the flypaper list ever.

Fortunately, with only two active addresses in the domain (I'm not telling what either other one is) it's fairly trivial to extract the bogus ones.

Up to now I've been integrating the noise into the traplist page manually, for now I've put this batch up at

They're all in the active traplist at the gateways, of course. It's the editing into the page the spammers will slurp via unattended robot I'm putting off for a little more while I'm doing some other writing. [not any more. all there now, but the original list is preserved too]

Just why this time we are seeing this number of addresses over a short period of time, and not a handful each day over several months is an open question. One likely explanation is that one of the chickenboners fell asleep at the wheel and let the junk generator run longer than they actually intended. Time will show if this means they move on more quickly.

When I have more time, I will probably analyse the data I am accumulating at the moment and tell the tales of the silly lamer tricks the spammers try to pull.

In the meantime, following up on earlier posts, there are still a few people who Just Don't Get It:
Aug 19 13:28:03 delilah spamd[3712]: connected 
(9/9), lists: spamd-greytrap
Aug 19 13:31:49 delilah spamd[3712]: (BLACK)
<> -> <>
Aug 19 13:33:32 delilah spamd[3712]: Subject:
Considered UNSOLICITED BULK EMAIL, apparently from you
Aug 19 13:33:32 delilah spamd[3712]: From:
"Content-filter at" 
Aug 19 13:33:32 delilah spamd[3712]: To: 
Aug 19 13:34:38 delilah spamd[3712]: disconnected 
after 395 seconds. lists: spamd-greytrap

And it looks like the published list is having the effect I was hoping for. I keep seeing quite a few of the addresses in ALLCAPS (with numbers tacked on) I put on the web page a few weeks back beginning to appear in lowercase but otherwise identical in my greylist dumps.

In other news, the PF tutorial session at EuroBSDCon is now a definite.

See you in Copenhagen, if not before!

Now for that other bit of writing. The Book of PF page now refers to the tutorial page at Now let's get that baby done.

The lady is, in fact, not too distressed.

And in case you were wondering - Yes, you can use my auto-generated list of trapped hosts for your own blacklisting purposes if you like. Here it's just a supplement to Bob Beck's traplist, and most likely you're better off using the Beck/UofA list along with your own greytrapping, but if you really want to use mine, be my guest. It gets updated ten past every hour.

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