cancel
Showing results for 
Search instead for 
Did you mean: 

Email return to sender

crusty
Grafter
Posts: 90
Registered: 30-07-2007

Email return to sender

Spammers have got hold of certain email addresses that are no longer used by my business, does anyone know how I can set plusnet to return them to sender. I don't want to lose my catch all.

I must be being a bit dim as I can only seem to find how to redirect. Any help will be most appreciated.
17 REPLIES
N/A

Email return to sender

Not quite what you're looking for but may help anyway.

Could you redirect the email addresses affected to a specially set up Hotmail or similar. At least ones to that address wouldn't get through, of course nobody would know they're duff if legitimately trying to use old address.
N/A

Email return to sender

P.S. Nice site (a million times more sophisticated than mine) but a wee spelling mistake does mar that somewhat!

http://www.robfrost.co.uk/contact.html
crusty
Grafter
Posts: 90
Registered: 30-07-2007

Email return to sender

Good idea but I would have thought Plusnet would have the facility to do this.
crusty
Grafter
Posts: 90
Registered: 30-07-2007

Email return to sender

Quote
P.S. Nice site (a million times more sophisticated than mine) but a wee spelling mistake does mar that somewhat!


Well spotted thanks.
Plusnet Staff
Plusnet Staff
Posts: 12,169
Thanks: 18
Fixes: 1
Registered: 04-04-2007

Email return to sender

Hi,

We have a few tools which we can use to combat spam. There's the catch all block, we can also blackhole individual addresses. So if for example you are receiving spam to a specific address, say name1@... then you can create a redirect via the email settings -> configure mailboxes page to redirect all mail sent to name1@... to blackhole@abuse.plus.com

If all the spam is coming from specific addresses or specific domains then if you raise a ticket we can blackhole all mail from these addresses or domains.
crusty
Grafter
Posts: 90
Registered: 30-07-2007

Email return to sender

Done many thanks. Do you know if it is OK send an email to test it. I don't want plusnet to blacklist me.
crusty
Grafter
Posts: 90
Registered: 30-07-2007

Email return to sender

Right OK I've tested it using an online mail client and they are not getting through which is excellent but I don't seem to be getting back an undeliverable mail notification which is essential in case anyone is still using the old address. Do you think these are delayed or doesn't the blackhole@abuse.plus.com send failure notification.
N/A

Email return to sender

It won't send a failure notification, because its a genuine address.
If you want to have a failure message sent, I suspect you need the 'catch all block' mentioned above, which will only deliver mails with a valid address to the associated mailbox or redirect. All incorrectly addressed mails will be rejected (rather than accepted and blackholed)
crusty
Grafter
Posts: 90
Registered: 30-07-2007

Email return to sender

As I mentioned earlier a catch all block is not an option. For the last 5 years I have been giving out my email address with the receiving company name before the @ (e.g. google@robfrost.co.uk). By doing this I have identified a lot of virus and spam senders. Unfortunately it does mean that I don't have a list of all the email addresses for my domain.

If I redirect them to a plusnet address that does not exist (e.g. pleasehelpmestopspam@plus.com) do you think that would work?
Plusnet Staff
Plusnet Staff
Posts: 12,169
Thanks: 18
Fixes: 1
Registered: 04-04-2007

Email return to sender

The blackholes just swallow up any mail sent to them (in unix terms they are probably sent to /dev/null) as such no bounce backs will be made.

Sending it to an address that doesn't exist should generate a bounce but to be honest it's just going to add the spam load because most spam doesn't come from the spammers address so you'd likely be inadvertently spamming other people who've had their email address used by spammers.
crusty
Grafter
Posts: 90
Registered: 30-07-2007

Email return to sender

Yes I get your point but I don't care if the person who is sending me spam (or has not dealt with his email being hijacked) gets returns from me. They need to sort their problem as I am trying to do with mine.
Alan_Robinson
Newbie
Posts: 8
Registered: 09-08-2007

Email return to sender

Quote
Yes I get your point but I don't care if the person who is sending me spam (or has not dealt with his email being hijacked) gets returns from me. They need to sort their problem as I am trying to do with mine.


How do you suggest they deal with their email address being hijacked? They only need to have allowed their domain name to be visible on the net, or accessed once by reverse DNS, and their address can be spoofed.

As I understand it, if they take the same approach as you plan to implement, all your bounced spam will come back in your face. This sounds like spam ping-pong to me.

Anyone have a better idea?

Just my 2p

Alan Robinson
crusty
Grafter
Posts: 90
Registered: 30-07-2007

Email return to sender

Quote
Anyone have a better idea?


Exactly Alan. Nobody seems to have a better idea. If we do nothing we will all get swamped. Surely it is better we all deal with our own problem.

I manage email for a few clients. One of them had their web address hijacked and I currently deal with app. 30 return to sender emails a day from people who have been spammed from this site alone. They are quite right to bounce them back to me as it is my problem. These I deal with by using mail rules in Outlook to send them straight to the deleted items folder.

So I am not returning them to non spam originated email addresses, as you say there is no point. If I do send them back to the people who have been hijacked they can deal with their own problem as I have.
Alan_Robinson
Newbie
Posts: 8
Registered: 09-08-2007

To bounce, or not to bounce

Quote
So I am not returning them to non spam originated email addresses, as you say there is no point. If I do send them back to the people who have been hijacked they can deal with their own problem as I have.

In my opinion it is rarely a good idea to bounce spam. Not simply anti-social, but likely to make life easier more difficult for you in future.

As I understand it, you have incoming mail with 3 kinds of target 'To' address.
a) known_id@clientA.com
b) random_Yzxjq@clientA.com
c) contact_C@clientA.com

Cases (a) and (b) are easy. Known_id goes to the appropriate mail box.

random_Yzxjq is discarded. You don't want to bounce and identify clientA.com as a live domain. If the spammer knows this is the case, he can try other IDs. Do you want more spam for 'sales' and 'billing'? Are you prepared to black-hole 'admin' and 'postmaster'?

You don't have a record of whether contact_C is an id you gave out, or just a lucky guess. What are the possibilities?
1. This is a legitimate message from @contactC.com
2. Contact_C has passed your address to contact_D. Not what you intended, but this may be a potential customer or supplier.
3. Spam from @spoofed_address.com
4. Spam from @spam_source.com (probably a bot on a compromised machine)

Sending a bounce to 4 is a bad idea - it identifies a live domain.
Sending a bounce to 3 is anti-social, but no skin off your nose.
Sending a bounce to 2 may get contact_D to try another approach, but he may just give up.
Sending a bounce to 1 is the easy thing to do, but creates a poor impression with contact_C. How much do you care?

No easy answers I am afraid, but I still see bouncing in cases 1 and 2 as second-best options. If you do bounce, do you just send 'Delivery failed' or do you politely explain that the message was identified as spam and offer a contact email or web address? Ideally you would use some method of estimating spam probability from the body of the text, but this all gets more complicated than you want.

No consolation to you, but I use the 'unique contact ID' approach too, and I don't have an up-to-date list either.

Cheers.

Alan Robinson