How not to report spam (part 1)

June 26, 2006

For my sins, I am on one of the aliases here that gets a certain amount of reports of spamming theoretically committed by UofT IP addresses. (I am not one of the people who has to deal with them, fortunately; it is a thankless job). This exposes me to a certain amount of good examples of how not to report spam.

Today's example comes to us from an official government organization in a large Southern American country. All the information they gave us was:

  • the date (with the format spelled out: +1)
  • the time (with the time zone, as an offset from GMT: +1)
  • the sending IP address.
  • the 'SMTP ID', apparently something generated by their system.
  • the virus type it was identified as.
  • the Subject line of the mail.

Unfortunately, the IP address is the IP address of our main outgoing SMTP gateway. It sends a considerable amount of email, and little details like the MAIL FROM and the RCPT TO of the problematic message would have been useful.

(Disclaimer: despite my grumbles, Vernon Schryver's remarks about spam complaints definitely apply. Even people making imperfect spam reports are doing us a favour that they don't have to. It would just be faster to fix the issue if we got more information.)

Written on 26 June 2006.
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Last modified: Mon Jun 26 17:37:49 2006
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