From: Peter L. Peres (
Date: Fri Oct 13 2000 - 13:34:23 PDT

On Thu, 12 Oct 2000 wrote:

>Well, let's look at this realistically, shall we? We've had a little
>more than half a dozen spams on our lists in the past week, which
>(. . . relevant, but not repeated in detail here . . )
>Even if we do lose a few
>subscribers because they don't feel the list was closed quickly enough
>for their liking, I suspect they'd return afterward if they still are
>interested in what the list has to offer.
>So, while I don't think we should just close our eyes and look the other
>way until the list dies, the sky ain't falling yet.

What is the qualitative and quantitative point at which the sky begins to
fall ? Have you set a limit ? Or is this a 'as you feel' thing. Or is it
decided democratically by the number of people who scream or unsubscribe ?

Anyway, here are $0.002 of tips about how to improve immunity:

1. htdig currently accepts postings when it (htdig) is in a cc address. It
should not, it should only accept postings when it is in the To: field.
This is a VERY BASIC spamblock that eliminates 95% of spam in my
experience. All spam travels by bcc or cc. htdig should DEFINITELY NEVER
accept a message which reached it because it is a recipient in a Bcc list.
People are not shy about posting to a mailing list, and they must have no
reasons to keep the posting secret from other recipients.

2. A message filter can be implemented, such that any message posted by
someone who is not subscribed, and does not contain at least one of a few
keywords (like: htdig 3.1.5 or any one of the more meaningfull
tag names in the config files etc) it will be rejected.

None of these requires closing the list, and both can be implemented in 5
minutes, the first with procmail, the second with a simple Perl script, or
just procmail too. Once can use a Shell or Perl script to build the
procmail rule filter from one of the documentation files (which contains
the tag names).

thank you for your patience,


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