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Communications Software Spam Windows

Ask Slashdot: Spoof an Email Bounce With Windows? 244

Posted by timothy
from the we've-all-got-needs dept.
An anonymous reader writes "One cool feature I used on KMail years ago was the ability to generate a spoofed email bounce for any given message I had received, which claimed delivery failed because of an unknown recipient. While this doesn't exactly align with expected behaviour from a mail client, it was a useful way of easily getting off mailing lists (automated, or manually created by freaky acquaintances!). This is something I really miss, so I'm wondering if there are any mail clients for Windows that provide similar functionality?"
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Ask Slashdot: Spoof an Email Bounce With Windows?

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  • by suso (153703) * on Sunday November 06, 2011 @01:35PM (#37966842) Homepage Journal

    Why don't you call Microsoft support and ask them. After all, isn't this one of the things you pay for and they are supposed to provide stellar support with?

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      I love that when I saw your message it was scored (+1, troll). If ever a message deserved to be scored (+5, troll), it was yours. You will, of course, most likely end up (+4, insightful) which is a good consolation prize but not as fitting.
      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward

        No, I agree with him. Slashdot is a major "news" site. This isn't experts-exchange or MS support. Why the hell is "how do I..." making front page news?

    • by Grishnakh (216268)

      This is exactly right. It's like buying a brand-new BMW or Cadillac or whatever, and then wanting to convert it into an electric vehicle. Doing such a thing is really rather pointless: if you want an EV, you should either buy a car that was specifically engineered to be one (like a Leaf), or you should build your own. Don't expect any help from BMW/Cadillac on converting your brand-new car to an EV, and don't expect such cars to be optimal for such a conversion either (in fact, they're probably the absol

    • Re: (Score:2, Flamebait)

      by Fnord666 (889225)

      Why don't you call Microsoft support and ask them. After all, isn't this one of the things you pay for and they are supposed to provide stellar support with?

      So what you are really saying is that you don't know the difference between an operating system and the applications that run on it.

  • Outlook (Score:3, Informative)

    by TheRealMindChild (743925) on Sunday November 06, 2011 @01:37PM (#37966852) Homepage Journal
    I'm not a fan of MS Outlook, but it's integrated VBA makes writing a custom plugin easy and painless. Visual Basic in any flavor had a bad stigma, however, having a development environment right in the application is exactly what I would think would solve your problem effectively.
    • by Spacejock (727523)
      yMail2 (Windows, free to download & use) offers a bounce facility, and the entire program is written in Visual Basic 2008.
      • by Spacejock (727523)
        Just wanted to add: I only use the bounce (which is a manual process) in two scenarios. The first is when someone starts sending me funny pic o' the week or forwarding 10-year-old hoaxes, in which case I bounce a message, wait for them to email me, then inform them my email client often refuses such messages and it's best not to send them. (The alternative is to email and ask, but sometimes they get sniffy about this. It's better to blame my computer and/or software.)

        The second scenario is when big compa
  • KDE on Windows? (Score:5, Informative)

    by Gwala (309968) <adam@NoSPAm.gwala.net> on Sunday November 06, 2011 @01:38PM (#37966860) Homepage

    Doesn't KDE run on Windows these days? You could probably just run KMail directly...

    • Yes, but don't expect support for it—I don't think it sees much use beyond dogfooding. I suspect it's only a matter of time before it gets dropped. (On that note, has anyone ever heard of someone using KDE on Windows seriously?)
    • Doesn't KDE run on Windows these days? You could probably just run KMail directly...

      It sure does. cf. The Cygwin Project [cygwin.com]

      • by osu-neko (2604)

        It sure does. cf. The Cygwin Project [cygwin.com]

        Can't recommend that enough. Cygwin is the only thing making Windows into a usable operating system these days. You can even have Cygwin/X run on startup and run X apps on demand under Windows. If you don't need X, just install mintty. (You don't neeed separate installs for either, just select them in the Cygwin installer when installing it, and pin mintty to your Taskbar and/or copy the XWin Server shortcut to your Startup folder.)

        • by gfody (514448)
          Cygwin and Msys are basically pointless. Windows already has a native UNIX subsystem [wikipedia.org] with a strong user community [suacommunity.com] and a couple [gentoo.org] flavors [debian-interix.net] of Linux. There's even a reverse WINE [sourceforge.net] for binaries that can't be compiled for Interix.
          • Cygwin and Msys are basically pointless. Windows already has a native UNIX subsystem [wikipedia.org]

            Unfortunately, MS announced back in 2005 [slashdot.org] that the current release was going to be the last. It's been reported [technet.com] that Windows 8 does not contain the necessary components for it to run any more.

            I've used SFU a little, and found it to be more lacking than cygwin in support for standard command line type stuff. I have doubts whether you could get kmail to work correctly with it, but I could be wrong. I don't have a Windows machine with me at the moment.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward

        Or you could just use the KDE installer: http://windows.kde.org/

    • Or run Windows andLinux [andlinux.org].

  • by jurgen (14843) on Sunday November 06, 2011 @01:46PM (#37966950)

    If you don't speak SMTP as a second language you probably shouldn't have that feature.

    *grin*

    :j

    • yes... exactly, simply script it...
      why not just build it yourself and publish it...
      even outlook has scripting ability and hooks
      maybe this is what you need :
      https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/thunderbird/addon/mail-redirect/

      or you could add to it...

      regards

      John Jones

    • You won't get far with telnet unless you can do SSL in your head. I recommend socat [dest-unreach.org].
      $ socat ssl:mail.foo.com:456 stdio

  • Usefulness (Score:5, Informative)

    by MicroSlut (2478760) on Sunday November 06, 2011 @01:47PM (#37966956)
    Not even a 550 SMTP session will get you off most mailing lists because, even if it is a legitimate list, the marketers are too aggressive to care. Also, a NDR after a successful session will likely go to either an unmonitored mailbox, a hapless user who won't understand it, or null. Weed through some email logs and you'll see. I see some lists that have been emailing the same address for ten years and I always disconnect with a 550. That said, try Pegasus Mail. I find that it does almost anything.
    • Re:Usefulness (Score:4, Insightful)

      by nepka (2501324) on Sunday November 06, 2011 @02:52PM (#37967536)
      Well that's not entirely true. Spammers don't have infinite resources, and they value working email addresses. This is why they also clean up their lists or buy lists that are guaranteed to work. It makes their process much faster and more efficient. If they had infinite resources, they would be just spamming random email addresses.
      • OP is concerned about automated lists not harvested lists. NDRs for spammers would create backscatter as the originating addresses are usually spoofed. Also, spammers DO spam random email addresses and they are using zombies so their resources are huge. I see terminated sessions in my logs everyday for addresses like a@, b@, c@, web@ user@, tech@, etc from zombified systems. Thankfully some ISPs egress filter destination port 25, even though I disagree on principal.
        • I think ISPs should filter 25 by default but let anyone enable it (with e.g. a phone call). The intersection between the people who want to run their own mail server and the people who get infected by spamming malware is probably {}.

          • by Jonah Hex (651948)

            Agree with this suggestion, there is nothing wrong with a "Walled Garden" as long as you make it known that it's there and that it can be removed "at your own risk". IIRC you get the notification from most major ISPs, usually buried in their TOS or AUP but some make it easy to find in their FAQ (usually under "running servers" or some such); but getting them to turn it off may be a lot harder. I actually prefer a walled garden for the less technically inclined, I heartily recommend OpenDNS (especially Famil

      • by Tim C (15259)
        I own a domain and have catch-all addressing enabled, and believe me there are two things wrong with your comment:

        1. Spammers most certainly do spam random addresses; and
        2. Spammers almost invariably fake their return addresses (and a few years back someone used ones at my domain; I was getting 2000+ spams, bounces and flames per day)

        Legitimate marketers that spam people who forget to opt-out might clean up their address lists, but the (even) shadier ones certainly don't seem to.
    • Yep. About the only time that spam was ever useful - to let me know that my newly installed mail server was configured correctly, since it would arrive sooner than I could send a test email.
  • Check out Eudora (Score:4, Informative)

    by Rudolf (43885) on Sunday November 06, 2011 @01:50PM (#37967002)

    Eudora had this feature in the past, so you might want to look at it and see if it still does.

    http://eudora.com/ [eudora.com]

    It's apparently open source now, so if you could add this feature if it doesn't exist.

  • Mailwasher has that feature, plus a few more. http://www.mailwasher.net/ [mailwasher.net]
  • by Skippy_kangaroo (850507) on Sunday November 06, 2011 @02:07PM (#37967150)

    Because the from address is invariably forged, you do nothing with a bounce. In fact, it's worse than nothing, because you create backscatter [wikipedia.org]. I have suffered from backscatter and it is a pain - it just multiplies the spam problem. So, could I request that you just stop it!

    If you actually know the person who is sending you the email then you should try a more personal approach rather than a passive aggressive bounce.

    • /lacks mod points, so just commenting "thank you".

      This is like taking all of your junk mail, writing "return to sender" on the outside, and shoving it in your neighbor's mailbox. Now it's wasted your time *and* your neighbor's time. Reject at the SMTP level with a proper spam filter, or just put the message in your own trash.

    • Agreed it's much better to accept the email or not rather than this spam folder or bounce email BS. To do either creates backstatter or makes the system unreliable. Mail clients doing spam filtering is asinine the spam is already delivered do it on the server the mail client can help by reporting spam back to the server so it learns. Better for the odd false positive to get a near instant response that it was not delivered.

    • by flonker (526111)

      Additionally real MTAs don't sent bounce messages anymore precisely because of the backscatter issue, and haven't for about ten years. (Of course there are always misconfigured systems.) Nobody will recognize the forged bounce as legitimate. So, sending a forged bounce will do nothing except annoy the poor sob who got Joe jobbed.

  • by unrtst (777550) on Sunday November 06, 2011 @02:22PM (#37967286)

    alpine is also truly free software now.

    FYI, alpine was pine. UW forked it, added a better build system, put it under a new license, released it as alpine, then discontinued development. The community has taken that and created the re-alpine project on sourceforge, where you can find the latest version. re-alpine [sourceforge.net]

    Development continues, but isn't exactly what I'd call "active". But it's an ancient email client, and there's really not all that much that could be added. I still find it indispensable and use it constantly and I'm quite happy with it.

    You never said you needed a windows-like UI, so this qualifies for the request, but YMMV.

    • by psmears (629712)
      Are you sure Alpine supports it? It may be there, but it's not a feature I've come across. (I do know there's a feature in Alpine called "bounce", but that does something different — that's basically the same as "forward", only it sends the mail entirely unchanged (as if it came from the original sender straight to the forwardee)).
  • by BlortHorc (305555) on Sunday November 06, 2011 @02:40PM (#37967440)

    At least since KDE 4, and from what I recall, maybe 3.4 or even 3.3, this feature was dropped.

    Your time to bitch about it? That would be thataway.

  • I just setup a mail template that essentially says "Undeliverable" and then setup a mail filter to auto-respond with that template if a certain person emailed me.

    The text of the message is:

    Your message to:{your email}
    Was undeliverable. No further diagnostics available.
    MTA-Intermail550

    That last part, my provider uses Intermail so I looked up it's error codes and just used the 550 message.
  • by weave (48069) on Sunday November 06, 2011 @02:51PM (#37967522) Journal

    I own a domain of (for example) example.org that I have wildcarded to my INBOX. I get A LOT of all sorts of interesting misdirected emails meant for exampleinc.org and example.org.au including invoices, meeting confirmation messages, and frantic "why aren't you answering my email messages"

    In Mail.APP on the Mac I used to do a bounce and they'd see that they screwed up and stop. If I send a personal email explaining often people go ape shit and get paranoid wondering why I am reading their email. (Unfortunately Apple removed that functionality as well)

    So sometimes a more impersonal response IS better.

    ps, yeah, I know, I could fiddle with my MTA and have it refuse the repeat offenders.... and I do now. Not as convenient though.

  • by Xenna (37238)

    I doubt if it'll get you less spam, but manually bouncing mail is one of the many standard features of the Fastmail webclient. Runs on any platform that has a web browser.

    I use it occasionally to get rid of humans...

  • Apple pulled this from Mail with Lion for that reason. Spammers don't really care if your email is real or not. At least not much.

  • How does getting your email client trying to spoof a bounce, help when the upstream email server has ALREADY accepted the email as legitimate for delivery? As another user noted, your creating backscatter, and any email systems using basic SPAM filtering, will automatically drop the email from you.
  • If you're counting on an automated process to handle your forged bounce, it probably won't work. In a strict sense, bounces sent with a non-empty Return-Path are incorrect [wikipedia.org] and unless you're running your own SMTP server, you probably won't be able to send mail with an empty Return-Path header.

    If you're counting on a manual process to handle your forged bounce, I admire your faith in humanity.

  • The reasons this misfeature has become less common in MUA's over time are that it is fundamentally fraudulent and that it doesn't really work. Spammers who use their own working return path addresses are far more likely to have working unsubscribe mechanisms than they are to have working mechanisms for handling asynchronous bounce messages. That's because in many places (including the USA) unsub mechanisms are legally mandated, but bounce handling is not required and is an inherently hard problem. As a resu

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