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Spam The Internet

Admins Accuse Microsoft of Hotmail Cap 166

Posted by samzenpus
from the who-needs-more-than-10-friends dept.
kurmudgeon writes "The Register is fielding reader tips that Hotmail has placed Draconian limits on the number of Hotmail recipients who can receive an email. The first 10 Hotmail addresses included in a mass email go through just fine, according to these reports. But any additional addresses are returned to sender with a message that reads: "552 Too many recipients." (Microsoft denies it has placed any such restriction on the number of senders.) This would appear to be a violation of RFC 2821, which states: "Rejection of messages (for excessive recipients) with fewer than 100 RCPT commands is a violation of this specification."
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Admins Accuse Microsoft of Hotmail Cap

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  • by Kelson (129150) * on Wednesday October 10, 2007 @07:07PM (#20933875) Homepage Journal

    Let's look at that phrasing: "Rejection of messages (for excessive recipients) with fewer than 100 RCPT commands is a violation of this specification." (emphasis added).

    Are they rejecting messages, or are they rejecting recipients?

    According to this, they're rejecting recipients with an obvious "try this again" code. Really that should be 452, not 552, but that same RFC 2821 says that senders should treat a 552 as temporary:

    RFC 821 [30] incorrectly listed the error where an SMTP server exhausts its implementation limit on the number of RCPT commands ("too many recipients") as having reply code 552. The correct reply code for this condition is 452. Clients SHOULD treat a 552 code in this case as a temporary, rather than permanent

    So whatever sending server runs into these limits should retransmit the message to the remaining recipients on the next queue run. Okay, it'll only reach 10 recipients at a time, which is annoying. It shouldn't be kicking back the error to the client.

    Really, assuming Microsoft has actually put this limit in place, the only thing I can see that's wrong, from a practical standpoint, is using the outdated 552 code instead of the more specific 452 -- but that same RFC people are waving around says that their servers should treat it as temporary anyway.

    Am I missing something?

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Gyppo (982168)
      No - for every recepient that they reject, they are, in effect, blocking those recipient from receiving the intended message. So they are blocking messages.
      • by Kelson (129150) * on Wednesday October 10, 2007 @07:32PM (#20934127) Homepage Journal

        No - for every recepient that they reject, they are, in effect, blocking those recipient from receiving the intended message.

        The proper reaction of a sending server to a temporary error is to try again. Per that same RFC, the server should be treating '552 too many recipients' as a temporary error.

        Yahoo does the same thing at 30 recipients, though they issue the more proper 452 error code. The first 30 recipients at Yahoo get the message, then the sending server retransmits to the remaining addresses.

        • by walt-sjc (145127) on Thursday October 11, 2007 @07:56AM (#20938151)
          Dealing with mail servers that handle newsletters with subscribers numbering in the 100K+ each range, I have several special configurations on my servers to handle various broken behavior. In fact, I have a "butthead-TMR" list that contains hotmail for this EXACT reason. I also have a "butthead-TMC" list for a few broken servers that start doing the same 500 level errors for "too many simultaneous connections".

          It's one thing to have anti-spam and anti-abuse mechanisms in place, it's another to deliberately break basic functionality in direct violation of the standards that make email work. There are MUCH better ways of handling situations where you want to rate limit inbound mail that are fully compliant with the RFCs, that allow all valid mail to get through.

          It simply amazes me how many IDIOTS are running servers at large ISP's / sites. It is well known by most competent email admins that hotmail is totally broken and unreliable. Anyone still using hotmail for everyday use should have their head examined.
          • by jZnat (793348) *
            Then perhaps it's a good thing that Hotmail is blocked at nearly any place that uses filters, eh?
          • Wait a minute; are you trying to tell me that Hotmail is actually meant for something other than forms that require an email address? Sheesh, next you're going to tell me that I shouldn't trust them to protect my personal information...
      • by Obfuscant (592200) on Wednesday October 10, 2007 @07:32PM (#20934129)
        No, according the standards, every recipient rejected for "too many" stays in the queue and delivery is attempted at the next queue run. While Hotmail's violation of the standard seems bad, the worst effect it should have is to slow the delivery, not prevent it.

        If a client actually stops trying to deliver based on a 552 error, then it, too, is violating the standard, in a way that actually prevents delivery. I consider that a more serious violation.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by morcego (260031)
          Ok, I might need some further clarification here.
          Aren't 55X errors supposed to be permanent, while 45X errors are temporary ?
          Why would the sender keep the message on the queue after a permanent error ?
          • by Obfuscant (592200) on Wednesday October 10, 2007 @10:26PM (#20935457)
            Refer to RFC2821, which is the RFC that MS is being blamed for violating by not allowing 100 RCPT commands per session. Normally, you are right, 5XX is fatal, but 4.5.3.1 Size limits and minimums says:

            RFC 821 [30] incorrectly listed the error where an SMTP server exhausts its implementation limit on the number of RCPT commands ("too many recipients") as having reply code 552. The correct reply code for this condition is 452. Clients SHOULD treat a 552 code in this case as a temporary, rather than permanent, failure so the logic below works.
            SHOULD means "unless you know what you are doing and have a good reason to do otherwise." The "logic below" is that the sending server removes the ones that were successful and tries the rest again later.
      • by dgatwood (11270) on Wednesday October 10, 2007 @07:42PM (#20934213) Journal

        Only if the sending SMTP server is broken. SMTP has two types of return codes: permanent failures and temporary failures. A permanent failure causes the message to bounce to the sender. A temporary failure causes the message to be queued and resent. Upon resending, only recipients for whom an error was generated are retried. Thus, if this error occurs after ten recipients, the remainder won't get the message in the first pass, but the next ten will get it when the sending server retries (usually after an hour, IIRC). This should continue until the recipient list is exhausted. Even this assumes that the sending SMTP server is extremely dumb and doesn't really understand anything about this error code at all beyond that it is a temporary error.... If it actually understands the code, it should try resending to additional recipients immediately, and divide the message into smaller batches, in which case it would delay delivery by a few minutes at most.

        In theory, in some extreme cases, the recipient might never get the message. If it retries once an hour for a week (fairly typical), that would effectively cap the number of HoTMaiL recipients of a single message at 10 * 24 * 7 = 1680 recipients. Of course, a proper sending SMTP server should already be able to split messages into batches of a hundred or less because a limit of 100+ is considered acceptable behavior by the receiving server. Thus, in effect, because 1680 is larger than 100, short of a very long term net outage after the initial connection attempt, all the recipients should receive the message in every case. If this does not occur, the sending SMTP server is broken.

        This is, of course, just my opinion.

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by fatphil (181876)
      Are you missing this bit:
      """
      recipients buffer
      The minimum total number of recipients that must be buffered is
      100 recipients. Rejection of messages (for excessive recipients)
      with fewer than 100 RCPT commands is a violation of this
      specification.
      """
      which is only a couple of paragraphs above what you quoted.

      You're also m
    • by dvazquez (1020429)
      How about this:

      Errors due to exceeding these limits may be reported by using the
      reply codes. Some examples of reply codes are:

      452 Too many recipients (see below)

      RFC 821 [30] incorrectly listed the error where an SMTP server
      exhausts its implementation limit on the number of RCPT commands
      ("too many recipients") as having reply code 552. The correct reply
    • by cez (539085) *
      "Clients SHOULD treat a 552 code in this case as a temporary, rather than permanent"

      I think the important part is the longevity that this filter is in place. Does anyone have any first documented cases with a nice time stamp?

      I am not one to defend MS, but sometimes shit happens, if they are providing a correct code to identify a temporary action, then the clients should react appropriately with a next queue. However, I don't know how I would feel if they did this on purpose, logged were all those 522s

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Sorthum (123064)
      5xx rejections are permanent, "Give up now."
      4xx rejections are temporary, "try again later."
    • A simple workaround is to simply send the message to every user in a different SMTP session. So no repeated RCPT commands means Hotmail will deliver them all, first time, every time.

      In Postfix you can set this using default_destination_recipient_limit [postfix.org]. Setting this to 10 would solve the problem as after 10 recipients, Postfix will deliver the DATA part and then start a new session for the remaining recipients. I am sure other MTAs will have a similar setting. (and if they don't they should)
  • Too many? (Score:3, Funny)

    by shine-shine (529700) on Wednesday October 10, 2007 @07:07PM (#20933885)
    Oof.

    "552 Too many first posts."
  • Not only are most mass e-mails spam, but pushing a message with multiple image attachments to tens of thousands of users is a huge waste of bandwidth. Let's reserve e-mail for personal, one to few communication. Companies can use RSS or some similar mechanism to get their newsletters out.
    • by RollingThunder (88952) on Wednesday October 10, 2007 @07:14PM (#20933955)
      I take it you're not on any discussion mailing lists, then?

      All MS is doing is cranking up bandwidth costs now. Instead of one copy being sent to all 68 subscribers on the server, my listserv now has to send them 68 copies of the same damned thing. Incredibly inefficient, but the subscribers want the email, so that's what'll happen.
      • by secPM_MS (1081961)
        I assume this is to make spamming a bit harder. My DSL line comes with a tie-in to MSN, so I run Outlook 2003 using the connector tool to link to the mail server (I would be much happier with a POP or IMAP access), but I have been told I am an antique who doesn't see the inherent superiority of HTTP / web access.

        When my wife was corresponding secretary of an organization with a mailing list in the low hundreds, I had to send out the e-mails. I experimented and found that e-mails with 8 recipients would go

      • Sure, it uses N times as much bandwidth if you limit the number of recipients per connection, but that's not usually a significant cost factor except for a few large mail systems, because email isn't a large fraction of your bandwidth usage unless you're just a mail handler or a spammer (web and BitTorrent are the big bandwidth consumers), and the bandwidth costs are balanced by other costs including all the spam-filtering and CPU utilization.

        So yeah, it's annoying in theory, but that just means you need a

      • by ultranova (717540)

        All MS is doing is cranking up bandwidth costs now. Instead of one copy being sent to all 68 subscribers on the server, my listserv now has to send them 68 copies of the same damned thing. Incredibly inefficient, but the subscribers want the email, so that's what'll happen.

        Simple solution: don't allow subscriptions from Hotmail accounts.

      • Or you could configure your server to put a maximum number of recipients per envelope and also limit the number of envelopes sent at a time, if necessary. I did this to stop this exact problem. It's more efficient since you only send the stuff once (albeit, broken up into more than one message), but it is accepted vs. the constant retrying and whittling of the original recipient list.
    • by gsmith78 (1171829)
      Completely agree with you!
    • by vux984 (928602)
      Not only are most mass e-mails spam, but pushing a message with multiple image attachments to tens of thousands of users is a huge waste of bandwidth. Let's reserve e-mail for personal, one to few communication. Companies can use RSS or some similar mechanism to get their newsletters out.

      1) How does RSS save bandwidth? The images are loaded when each user checks their newsletter? Assuming the newsletter is legit, then te read rate will be high, and the bandwidth gets used anyway.

      2) The newsletters I persona
  • by Anonymous Brave Guy (457657) on Wednesday October 10, 2007 @07:13PM (#20933943)

    Our (100% legitimate, double opt-in) mailing list gets a few Hotmail addresses added to it every now and then. We frequently get people complaining about missing mails and so on. Invariably, it's because of something silly, usually spam filtering that has been set to be so ludicrously aggressive that practically anything not white-listed (i.e., nothing on a new account) gets through.

    We have now reached the point where we consider Hotmail an irrelevance. We don't even advise complainants to use another mail client any more, we just ignore them. The list is not run for profit, and the effort of supporting Microsoft's not-playing-ball freebie mail system just isn't worth it for what is basically a hobby set-up run for the benefit of our community.

    • by sjwest (948274)
      Yahoo are not much better, we where doing some domain keys signing and yahoo where not checking those for a while considering it was there baby go figure.

      It took a day to get a test message to yahoo to one user.

      We dont run mail list but hotmail, and yahoo are not really in very good shape. Theres better free email out there.
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Klaus_1250 (987230)
      The bad thing about spam filtering in Hotmail is that they do it silently. I've had complaints in the past about mails being lost, so I checked my server logs: 250's for all messages to hotmail. Wrote an email to postmaster@hotmail.com which bounced back (sigh). Then I gave up and adviced to make sure recipients had the sending email-address in their addressbooks before sending them anything, which seems to do the trick most of the times.
      • The bad thing about spam filtering in Hotmail is that they do it silently.

        It's not just silent, it's unpredictable.

        I've just sent two emails from my own server to my Hotmail account. The first was with one of those short .wmv videos as an attachment (3.5Mb), the second was the same email, but without the attachment.

        The email with the video went through, while the second one, with identical text but no attachment, has vanished.

    • by Mex (191941)
      And don't get me started on Hotmail's "mysterious" tendency to completely miss messages coming from Gmail accounts.

      No, they don't even show up on the "Spam" folder, I've checked. I don't know if this is random, but it's very suspicious.
      • The "silently dropping mails" problem has been around for a while. I've had a Hotmail address for ages - well pre-Microsoft, and tended to use it for lists that I read every now and again. Out of about 20-30 regular list posters it was very repeatedly dropping certain senders - a few UK cable addresses (but not other UK cable addresses), one Gmail and a couple of Hotmail addresses (but not others).

        Headers of the dropped mail were all pretty legit - in the case of ISP mail, person's PC SMTPs it to ISP, the
    • by mks113 (208282)
      I worked with a bunch of missionaries who routinely sent out email newsletters to hundreds. Our server was blocked alternately by AOL and hotmail, along with a few others. It was locked down, but legit users were sending out "mass" mailings to people who had requested them.

      Between being blocked and email going to hotmail junk boxes, we gave up on complaints.

      We got on a few other blacklists from time to time, but it usually had to do with other users in the IP block our ISP had us on.

      Wouldn't using bcc fix
  • I'm shocked (Score:2, Funny)

    by Zashi (992673)
    Microsoft isn't following standards? I'm the rest of the slashdot community is just as surprised as I am. I mean, microsoft is a company we've come to trust, to do no evil, to side with the consumer and the technical community at large. I'm sure this is just an honest mistake, one we will not see again.

    *incoherent wheezing and laughter*
  • by jtroutman (121577) on Wednesday October 10, 2007 @07:17PM (#20933983)
    There's been a fix [google.com] for this problem for a while now.
  • by heptapod (243146) <heptapod@gmail.com> on Wednesday October 10, 2007 @07:19PM (#20934003) Journal
    There are hundreds of free alternatives available and a simple Google search [google.com] brings up numerous email forwarding services that can take the sting out of changing email accounts.
    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by alien9 (890794)

      Yes.

      I use it due to integration with messenger IM.

      Despite the fact I use gaim/pidgin most of time, the email/IM integration provided by their service led me to the decision of keeping my account, which is the same long before hotmail was purchased by microsoft.

      I think the service fits my needs, to provide a reliable account for registrations/memberships elsewhere.

      The lack of baynesian spam filtering (such has gmail and others) is a shame.

      The interface (yes, I tried Live) sometimes simply sucks.

      T

  • You gotta pay up! (Score:2, Interesting)

    by argux (568146)
    I read about something like this a few days ago. A big website was warning people not to register with any Microsoft accounts (MSN, Hotmail, Live) because their mails were bouncing. They also mentioned that if they paid some fee, the cap would be lifted (obviously, they wouldn't in a million years give a cent to these people). Instead of paying, they would only recommend people to use Yahoo or Gmail.

    Of course, it's not the exact, same thing, but the similarity between the two situations is spooky, to say th
    • by blincoln (592401)
      Hotmail et al have been silently blocking mail from my personal domain for a month or three now. It would have been nice if they'd at least bounced it, so I would have known earlier.
  • Dont worry! (Score:5, Funny)

    by Ariastis (797888) on Wednesday October 10, 2007 @07:19PM (#20934011)
    No sweat guys, for 19.99$ per year, you can become a member of the Windows MSN Live Hotmail Benefactor Plus Live rewards program!

    Benefits include :
    1) Spam whomever you want, bypassing all spam filters!
    2) Send e-mails to more than 10 recipients (Also called the "I run a mailing list you fucktard" option)
    3) Free "Upgrade to Vista (Please)" coupon.
  • by jas79 (196511)
    The answer Microsoft gave was about the limits for sending email, not for receiving email.
  • Oh NOES! (Score:3, Funny)

    by geekoid (135745) <dadinportland AT yahoo DOT com> on Wednesday October 10, 2007 @07:25PM (#20934059) Homepage Journal
    Now microsoft will get hammered by the Standards police.
  • From Wikipedia for SMTP:

    Simple Mail Transfer Protocol (SMTP) is the de facto standard for e-mail transmissions across the Internet. Formally SMTP is defined in RFC 821 (STD 10) as amended by RFC 1123 (STD 3) chapter 5. The protocol used today is also known as ESMTP and defined in RFC 2821.

    The only thing the Sender sould care about is the first digit of the response code, per RFC 1123:

    Whenever possible, a sender-SMTP SHOULD test only the first digit of the reply code, as specified in Appendix E of RFC-821.

    an
  • by Ossifer (703813) on Wednesday October 10, 2007 @07:37PM (#20934163)
    ... this is a well known anti-spam technique -- it helps thwart dictionary attacks. Hotmail allows 10 recipients, my email server allows at most 1 (one). Of course, my domain only has one email account...
  • Maybe this will make users realize that there are better options than hotmail? If someones sending an email to more than 10 hotmail addresses, they need fewer friends..
  • Ms provided much more crap through hotmail to service provider admins in the past, this one even pales in importance. There was one time that they were putting legitimate emails in junk folder without telling anyone and causing many clients to go yelling at the providers.
  • RFCs are not laws (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Angst Badger (8636) on Wednesday October 10, 2007 @07:51PM (#20934289)
    This would appear to be a violation of RFC 2821, which states: "Rejection of messages (for excessive recipients) with fewer than 100 RCPT commands is a violation of this specification."

    I love the way the OP makes this sound like a serious criminal violation. Microsoft (or you, or me) is free to violate RFC 2821 till the cows come home. Whether doing so is the best way to handle whatever problem they're trying to address is another matter, but they're not drowning puppies or breaking laws, they're violating voluntary standards, which is not exactly a newsworthy activity for Microsoft.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by jamesh (87723)
      That's exactly right. The only problem it might cause them is they can't claim to be running an RFC2821 compliant mail server (for whatever that's worth), and as anyone who has ever implemented a spam filter would know, they aren't the only ones.

      None of the customer mail servers I look after will accept more than about 50 recipients per message from internal users, let alone external users. Otherwise, I get too many calls from customers complaining that their internet access is slow, only to find out that t
    • laws that are communally agreed upon and makes the world of internet email turn around. if people start going haywire on them, imagine the resulting mess.

      no surprise, violation comes from microsoft. they dont hesitate to violate laws in any country they do business in, why should they hold back from rfc ?
    • by glwtta (532858) on Wednesday October 10, 2007 @08:52PM (#20934733) Homepage
      I love the way the OP makes this sound like a serious criminal violation.

      I love the way you just make shit up. All I got from the summary was that they are violating the RFC, I can't imagine what kind of synaptic misfire would lead anyone to think "criminal" when they read that.

      Is overzealous MS reverse-bashing the in thing now?
  • by DigitalSorceress (156609) on Wednesday October 10, 2007 @07:52PM (#20934297)
    Honestly, if everyone followed all the RFCs for email and didn't adapt, spam would probably bring everything to a grinding halt. As it is, with countermeasures and counter-countermeasures in an escalating spiral in the "spam wars", I sometimes marvel that email even still works at all.

    Granted, security through obscurity isn't really effective, but why should they bother telling spammers how small to make their batches in order to get things through? Make the bastards work a little bit.

    Wow, I've gotten cynical.
    • by Random832 (694525) on Wednesday October 10, 2007 @08:33PM (#20934581)

      Granted, security through obscurity isn't really effective, but why should they bother telling spammers how small to make their batches in order to get things through?
      Because there are lots of legitimate reasons to send an email to more than 10 recepients on a large service like Hotmail, and batching them up (as opposed to sending the whole email, headers and body, to the server multiple times) saves bandwidth.

      I would be pissed off if i were subscribed to something and I were the 11th hotmail user on their list.
  • Excellent! (Score:1, Flamebait)

    by flyingfsck (986395)
    If this makes it more difficult for idiot spammers to send idiot spam, then I cannot really say anything against it.
  • by cdrguru (88047) on Wednesday October 10, 2007 @08:24PM (#20934507) Homepage
    Email is useless. It cannot be relied upon. Mail servers will silently drop your mail after acknowledging receipt. Mail servers will reject your mail for no logical reason. All of this is in the name of fighting spam.

    Because of spam, you can assume only that if you send an email and do not get a response that it never got through. If the only contact you have with a customer is an email address, you aren't going to get anywhere. Mail can be blocked at any point between the sender and the recipient without the knowledge or consent of the recipient - telling the recipient that they need to unblock your email is pointless as they may have nothing to do with the blocking.

    Face it, email is suitable for sending threatening letters to georgebush@whitehouse.gov, love notes to your girlfriend and jokes to others in the office. And that's about it.
  • by Cleon (471197)
    Really, this sounds like something for the "Never Ascribe to Malice What Can be Adequately Explained By Stupidity" department. It just sounds like hotmail has screwed something up and is slow on the ball getting it fixed.

    It seems a bit silly for Microsoft to have such a strict policy and then lie about it.
  • by Eric Smith (4379) * <eric&brouhaha,com> on Wednesday October 10, 2007 @08:29PM (#20934549) Homepage Journal

    This would appear to be a violation of RFC 2821, which states: "Rejection of messages (for excessive recipients) with fewer than 100 RCPT commands is a violation of this specification."
    RFC 2821 isn't a standard, though. It's on the standards track, but it has not yet been accepted by the IETF as a standard. The current SMTP standard is RFC 821, also known as STD 10. RFC 821 says:

    recipients buffer

    The maximum total number of recipients that must be buffered is 100 recipients.

    TO THE MAXIMUM EXTENT POSSIBLE, IMPLEMENTATION TECHNIQUES WHICH IMPOSE NO LIMITS ON THE LENGTH OF THESE OBJECTS SHOULD BE USED.

    This only requires that up to 100 recipients must be buffered, but doesn't explicitly state that there is any requirement to deliver to all 100 such recipients, nor that recipients cannot be rejected for some reason other than running out of buffer space.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward
      It may not be a recommended IETF standard, but the RFC number (on standards track) makes it an effective (read: recommended) standard. If you're a fan of RFC's you should implement them when they are in the Standards Track [wikipedia.org] Especially when it's a trivial extension of an existing protocol, especially when (most) everyone else does.
      • by Eric Smith (4379) *
        Standards track means that there's some chance that it will be adopted as a standard someday, but there's certainly no guarantee, and it can't even be said to be likely. Exercise for the reader: count how many RFCs are on the standards track and not obsoleted, but not yet actually adopted as an IETF standard. For bonus points: construct a histogram of these by month and year published.
  • about email deliveries and tried to force providers to go enroll in their paid whitelist scheme.

    what happened ?

    many providers, including hosting providers have started to refuse hotmail addresses being used for account signups, and warned customers that they should get an email from another provider to sign up with.

    go figure what effect did this have. a hint - hotmail dropped the whitelist crap shortly thereafter.
  • You're all old enough - and should have been at this long enough - to know that Microsoft has a habit of taking a look at specifications and RFCs, saying 'Hmm... those are nice suggestions..' and then throwing the stack out the window.

    Further, why does anyone use Hotmail any more, any way? There aren't enough other free providers out in the world yet?
  • by kju (327) on Wednesday October 10, 2007 @09:10PM (#20934859)
    Some server will deny some/more recipients even after only one prior recipient. The reason? Spam filtering during the SMTP phase and conflicting configuration of the different recipients. Doing spam filtering during SMTP is good, as you can cleanly deny spam instead of just acting like a black hole and throwing it away. In the case of a false positive the sender will at least get a clean error message without having to send one of these nowadays very annoying bounce messages. If you ever became victim to some spammer abusing your mail address as the sender of spam and you've got 25000 bounces, you know why bounce messages need to be eliminated thanks to spammers.

    Unfortunately spam filtering has became so complex that more often than not one there is no one-size-fits-them-all configuration. But this means that the same message might be acceptable to the configuration settings of user A but not to the settings of user B. When now a mail sender tries to send a message to A and B, it will be necessary to deny recipient B due to the differing config (at least for filters which are based on content and thus can not be run before the recipient was accepted and the message sent).

    Yes, this breaks a proposed standard. But so do a lot of other spam filtering techniques like RBL, SPF and Greylisting. Thanks to the spammers we have broken SMTP quite some while ago and one is to wonder why internet mail is still quite reliable. I predict it can only go downhill from here.
  • by statemachine (840641) on Wednesday October 10, 2007 @09:20PM (#20934943)
    Yahoo has been junking all e-mail from my domain. Yet, my domain has been around since '99, has an SPF record, and has not been on a spam blacklist ever. I don't run any lists, and usually these e-mails are only directed at one recipient.

    When I contacted Yahoo, I was referred to a broken web form that supposedly would direct me to a place where I could whitelist my domain, or at least make it less spammy-looking to Yahoo. Upon further attempts to reach them, I only received automated responses, but no answers to my questions.

    I am not the only one who has had this problem sending e-mail to Yahoo accounts. Ironically, just Google for all the discussions on how Yahoo doesn't care.

    Sending e-mail to GMail accounts works just fine for me. None of my messages show up in the spam folder. This is an indicator that the problem lies with Yahoo, and not with my domain.
    • by Spad (470073)
      I abandoned my Yahoo account about a year ago after I discovered, purely by chance, that I wasn't receiving a whole load of emails that were being sent to me, from a wide range of senders. I'm all for spam filtering, but randomly dropping emails with no indication to either the sender or recipient that this has taken place is an excellent way to lose customers.
    • by wytcld (179112)
      Has anyone found a convenient way to fix this problem? I've been active in several Yahoo Groups e-mail lists for years, and now my submissions get culled before the list moderators can even see them. On the one hand, my domain's been around for 13 years, so there's regular spam forging it as the from address; on the other I have an SPF record specifying that nothing is legitimate aside from my own IP range. And Yahoo is supposed to be a strong SPF supporter. Go figure.

      I also can't get anything through to Un
  • by cliveholloway (132299) on Wednesday October 10, 2007 @09:30PM (#20935035) Homepage Journal
    Heh. Am I the only one who misread the headline and thought, "How true".
  • SPAM affects every mail system. I've probably had to implement a dozen different ways to reduce inbound SPAM in my inbox and the inboxes of my customers over the years. On the flip side, I also have to get my emails out, including those of a modest sized opt-in mailing list through recipient SPAM filters.

    It's ridiculous the volume of SPAM out there. If you've never had to think about this, it's easy to underestimate. Now, imagine my relatively simple situation and multiply it by about a million. That's w
  • Anyone who is using a Microsoft product today deserves what they get. The cat is already out of the bag. What do they need to see to know it's over? Bill Gates giving up and giving the money back?
  • by Random832 (694525) on Thursday October 11, 2007 @07:19AM (#20937983)
    Your company advocates a

    (x) technical ( ) legislative ( ) market-based ( ) vigilante

    approach to fighting spam. Your idea will not work. Here is why it won't work. (One or more of the following may apply to your particular idea, and it may have other flaws which used to vary from state to state before a bad federal law was passed.)

    ( ) Spammers can easily use it to harvest email addresses
    (x) Mailing lists and other legitimate email uses would be affected
    ( ) No one will be able to find the guy or collect the money
    ( ) It is defenseless against brute force attacks
    (x) It will stop spam for two weeks and then we'll be stuck with it
    (x) Users of email will not put up with it
    ( ) Microsoft will not put up with it
    ( ) The police will not put up with it
    ( ) Requires too much cooperation from spammers
    ( ) Requires immediate total cooperation from everybody at once
    ( ) Many email users cannot afford to lose business or alienate potential employers
    ( ) Spammers don't care about invalid addresses in their lists
    ( ) Anyone could anonymously destroy anyone else's career or business

    Specifically, your plan fails to account for

    ( ) Laws expressly prohibiting it
    ( ) Lack of centrally controlling authority for email
    ( ) Open relays in foreign countries
    ( ) Ease of searching tiny alphanumeric address space of all email addresses
    ( ) Asshats
    ( ) Jurisdictional problems
    ( ) Unpopularity of weird new taxes
    ( ) Public reluctance to accept weird new forms of money
    (x) Huge existing software investment in SMTP
    ( ) Susceptibility of protocols other than SMTP to attack
    ( ) Willingness of users to install OS patches received by email
    (x) Armies of worm riddled broadband-connected Windows boxes
    ( ) Eternal arms race involved in all filtering approaches
    ( ) Extreme profitability of spam
    ( ) Joe jobs and/or identity theft
    ( ) Technically illiterate politicians
    ( ) Extreme stupidity on the part of people who do business with spammers
    ( ) Extreme stupidity on the part of people who do business with Microsoft
    ( ) Extreme stupidity on the part of people who do business with Yahoo
    ( ) Dishonesty on the part of spammers themselves
    ( ) Bandwidth costs that are unaffected by client filtering
    ( ) Outlook

    and the following philosophical objections may also apply:

    (x) Ideas similar to yours are easy to come up with, yet none have ever been shown practical
    ( ) Any scheme based on opt-out is unacceptable
    ( ) SMTP headers should not be the subject of legislation
    ( ) Blacklists suck
    ( ) Whitelists suck
    ( ) We should be able to talk about Viagra without being censored
    ( ) Countermeasures should not involve wire fraud or credit card fraud
    ( ) Countermeasures should not involve sabotage of public networks
    ( ) Countermeasures must work if phased in gradually
    ( ) Sending email should be free
    ( ) Why should we have to trust you and your servers?
    ( ) Incompatiblity with open source or open source licenses
    ( ) Feel-good measures do nothing to solve the problem
    ( ) Temporary/one-time email addresses are cumbersome
    ( ) I don't want the government reading my email
    ( ) Killing them that way is not slow and painful enough

    Furthermore, this is what I think about you:

    ( ) Sorry dude, but I don't think it would work.
    (x) This is a stupid idea, and you're a stupid company for suggesting it.
    ( ) Nice try, assh0le! I'm going to find out where you live and burn your house down!
  • Yahoo pulls shit like this as well. My company made the mistake of using them for email and web and they are a nightmare. For the first 6 months with them it was nothing but over the invisible limit complaints and users still have emails bounced for no reason. They are fine as a web host but absolute garbage as an email provider.
  • Microsoft denies it has placed any such restriction on the number of senders.

    And just how easy is this to actually test? Should take a couple of minutes -- five tops -- to know if it's actually happening for average users.

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