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Impact Engineering and Backscatter

Here are two new technical terms for you that I've run across in the last few days. Can you guess what they refer to, or do you know them already?

Impact Engineering .... hitting a piece of equipment, typically but not always with a hammer or fist, in order to persuade it to work.

Backscatter Those irritating emails that tell you that your email to xxxxx could not be delivered ... when you have never even written to xxxxx in the first place.

Backscatter is typically caused when mail servers reject bulk emails that have been sent out by a 'spammer' or spamming program that's pretending to be you in their email address. As postmaster for a number of domains, my mailbox tends to collect quite a bit of backscatter; some of the spammers make up "from" addresses at known domains and I get those in addition to the more sophisticated ones that have hijacked one of our true addresses.

Recently, I've noticed a disturbing trend in services which are offering to protect their clients from spam by asking the originator to confirm that they're genuine. The very fact that these services ask means that they're highly sceptical about the original email, so they KNOW they're generating backscatter. "An unfortunate side effect of our system" one wrote to me. Hmm; if the service knows that the sender address is probably forged, isn't it generating an unsolicited email when it writes to the true owner of that address to ask about it>. And if the service is charging clients for its automated activity , doesn't that make its backscatter emails into unsolicited bulk commercial email?

Yes, these people believe that it's all right for them to send out spam ... in the very act of discouraging others from doing so. One rule for you, and another for me? Ick!
(written 2007-01-16)

 
Associated topics are indexed as below, or enter http://melksh.am/nnnn for individual articles
G909 - Well House Consultants - Spam, Spamming and Spammers
  [4520] No cold sales calls please - but delighted to hear from others! - (2015-09-29)
  [4315] Welcoming genuine forum posters quickly - but turning away off topic advertisers - (2014-11-16)
  [4135] Introducing your product to Well House Consultants - single, personally tuned email please - (2013-07-08)
  [3946] Moving from a warning system to a control system - PHP, forum spammers - (2012-12-07)
  [3912] Sand to Arabia, Coals to Newcastle or Woodburners to Russia - (2012-11-04)
  [3910] Identifying your real customers and keeping them well informed fast - (2012-11-02)
  [3661] Keeping forum and blog comments clean - (2012-03-19)
  [3506] Cold call contacts - preference services and turning off spam sales approaches - (2011-11-03)
  [3352] World Trade Register - Certainly NOT worth 2985 Euros. - (2011-07-09)
  [3316] Twitter Phishing Trips ... and a great new alert service - (2011-06-04)
  [3190] What do the following web sites have in common? - (2011-03-03)
  [3166] Well house is strong - confirmed? - (2011-02-11)
  [3016] The legal considerations of your web presence - revisited - (2010-10-26)
  [2884] Hotlinked images onto adult material sites - (2010-07-23)
  [2697] Email metrics and filtering - (2010-03-28)
  [2398] Websitemediasolution and a goldfish called Carl Johnson - (2009-09-06)
  [2276] Who is Marc Schneider of Multilingual Search Engine Optimization Inc - (2009-07-10)
  [2179] Offers that I can refuse - (2009-05-12)
  [2177] Preventing forum spam - checks at sign up - (2009-05-12)
  [2019] Baby Caleb and Fortune City in your web logs? - (2009-01-31)
  [1978] From spam to mod_alias - finding resources - (2009-01-05)
  [1817] Marc Schneider is still having email trouble - (2008-09-30)
  [1763] Co-operating to save, yet we dont - (2008-08-21)
  [1532] Comment spam blocked. Please comment via Forums - (2008-02-05)
  [1523] Ive just received an email from myself. Should I be worried? - (2008-01-29)
  [1115] Unexpected visitors to our site - (2007-03-22)
  [872] Email metrics - (2006-09-20)
  [495] More spam - a success story - (2005-11-13)
  [417] Telephone Preference Service - we're registered - (2005-08-17)
  [347] Frightening and from-friend viruses and spams - (2005-06-14)
  [338] OO techniques are hard to teach - (2005-06-06)
  [276] An apology to Mr Boneparte - (2005-04-11)
  [268] Information request forms, cleaning up spam - (2005-04-05)
  [259] Responding to spam - (2005-03-27)


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This is a page archived from The Horse's Mouth at http://www.wellho.net/horse/ - the diary and writings of Graham Ellis. Every attempt was made to provide current information at the time the page was written, but things do move forward in our business - new software releases, price changes, new techniques. Please check back via our main site for current courses, prices, versions, etc - any mention of a price in "The Horse's Mouth" cannot be taken as an offer to supply at that price.

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