stepping out of the shadows...

From: Rapid Dude (
Date: Thu Aug 26 1999 - 10:46:19 EEST


Hello to you all

This spammer attack we've been under lately is not at all welcome. Many of
you have done a lot of work to find a way to stop it. Unfortunately
there's not been that much luck. is doing their best at the
moment, and so are we all. I've collected here some of the mails sent to
rp-ml and / or to rp-adm during the last couple of days, and I'll try to
answer them all in one shot (at least as many as possible).

I'm the owner (that's answer number one) and the administrator (judge,
jury and executioner). Luckily I have zaphod to help me out whenever
things get too technical.

Rp-ml is a mailing list and will not turn into a newsgroup, not by yours
truly anyway.

Any individual (excluding spammers and other unwanted persons) should be
allowed to join, read and post to the list. Besides, controlling the
subscriptions to rp-ml will not prevent unwanted postings because we have
no control over the situation when someone subscribes rp-ml to some junk
list (as has happened).

The volleyball-guy did file a complaint against the spammer (contacting
the appropriate ISP as he promised), unfortunately he complained of a
spammer called rp-ml... I'll try to solve the situation so that rp-ml will
not be blamed for what has happened.

To stop inappropriate emails from coming to rp-ml there are several
suggestions / possibilities:

1) to set up majordomo so that only members can send emails to the list
* easy, just a matter of configuration, but there are a couple of traps:

- first of all, you all must have your email system set up in a
appropriate way, this means that only one email address is 'visible' (i.e.
told to the world) and it must not be tied up into a single workstation or
similar (preferably you should have an alias that looks something like E.g. you subscribe from, and it is accepted, but if your email system
tells that your message comes from, it
will not make it to the list. This is a Real problem (I approve
(un)subscriptions daily for the very same reason - probably 95% of all
approvals are caused by small, apparently insignificant difference in
email addresses).

- All subscriptions must be verified to try to see that no-one can use
alias to subscribe to the list and then use that address to forward spams
to the list (naturally these addresses can quickly be identified and
removed but we still may receive one once in a while).

That's that. No need to change the 'robot', but I'll take it under
consideration anyway. - Thanx for the tip.

2) Moderation
* easy, just a matter of configuration ;), but the traps do exist

- it does take a lot of time. Time is money and if I start using more and
more time to administrate the list... well someone has to start paying for
it - otherwise I may not be able to justify the time spent (cost / benefit
ratio?) to the administration department.

- There will be delays - even I cannot stay up 24 hrs a day to approve

3) Other possiibilities are under consideration and I'll get back to them


I can guarantee you a totally spam free, on topic mailing list (by turning
the list into a moderated one) but not for free (sorry, but I do have to
make my living). I'm currently considering moderation as a temporary
solution to the problem. That could be done a while, at least until the
dust settles. Then we could see what else must/can be done. But as said,
this is still under consideration.

I'm not planning on changing the basic idea of rp-ml (no
charge, free and open to everyone interested etc.) just because a pile of
sh*t hits the fan. We'll clean the environment and continue as if nothing
has happened - but still preparing ourselves to the future.

We will do what ever possible to stop junk mails, but until we can find a
reasonable solution, we all just have to filter our own incoming messages
(shouldn't be too hard to do with any of the modern email clients) and
try to bear the situation. Sorry about that, but for now there isn't
much more I can do.

I'm truly sorry for the inconvenience this situation has caused. I hope
you all accept my humble apologies.

Yours truly

Hannu Kaikonen <>
 'owner rp-ml'
*Share and Enjoy!*

For more information about the rp-ml, see

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.2 : Tue Jun 05 2001 - 22:52:28 EEST