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SpamCop let me incorrectly report my OWN SITE


diltonm
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I was sent what is called a SPAMVERTISMENT by searchenginebanners.net trying to get me to use their service for my site McCOMSoft.com.

I dutifully reported them using SpamCop but because I had "3rd Party Report Default" set in my Report Handling Preferences (I think this was why anyway), SpamCop sent an abuse email to my VPS hosting center Linode.com.

If I'd caught this I would have not sent it.

So I almost immediately got contacted by Linode to their credit but I quickly grew upset about the whole matter.

Q) I've turned off that 3rd party option, will this prevent future incidents like this?

Q) Why does SpamCop's email parser not have the smarts to see that a URL is the victim in an email and not the participant?

EDIT: I've taken the action of adding my host using SpamCop's mailhosts tab. I report spam using the web interface at SpamCop so I don't even know if this is related but I'm hoping it will help prevent this type of problem from occurring in the future.

Edited by diltonm
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because I had "3rd Party Report Default" set in my Report Handling Preferences (I think this was why anyway), SpamCop sent an abuse email to my VPS hosting center Linode.com.
The "3rd Party Report" setting is totally irrelevant. Your web URL appeared in the spam, so SpamCop offered to report it.

The "3rd Party Report" setting applies to who gets reports about an issue, not to what is being reported. Some abuse desks have identified themselves as third-parties who are interested in certain issues. If you saw a reference to a "Third Party Report" when you reported the spam, it was because somebody who is unrelated to the issue wants to get reports about that specific thing.

Why does SpamCop's email parser not have the smarts to see that a URL is the victim in an email and not the participant?
Because SpamCop is software, not a person.

- Don D'Minion - SpamCop Admin -

- Service[at]Admin.SpamCop.net -

.

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Hi, diltonm,

...Sorry to hear of your problem. Many of us have experienced this feature, to such an extent that there is some documentation about it in the SpamCop FAQ (links to which may be found near the top left of each SpamCop Forum page) in articles labeled "Why does SpamCop want to send a report to my own network administrator?" and "How can I unsend a Report?"

<snip>

EDIT: I've taken the action of adding my host using SpamCop's mailhosts tab. I report spam using the web interface at SpamCop so I don't even know if this is related but I'm hoping it will help prevent this type of problem from occurring in the future.

...This should help avoid the problem. Be advised, though, that it is not foolproof, as the SpamCop parser may still identify your ISP as a spam source if your ISP adds a new IP address to your VPS and/ or its own internal e-mail network.
I dutifully reported them using SpamCop

<snip>

...It may help you to think of there being two parts to the SpamCop reporting:
  1. Submitting the spam you received for consideration for adding the spam e-mail source to the SpamCop blacklist.
  2. Sending e-mail complaints on your behalf and by your direction to the abuse desks of the spam sources and third-parties (also to any "Public standard report recipients" you add in your Preferences | "Report Handling Options").

In other words, if you unchecked all the e-mail addresses to which the parser offers to send a report and clicked the "Send spam Report(s) Now" button, you would still be submitting the spam to SpamCop (in the sense of part 1) but not sending abuse reports to the abuse e-mail addresses (part 2). In essence, it was your doing part 2 without first having completed the MailHosts process that caused your problem. Many of us have done that, some of us repeatedly!

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<snip>

Is there a link to report bugs in SpamCop's parser?

...Well, this is not really a bug -- it is how the tool is intended to work. Reporting this behavior as a bug would be much like reporting as a bug that a hammer hit your finger instead of the nail you intended it to hit. You would prefer that the hammer be designed to be smart enough to not hit your finger even if you aim it there but hammers are intended to go where they are directed.

...For future reference, if you do wish to report what you feel is a bug, this is as good a place as any to do it because, as you have seen, SpamCop representatives do happen by here from time to time. Another way to contact them is to send an e-mail to the SpamCop Deputies at deputies[at]admin.spamcop.net.

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When you set up your mailhosting you solved the problem. You want the parser to reject identification of the network of your registered e-mail address as the spam source as an additional layer of protection? Sometimes it actually is the source, though admittedly most would exercise their relationship with their provider in that event, in preference to sending a SC report to them. Or to check your hosting on each submission (it currently processes up to a million messages a day) in case your network's configuration has changed in some critical way? (That does occasionally happen - oh, but the only reliable confirmation is to work through the mailhosts system which includes initiating, receiving and returning SC probes.)

There is a forum section New Feature Request where you can detail your requirements for consideration. I hate to be the one to point it out (you evidently haven't reconnoitred the ground at this stage - there is an awful lot of it to review) but since you've just called the behaviour of the only person having both the influence to progress it and who might have reviewed it in the foreseeable future "snarky and unhelpful" you're not off to a good start. Never mind, he's a professional. :D

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