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What's with spammers asking for a 'read notification'


lin
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How cheeky can spammers get? Now they are asking for notification that I have read their email! I only open the emails because this nincompoop computer user only knows that way of reporting spam. I can't believe how cheeky they are! Anyone else get them, or am I special to them?

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Now they are asking for notification that I have read their email!

Most e-mail clients these days offer a configuration setting for both sending and reacting to a 'read receipt' ...

I only open the emails because this nincompoop computer user only knows that way of reporting spam.

One could assume that you just might be using one of the e-mail clients that are addressed within the SpamCop FAQ, the SpamCop WIki, or any number of previously existing Topics/Discussions within this support Forum. You'd probably be looking for some of the How to Report .. entries and details. There is typically no reason to "open" an e-mail to report it (in the way that you seem to be describing.)

I can't believe how cheeky they are! Anyone else get them, or am I special to them?

Sure, they are out there for all, but .... my configuration is to Never Send one, Never Reply to one .... and I do not handle e-mail insecurely.

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...I can't believe how cheeky they are! Anyone else get them, or am I special to them?
I can't remember the last time I had a receipt request in a spam but there are different "streams" or "flavors" of spam. As an alternative view to Wazoo's attitude on delivery receipts and read receipts (and that of most other experienced commentators 'here') it is my perception that they are quite commonly used in business - especially for those who deal across serious time zone differences (oh, to be instead the center of the universe) - and if anything the use has increased over the past several years with the declining reliability of delivery (glass half empty) or increasing deployment of spam filtering (glass half full).

When you send a read receipt to spam it is not good - presumably this would not be used in stuff from botnets for several reasons so the 'ack' is going back to the actual spam sender - so yes it is 'personal' in that sense and you should turn off acceptance in your email client configuration, both auto and manual (if there is a selection), for complete assurance, at least for the duration of this 'flavor' of spam. Any sender would probably still get the delivery receipt (a server-level process), if they asked for one, but that is next to worthless as an address validation. Note that you don't have to actually open a mail item in Outlook 2003 and earlier (don't know about later) for a receipt to be sent if set to auto, merely selecting the message in the intray queue then moving to another is enough (as can be verified by using manual acceptance) - don't know about junkmail folder which *should* be different but ...

If you want help in reporting spam without opening the stuff and can't find the information in the FAQ or Wiki (as Wazoo indicates, it shouldn't be hard to find), or need some further clarification, just ask and tell us what you are using - applications, operating system, the obvious details. Someone will probably help.

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How cheeky can spammers get? Now they are asking for notification that I have read their email! I only open the emails because this nincompoop computer user only knows that way of reporting spam. I can't believe how cheeky they are! Anyone else get them, or am I special to them?

Virtually 100% of spam I get has forged from-addresses; hence, it is hard to see how a return receipt would be useful in such cases (i.e., the spammer never receives them). On the other hand, if I did find one asking for such a confirmation, I could find the address it would go to and then LART it with extreme prejudice.

-- rick

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Thanks guys. After several attempts I have worked out how to send mail without opening it - not as simple as the instructions suggested, but, as I use Squirrel Mail's own page and not Outlook or anything that might explain it. Anyway, I have found out how to do it now and it is way quicker! lol

Thanks for helping a nincompoop decide she had to learn or never visit these forums again! I feel quite proud of myself. But you young 'uns would never understand that, until you have kids and they have to even change a cd for you....

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Thanks guys. After several attempts I have worked out how to send mail without opening it - not as simple as the instructions suggested, but, as I use Squirrel Mail's own page and not Outlook or anything that might explain it. Anyway, I have found out how to do it now and it is way quicker! lol

Thanks for helping a nincompoop decide she had to learn or never visit these forums again! I feel quite proud of myself. But you young 'uns would never understand that, until you have kids and they have to even change a cd for you....

Could you provide the method you use or a link to the directions you used so that the FAQ here can be updated?

This thread seems to have a reference to a Squirrel plugin for rerporting to SpamCop. http://forum.spamcop.net/forums/index.php?showtopic=6477 Is that what you are using?

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I feel quite proud of myself.

Feelings about the situation resolution seconded here. Congrats!

But you young 'uns would never understand that, until you have kids ....

Not sure if having great-grandkids still qualifies me as a "young 'un" ...???? Sure, I'm not as old as my folks yet, but I do qualify for a senior discount here and there .. <g>

it is my perception that they are quite commonly used in business - especially for those who deal across serious time zone differences (oh, to be instead the center of the universe)

Way back when .... the read-reciept thing was seen as a cover-your-rear type thing, such that it allegedly removed the "I never saw it" response from that other party. The primary issue waas that it was built into "some" e-mail applications and generally only worked within that specific LAN. Routing e-mail across the internet usually resulted in it not working .. some e-mail servers/applications stripped it, others didn't recognize it, etc., etc. So as far as this read-receipt thing working across the net, I still take the stand that it's not really viable, as there is so much stuff out there that works against its successful use. If your e-mail is limited to your office/business LAN/WAN, then it might be a possible useful function, primarily based on that the office/business would probably be working with a standardized set of applications.

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Oooh, I can't believe I get to help! :P:P

You need to first of all copy the address to report to spam cop - if you use your addresses then the attatchments fall off.

Then, put ticks in 6 of the spam boxes on your in page (not the max 10 allowed by squirrel), hit forward, and when the blank email comes up just paste your address into it, and hit send.

And Wazoo - I haaaaaate old un's that are bright as well!!!! :angry: :blink:

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This is probably related. Using Outlook 2003. I actually received one of these things yesterday, tracking options are set to "always ask" about read receipts which request, as said, gets triggered even without opening (triggers in Inbox folder after selection without opening, when moving on to select another - I will try turning off preview to see if that makes a difference, would rather not though and all remote imaging etc. turned off anyway, 'locked-down', I would have thought). Anyway, denied it of course. They are definitely spreading ...

Then, more related, today, I selected and forwarded a small batch of spam in my "Junk E-mail" folder to my submit address (no read receipts requested from that folder) and almost immediately got a bunch of non-delivery notices. For (most of) the stuff I had just sent, including:

http://www.spamcop.net/sc?id=z2271132753z0...b8245a060e3663z

(note: Return-Receipt-To: "Masanel" <setkello1970[at]NEWCENTURYINS.COM>

Disposition-Notification-To: <setkello1970[at]NEWCENTURYINS.COM>)

The failure notice for that one said:

Hi. This is the qmail-send program at s418.sureserver.com.

I'm afraid I wasn't able to deliver your message to the following addresses.

This is a permanent error; I've given up. Sorry it didn't work out.

<catch[at]newcenturyins.com>:

user is over quota

--- Below this line is a copy of the message.

... and the copy of the message was the whole of the spam.

And http://www.spamcop.net/sc?id=z2271132759z6...7e51610461c43az

(Return-Receipt-To: "Diandra" <afgrauwd_1968[at]1autoandtruckshippers.com>

Disposition-Notification-To: <afgrauwd_1968[at]1autoandtruckshippers.com>)

The following message to <afgrauwd_1968[at]1autoandtruckshippers.com> was undeliverable.

The reason for the problem:

5.1.0 - Unknown address error 550-'sorry, mail to that recipient is not accepted (#5.7.1)'

ATT111812.txt [604]

Embedded message: Read: Your holiday would be not full without gooood se.>.< [2307]

...and

http://www.spamcop.net/sc?id=z2271132760ze...91251ba2cff757z

(Return-Receipt-To: "MINA" <MINA-prob[at]ELTECO.NO>

Disposition-Notification-To: <MINA-prob[at]ELTECO.NO>)

Your message did not reach some or all of the intended recipients.

Subject: Read: Wish you act like Herculesus in bed?

Sent: 24/09/2008 10:19 AM

The following recipient(s) could not be reached:

MINA-prob[at]elteco.no on 24/09/2008 10:19 AM

The e-mail account does not exist at the organization this message was sent to. Check the e-mail address, or contact the recipient directly to find out the correct address.

<ex01.elteco.lan #5.1.1>

Now, I have no control over the "disposition notification" but I thought I had full control over the read/return receipt. Obviously not, though what purpose these things are serving is even more questionable - maybe getting reporters pinged for "misdirected receipts".

Oh, and another manifestation of the read receipt I have seen (as said, I use the things in business, corporate standard) "Message deleted without reading" - after considerable delay.

Seems these scum are smarter than I am, have to start changing some Outlook settings before anything else happens.

[on edit - problems with my terminology. I said "preview" above. I don't have that turned on, never have had it on. I meant "reading pane", now turned off too, to see if there's any difference when tomorrow's batch of spam arrives.]

Edited by Farelf
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This is probably related. Using Outlook 2003. I actually received one of these things yesterday, tracking options are set to "always ask" about read receipts

<snip>

...Wild guess, here (as another Outlook 2003 user): might Outlook only honor the "always ask" setting for e-mails received from others on your Exchange network but ignore it for "outsiders?"
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...Wild guess, here (as another Outlook 2003 user): might Outlook only honor the "always ask" setting for e-mails received from others on your Exchange network but ignore it for "outsiders?"
For what it may be worth, Apple Mail does not appear to support return-receipts at all, either in outgoing messages or in incoming ones. Neither "receipt" nor "notification" return any hits in Mail's online help.

I have a vague recollection of there being a checkbox somewhere in Outlook that would control this behavior, perhaps I will check on this and post once i get back to the office tomorrow.

-- rick

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...Wild guess, here (as another Outlook 2003 user): might Outlook only honor the "always ask" setting for e-mails received from others on your Exchange network but ignore it for "outsiders?"
Dunno Steve, I will have to research it - I can't just turn it off in any event. But worth investigating, thanks.
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...I have a vague recollection of there being a checkbox somewhere in Outlook that would control this behavior, perhaps I will check on this and post once i get back to the office tomorrow.
Well, the receipts are still going out whenever I email a submission batch - time to get serious. Outlook control:

http://img87.imageshack.us/img87/9726/trackingoptionslw5.png

The first two boxes in the last (bottom) dialog were checked (default, I think). Unchecking them and selecting the "Never send a response" radio button down the botton would seem to be as serious as can be gotten. I'm not sure about the delivery (as opposed to read) receipt - I thought that was a server thing, maybe so, but I notice buried in the text of one of the latest "System undeliverable" messages, what would have gone to a 'real' sender:

Your message

To: (me)

Cc: =20

Subject: 4 ancient greek secrets of rich intimate life

Sent: Wed, 24 Sep 2008 17:57:35 +0800

was read on Thu, 25 Sep 2008 08:03:05 +0800

------_=_NextPart_001_01C91EA2.1CFA9664

Content-Type: message/disposition-notification

Content-Transfer-Encoding: 7bit

Final-Recipient: RFC822; (me)[at]ourdomain

Now that "Final Recipient" is a touch scary - that is literal in all cases I've seen and I'm thinking folk having messages relayed to their 'realy-truly secret real address' would have that address shown there (like my 'other' mail account setup at home). Just because a lot of these things bounce doesn't mean they all do or that this might not be the 'real agenda' behind the things. It can only be inserted by the final delivery server or after if that might be so and the "Only applies to Internet Mail accounts" in that tracking dialog (applying to user control of read receipts) makes it sound fairly definitive (Steve's point). But heck those things *do* work within the LAN too, I know - I guess because, internal or not, they're still 'Internet Mail' accounts. [on edit - to make it clear, manual control over read receipts certainly works on external mail too, when messages are opened or selected and deselected in the Inbox.]

Anyway, worth persevering with, even if it incurs the corporate wrath by (hopefully, eventually) blocking read receipts. But wait, didn't the boss say words to the effect of "Henceforth we shall cherish our rebels, we shall embrace their passion and their creativity and incorporate their insights into our policies!" But no, that was actually a Dilbert cartoon and it ended badly, come to think of it. Oh well, I don't think much can be done about delivery disposition receipts without some Exchange server and higher behavioral changes anyway.

Edited by Farelf
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Nope, nothing I can find will disuade Outlook from sending a receipt every time I forward the things to my submission address, given whatever server settings are in operation. On the other hand, colleagues receiving pretty much the same spam 'never' see any of the several types of delivery failure notices (when they simply delete from the Junk E-mail folder). So I guess I will try the paste-in method for any with receipt requests/demands (fortunately only a small imposition with low total spam volumes). Tangentially, only about 1 in 3 of the things presently result in immediate failure notices so there is 'a certain amount of uncertainty' in picking up what is going on.

For sure, there is (almost) a disincentive to continue reporting, which might be another purpose of the ploy - but a ploy that would be frustrated by the near-certainty that (currently) receipts are not going back to the spammers but instead, from all appearances, 'just' to the usual unfortunates (and abandoned addresses) who have been forged as senders and receipt requesters from the spammers' standard lists (though that could of course change at any time). I'm not sure what happens when one of those forged addresses is a spam trap. If I don't stop the receipts going out I might soon learn. And at least one spamtrap user, spam.dnsbl.sorbs.net, evidently has no hesitation in blocklisting MTAs ...

Anyway, I am restoring the corporate standard Outlook tracking settings, my brief career as a pin-stripe rebel ended and passed, all quite un-noticed and before casual-dress Friday.

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I consider it a bit of a misleading title .... a ton load of words but it sure seems like a lot of data is missing;

Delivery receipts and read receipts in Outlook

An ancient Registry hack for an old version of Exchange provided at XFOR: Exchange IMS Can Suppress Generation of a Delivery Receipt .. allegedly "fixed" later on, one would assume that newer versions would be 'fixed' ....????

There might be some kind of answer at Microsoft Exchange Server 2007 but I have given up trying to guess where it might be hiding.

Not a lot of detail provided to explain just what this really is, but .... Read Receipt Request Indicator

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..I consider it a bit of a misleading title .... a ton load of words but it sure seems like a lot of data is missing;

Delivery receipts and read receipts in Outlook...

Hey, thanks Wazoo. This is the pertinent part:
Responding to read receipt requests

Outlook 2002 and Outlook 2003

If you are using Outlook with Microsoft Exchange Server as your mail service, Exchange Server will always respond to requests for a read receipt.

If you are using Outlook with Internet Mail as your mail service, you will have a choice to respond or not respond to all requests for a read receipt.

I hadn't realized before that "Internet Mail" refers to an application, not the generic external facility/service. We have Exchange Server so it is performing as advertized. But, as you say, there are deeper mysteries - or maybe MSU critical patches have changed the behavior of Outlook 2003 and/or our Exchange Server away from the simplicity of the 'always respond' description for read receipts. Then there's the delivery receipts. Anyway, regardless, seems like we need to know for sure about delivery receipts and we need to turn them off somehow before they do any more goosing of addresses they ought not to.

lin's innocent query has got some legs on it yet.

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Hey, thanks Wazoo. This is the pertinent part:I hadn't realized before that "Internet Mail" refers to an application, not the generic external facility/service.

In this scenario, what they are actually talking about is the installation mode of Outlook .... Corporate Mode or Internet Mail ... basically, the age old question of are you connecting to an Exchange server or not

We have Exchange Server so it is performing as advertized. But, as you say, there are deeper mysteries - or maybe MSU critical patches have changed the behavior of Outlook 2003 and/or our Exchange Server away from the simplicity of the 'always respond' description for read receipts. Then there's the delivery receipts.

I'll be honest, when I first started looking at this, I was a bit amazed at just how many disposition receipts there are these days. Then getting the big face-slap whilst reading a 2004 thread on Pegasus and some issues with a 'new' header line addition at that time. I'll easily admit to being way out of touch on this stuff, it's not come up before.

Anyway, regardless, seems like we need to know for sure about delivery receipts and we need to turn them off somehow before they do any more goosing of addresses they ought not to.

What's odd to me is that I'm not stumbling across a wealth of information on it yet. Then again, having to admit that I'm still in the mode of trying to do 20 things at once. <g>

lin's innocent query has got some legs on it yet.

Yep. No doubt in my mind that she's had a laugh or two by now <g>

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Just to note, no solutions but the incidence of this stuff in my Junk E-mail folder has dropped away to nothing. They'll be back (it seems every trick/wrinkle/variation is bound to be endlessly recycled - all rivers run to the sea, etc.)

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Could you provide the method you use or a link to the directions you used so that the FAQ here can be updated?
Oooh, I can't believe I get to help! :P:P

You need to first of all copy the address to report to spam cop - if you use your addresses then the attatchments fall off.

Then, put ticks in 6 of the spam boxes on your in page (not the max 10 allowed by squirrel), hit forward, and when the blank email comes up just paste your address into it, and hit send.

Anyone else using squirrel mail? I am not sure I fully follow the logic, specificly the part marked in bold; so am unconfortable adding to the FAQ
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Anyone else using squirrel mail? I am not sure I fully follow the logic, specificly the part marked in bold; so am unconfortable adding to the FAQ

I was going with that it was the Registered SpamCop Reporting Account Submit address that was to then be later pasted into the 'new' e-mail.

For me, it's the definition/description of the "6 of 10" checked blocks that has me lost.

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For me, it's the definition/description of the "6 of 10" checked blocks that has me lost.
I took that to be if all 10 were checked, the overall file size was causing problems with the transmission. I know when I was forwarding batchs, it worked best if the number of attachements was under 10. I do not believe that 6 is the magic number, but simply a low enough number to avoid most size issues. Second assumption was that the standard page view only allowed for a max of 10 attachments; but that was simply my assumption.
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<snip>

You need to first of all copy the address to report to spam cop - if you use your addresses then the attatchments fall off.

<snip>

Anyone else using squirrel mail? I am not sure I fully follow the logic, specificly the part marked in bold; so am unconfortable adding to the FAQ
...Although I don't use SquirrelMail and am not sure what lin meant, my guess would be the Report Email Address.
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Anyone else using squirrel mail? I am not sure I fully follow the logic, specificly the part marked in bold; so am unconfortable adding to the FAQ...Although I don't use SquirrelMail and am not sure what lin meant, my guess would be the Report Email Address.

I agree, but it seems to be saying if you use the Squirrel address book, that the attachments are lost.

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