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Bouncing messages in MAC Mail, does it really accomplish anything?

Posted on 2010-03-25
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Last Modified: 2013-11-22
Does it really do anything to right-click and "bounce" spam messages in MAC OS X mail? Doesn't it have to bounce it back to the SMTP server, proving, for all intents and purposes, that I actually did receive the email?

Greg
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Question by:gregholl
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Expert Comment

by:MacFirst
ID: 28669631
The sender gets this message below. Most people would probably see this as a user does not exist at this domain message. But the line "resent from:" and the fact that it is from "postoffice@"  are not typical. in this case Joey sent a message to Ima, and Ima bounced it with Mail.app

      Resent-From:       Ima Sample <ima@sample.com>
      From:       postoffice@mail.sample.com
      Subject:       Returned mail: User unknown
      To:       Joey Tester <joey@sender.com>

The original message was received at 2010-03-26 06:31:13 -0400
from postoffice.(null) [10.0.0.1]

  ----- The following addresses had permanent fatal errors -----
<ima@sample.com>

  -----Transcript of session follows -----
... while talking to postoffice.(null).:
RCPT To:<ima@sample.com>
<<< 550 5.1.1 unknown or illegal alias: ima@sample.com
550 <ima@sample.com>... User unknown
Reporting-MTA: dns; postoffice.(null)
Received-From-MTA: DNS; postoffice.(null)
Arrival-Date: 2010-03-26 06:31:13 -0400

Final-Recipient: RFC822; ima@sample.com
Action: failed
Status: 5.1.1
Remote-MTA: DNS; postoffice.(null)
Diagnostic-Code: SMTP;550 5.1.1 unknown or illegal alias: ima@sample.com
Last-Attempt-Date: 2010-03-26 06:31:13 -0400

From: Joey Tester <joey@sender.com>
Date: March 26, 2010 6:31:35 AM EDT
To: Ima Sample <ima@sample.com>
Subject: o test bounce


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Author Comment

by:gregholl
ID: 28690993
Thanks Macfirst. This is the kind of information I was looking for.

So in the end, you could theoretically give it away to the slammer that you actually got the email

Also, I find that many of the emails I'm bouncing are getting rebounced back to me. I.e. My bounce msg is rebouncing back to me and my spam issues are doubling.

Since the idea was to curve spam, I'm thinking of sticking to the good old "delete" key

btw: the one part of my question remains: when I bounce the msg, I'm assuming it goes through the same SMTP that all my other email goes through. Is that correct? Or is there some other device in place that I don't know about.

Thanks!
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Accepted Solution

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MacFirst earned 2000 total points
ID: 28694150
The path is the same as all your other other mail -- the difference is in the entry that Mail.app on your computer adds to the message. Your smtp server is just passing it on.

I would not user this on spam for the reason you described. In the unlikely event that the spam  sender accepts it, then they will know they have a "good" address to keep spamming. Better to delete, or mark as junk if you have junk filtering turned on on your mail client.
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Author Closing Comment

by:gregholl
ID: 31707605
Thanks MacFirst.

So in the end:

Bouncing messages in MAC Mail, does it really accomplish anything? (i.e. getting the spammers to stop)

Answer is NO. I could acutally make it worse.

And, indeed, the MAC Spam filter is doing pretty good., Which brings me to another question: Where do I enter Safe addresses in the Mail.app? I know I can click the button "SPAM" or "not SPAM", but is there actually a list somewhere that I can go in and edit? Does clicking on SPAM automatically to the "black list" for future emails from this person? I will post all this to a new question for you for another 500 points. Thanks!
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