Patrick (patrickwonders) wrote,

The Speed of Spam

The hosting company that hosts my domain is falling apart at the seams. After two weeks of emails and phone calls, they finally moved my site to a different MySQL cluster so I no longer get Database Connection Failed most of every afternoon.

Email to me has been bouncing for three or four weeks with the fabulous message: <pat@[deleted-so-as-not-to-attract-more]>: does not like recipient. Remote host said: 553 flood control activated, try later Giving up on They insist this is a problem with the servers sending the mail and not their servers.

Well, obviously, it is their server that is generating this flood control activated message. Further, despite its try later, it is using a permanent failure code. Technically, 553 is supposed to be mailbox name not allowed. I think they should send 450: mailbox unavailable.

Regardless, I get tons of spam. To handle this, I had all mail sent to any address in my domain forwarded to my gmail account. Gmail's spam filtering handled this all pretty well. I still saw 20-30 spams a day, but then these flood control messages started cropping up.

Now, most of the spam that I get is addressed to bogus mailboxes in my domain. So, I thought... maybe I can mitigate this by taking the known-good-addresses and forwarding them to my gmail account. Then, I could let all of the rest fester in an inbox on my hosting provider which I could periodically dredge for known-good-addresses that I had forgotten to include in the other forwarding (see, I give out different addresses to different companies so that I can later do something useful with mail-rules when they start abusing my address).

Well, after a week of this, I am apparently still getting flood control activated on the known-good-addresses even when only five messages went through there in an hour.

Anyhow, today I was cleaning out the Inbox for the addresses-of-questionable-utility. Note: I had my hosting company's spam filter turned on on that Inbox, and it caught zero messages. I had 2595 spam messages. I hit the Check All button. Then, I scrolled down through the list in the (probably vain) hope that if there are any real messages, I might spot them. Then, I hit the Delete button.

When the page refreshed, I had 630 more messages. I did the same for those messages. I had 21 more messages.

I have now turned off the catchall feature. I don't expect this to stop the flood control. In fact, bouncing all of the messages should take more time than filing them. And, I won't have any chance to catch the good-addresses that I didn't know I knew.

I have also resolved to switch hosting companies by the end of next week.

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