Latency on Beowulf Mailing list

Jess Cannata jac67 at
Fri Dec 5 16:54:06 EST 2003

Is the list a restricted list, meaning that only subscribers to the list 
can post messages? If it isn't, wouldn't this help reduce the number of 
messages that need to be moderated? If it is restricted, then I guess 
that the spammers are getting really good if they are spoofing the 
addresses of the 3000 subscribers.


Donald Becker wrote:

>On Fri, 5 Dec 2003, Erwan Velu wrote:
>>When I'm sending messages to beowulf mailing list, I can see them after
>>8 hours :(
>>Sometimes, my answers are too old for being intresting :(
>>Any ideas? Does other users are in the same case ?
>The quick answer is "spammers and viruses".
>There are several reasons that this is the case:
>  Over 95% of Beowulf list postings are held for moderation
>  The Beowulf list alone has about 3000 addresses
>95% might seem large, but considering only 1 in ten attempted postings
>is valid, only about 50% of the posts are held for moderation.  While I
>do sometimes wake up in the middle of the night to moderate, you
>shouldn't really expect that.
>A posting may be held for moderation by match any of about 25 patterns.
>Some of those patterns are pretty general -- even certain three digit
>numbers and two digit country codes will trigger moderation.
>Once held for moderation the posting may be automatically deleted.
>Right now there are 1439 phrases and 3298 IP address prefixes and domain
>names.  All were hand added.  My goal is over 90% automatic deletions.
>If I stop adding rules, it drops below that number in a week or two as
>spammers move machines and change tactics.
>Less common is that a post is automatically approved.  Some spammers
>have taken to including sections of web pages in their email, so don't
>expect this increasing in the future.
>The second point is also a result of spammers, albeit indirectly.  The
>list is run by mailman, which splits the list up into sections.  If your
>position is after a Teergruber, or the link is just busy, your email
>will be delayed for several hours.  Despite being very responsible
>mailers, our machine (or perhaps our IP address block) does sometimes
>end up on a RBL.
>I see this problem as only getting worse.  Our "3c509" mailing list is
>first alphabetically, and thus is the first recipient of new spam.  I've
>mostly given up on it, but leave it in place to harvest new patterns.
>It received 5 new messages in the past 30 minutes, a rate up
>substantially over just a few months ago. 
>So, what can you do to avoid delays?  Nothing especially predictable,
>because predictable measures are easily defeated by spammers.  But you
>- avoid posting or having a return address from free mail account services
>- have a reverse-resolving host name on all mail hops
>- don't have "adsl" or "dialup" in the header
>- avoid all mention of "personal enhancement" drugs, purchasing drugs of
>    any kind, moving money out of your sub-sahara country, mentions of
>    credit card names, sex with a farm animal, sex with multiple farm
>    animals, webcams, etc.  Talking about your cluster of webcams of
>    viagra-enhanced farm animals trying to move their lottery winnings
>    out of from Nigeria, even if they puchased the viagra at dicount
>    rates from Canadian suppliers that included a free mini-rc car could
>    conceivably be brought on-topic, but that posting will never make it.

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