Theo Van Dinter wrote:
> Yves Goergen wrote:
> > But what's a mail scanner/filter supposed to do with a partial message
> > anyway? I mean, it can only reject it by policy or let it pass. There's
> > nothing to tell about the actual message contents, is there?

>
> Not really, you'd have to wait for all the pieces to come in, and then you
> could scan and do something, but what if the pieces don't all come in, etc.
>
> IMO, I'd drop them by policy since I agree that I've never seen it used
> legitimately.


At a pretty good guess this was sent by a solitary user using
multi-part mail as a file transfer protocol. Those used to be quite
popular back in the UUCP days[*]. I used to use it. I am sure that a
real human person initiated the set of messages as a way to send some
large amount of data by mail. If you had the very first message then
decoding it would probably be enough to tell what type of data was
being sent.

But mail is really not a good large file transfer protocol. In many
ways it resembles a message-in-a-bottle protocol of unconnected data
being sent in the hope that it makes it and trusting upon the good
will of forwarding hosts along the way to tolerate it. Even though I
used to use that protocol I wouldn't have a problem with a site having
a policy against it. There are so many much better ways of sending
files these days.

Bob

[*] Here is one classic example that I found very quickly:

http://trillian.mit.edu/~jc/sh/tarmailchunky