Martin Gregorie wrote:
> Arvid Ephraim Picciani wrote:
> > I'd like to discuss if returning a mail that went through a
> > mailing list, back to the sender can be described as backscatter.
> > I sent the postmaster a mail becouse they filter mails that
> > contains specific words and send a bounce to the sender. Now i'm
> > preparing to dicuss this with him/her and would like to hear your
> > opinion.

>
> I would say not.


I would say yes but it depends. I also consider backscatter any of
those many misconfigured virus scanners that detect a virus and then
send a notification to the From: address on the message. (They
detected a virus, knew that viruses forge addresses, then sent a
message to the probably forged from address? That is very bad.)

If the mailing list is scanning for particular words and generating a
message back to the From: address upon a hit on particular words then
it would certainly be possible to provoke such a system into
generating backscatter. If I were to forge your email address and
include these forbidden words and send it to the list software and
that list software were to throw notifications back to an uninvolved
third party who just happened to have their address forged on the
"From:" address of the mail then to that third part they are getting
back-scatter spam as part of a joe-job attack.

On the other hand if the from address is generally trusted and this is
a valid notification that your mail that you sent isn't getting
through because of content filtering then I would not consider that
backscatter. That would just be normal useful notification.

It depends upon the context.

Bob