diamond geezer

 Saturday, January 14, 2006

Mail delivery failed: return to sender

I'd like to apologise if I've sent you an email about Vi@gra, Cial!s or some other drug$ recently. I didn't mean to. I didn't mean to suggest that your performance in bed was somehow less than it should be, or to inform you of the benefits of self-enlargement, or to offer you generous reductions on international pill shipping. Honestly, I know you're not interested in that sort of thing. But it does look like I've sent out thousands of these emails recently, and I thought I'd better say sorry. Sorry.

But in fact it wasn't me who sent those emails. My computer is virus- and worm-free, so none of these mucky missives originated from my own hard drive. No, it appears that some evil spamlord has cloned my email address and is busy using it to send out filth and opportunistic drivel to unfortunate recipients all over the world. They're receiving unscrupulous email messages supposedly from my domain, but from accounts which don't actually exist. There is no such person as emilywells@myemailaddress.net, or aerisknight, or vjzi, or frankotte, or jlundon, or similar. None of these people are me. Honest.

As a result of this international criminal activity, my inbox is now under attack from a different kind of email spam - the undelivered message. In many cases the spammers have sent their poisonous messages to a non-existent email address within a genuine company or organisation. At this point over-zealous delivery software kicks in and bounces back a message to inform me that 'my mail has been undeliverable'. Thanks, but honestly, I don't care, because it wasn't me.
A message that you sent could not be delivered to one or more of its recipients. This is a permanent error.
I'm afraid I wasn't able to deliver your message to the following addresses. This is a permanent error; I've given up. Sorry it didn't work out.
Your message could not be delivered for 4.0 hours. It will be retried until it is 5.0 days old.
Übermittlung an folgende Empfänger fehlgeschlagen.
Adresse de boîte aux lettres de destination incorrecte ou inexistante.
Or maybe the destination email address does exist, but corporate spam filter software cleverly spots that the incoming message is speculative filth and so prevents it from passing through to the lucky recipient. Great, but I don't then want to receive a message back telling me how naughty I've been in sending the spam in the first place. Because it wasn't me.
Your message was blocked by our Spam Firewall. The email you sent has NOT BEEN DELIVERED:
Testing your email with detection software produced a result that indicates your mail could be unsolicited commercial advertising or other restricted content.
I apologize for this automatic reply to your email. To control spam, I now allow incoming messages only from senders I have approved beforehand.
Network Associates WebShield SMTP V4.5 MR1a on fsgw2 detected virus MultiDropper-PH in attachment unknown from and it was Deleted and Quarantined
You have apparently sent a message containing an attachment that is disallowed as defined by the State of Minnesota’s email security policy.
This steady stream of failure notices continues to clog up my inbox. They eased off over Christmas and New Year (presumably even evil spamlords take a break during the the holiday season), but now they're back again, relentless as ever. I guess my situation is better than actually receiving real spam, because at least I tend not to see the mucky content of the messages I've supposedly sent. But there are now several people out there who mistakenly believe that I'm churning out this online sewage, and I'm not. I have no reason to believe that your body parts are inappropriately proportioned and malfunction regularly. I just wanted you to know.

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