Vintners.Net 'outhouse' -- rejected email
(page last mod 29-Nov-2003)
The Vinters.Net 'outhouse' is a custom made spam management system,
operated solely on and by Vintners.Net.
You are probably reading this page as you have had email 'bounced' by
the Vintners.Net Outhouse. This page will help you to understand how
the Vintners.Net "milter" (mail filter) works, thus helping you to get
your legitimate email through it.
When spam is received by any Vintners.Net customer, the Outhouse
includes a mechanism for them to mark it as spam; the entire email is
preserved and is thence refered to as an "Outhouse Evidence entry".
If an Evidence entry contains any URLs, those URLs will be added to
the milter database. In the future, any email that contains any of
those URLs will be rejected.
Rejected, spamvertised website; auto-remove: http://vintners.net/outhouse/?addr=<url>
By going to the provided link to the Outhouse, you will be presented
with a webpage that includes a button allowing you to request removal
of the offending URL from the blocklist database.
- Special keywords:
There are several special keywords that are simply banned. Some
obvious typical examples are: "viagra", and "penis". However, you can
use these words verbatim -- they only trigger rejection
if they are "disguised", namely by replacing the "i" (I) with a "1"
(one) or "l" (L), and/or by inserting up to a few characters between
the letters of the word.
Rejected, spam keyword pattern; removal not possible: http://vintners.net/outhouse/rejected.html
- "signature" indicators:
There are a few magic indicators that we at Vintners.net have come to
recognize as a "signature" (or perhaps more accurately "watermark") of
particular spammers. For obvious reasons, we will not disclose these
publicly -- email me if interested. Just as an example,
lots of spam contains a particular pair of words where an IP address
would be expected in a Received: header.
Rejected, recognized spammer; removal not possible: http://vintners.net/outhouse/rejected.html
- "guess" indicators:
There are a few best guess indicators that we at Vintners.net have
come to recognize as indicators that this is spam --
typically format-related. These are the most likely to mistakenly
catch an innocent bystander. A likely example would be a subject line
that contains a bunch of left justified text, then a bunch of
ridiculous whitespace, followed by some more text. Humans would have
no reason to include a bunch of junk way off to the right of the
subject line, whereas spammers do this to "invisibly" fool older spam
Rejected, excessive whitespace in Subject, tidy up your msg and resend; http://vintners.net/outhouse/rejected.html
Another example would be HTML-only email. This is the usual MO for
spammers. If a human is caught by this, merely changing your mailer
settings to send in plain-text, or in plain-text and
HTML will circumvent the test allowing your mail through.
Rejected, HTML-only mail not accepted, resend as mixed HTML/plain text; http://vintners.net/outhouse/rejected.html
And another would be base64 encoded email. There is no reason for
normal email to be encoded -- the base64 mechanism was
intended for sending binary data. Unfortunatley, modern email readers
are smart enough to decode the email, then render it. Some spammers
take advantage of this fact to get past mail filters, as it may be
prohibitive to decode email before spam-checking it. Vintners.Net
freely admits to taking the easy way out, by merely refusing such
Rejected, encoded mail not accepted, resend as mixed HTML/plain text; http://vintners.net/outhouse/rejected.html