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Re: Spam tagged emails being delivered to the wrong users.

From: Dan Nelson
Subject: Re: Spam tagged emails being delivered to the wrong users.
Date: Thu, 23 Oct 2003 16:42:37 -0500
User-agent: Mutt/1.5.4i

In the last episode (Oct 23), Russell J. Lahti said:
> After upgrading to the latest spamass-milter, I have started noticing
> mail tagged as spam that is being delivered to me that was addressed
> to other accounts on my system.
> I started looking closer, and found in the maillog that the message
> was being delivered to 3 accounts at once:
> to=<address@hidden>,<address@hidden>,<address@hidden>,
> This seems to result in everyone getting the email, but it only shows
> that the email was addressed to address@hidden  User1 thinks that
> they're getting user3's spam.

What part of the email is user1 looking at?  If they are just looking
at the To: header, then it very well may have someone else's address on

(Dan's standard email -> snail mail analogy explanation follows)

The To: and From: headers in a message are like letterhead on a piece
of paper mail.  The postal system doesn't use them to deliver a letter
(in fact they can't without opening the mail); it uses the address and
return address written on the envelope.  Email is the same way.  The
sender and return address are "outside" the message.  Most email
programs copy the message headers to the envelope when you send a
message, but it's entirely possible for them to be different.  A
mailinglist post, for example will have a From: header of the original
author, but an envelope sender of the the list system (so it can handle
bounced mail).  The To: header will be the list address, and multiple
messages will be sent out, each with a different envelope recipient
(one for each subscriber).
> Is this the way it has always worked, or has something changed?

It's always been this way.  It may be that you just started getting
spam addressed to multiple local users.  I get them occasionally.  From
a quick scan of the last month's mail, they are almost exclusively
Nigerian 409 scam letters and one specific "amazing new vibrator" spam.

        Dan Nelson

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