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Donating MX Entries

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 Only subdomains are virgin
Author: A.Vesely   (11 May 07 3:19am)
Hi all,
what about that FAQ entry: "Can I donate an MX that is already receiving spam?"

Any existing domain receives spam. Furthermore, people use existing domain names to forge fake email addresses for web sites that require one to register. Registering a new name won't make it different, unless one chooses a very difficult name or a subdomain.

OTHO, most real email addresses are bound to second-level domains like The FAQ answer seems to encourage donors to only donate subdomains. However, I fear that it will be too easy for spammers to discard addresses with three or more domain levels, after they'll have learned how PHP's spamtraps are composed.

I understand that PHP needs to relate each spam message with how it's been harvested, but that will never be 100% clean. How can I judge if an MX is worth being donated?
 Re: Only subdomains are virgin
Author: M.Prince   (11 May 07 1:00pm)
A couple things.

1. We conduct regular tests to see if addresses constructed with 3-level, 4-level, or even greater domains receive less spam than 2-level domains. So far the answer has been a resounding no. There are plenty of organizations that use 3-level domains for their email addresses. For example, ATT, the largest ISP in the U.S., uses as their primary domain for customers.

2. We test newly donated domains to see how clean they are. A couple messages that arrive and appear to be dictionary attacks don't set off our virgin filter. What we want to make sure is that the domain wasn't previously used to sign up for legit mailing lists, etc. There's no harm in donating a domain and seeing what happens. If it doesn't pass the virgin filter, it won't go into the queue to be used to create addresses. If it does, then as a 2-level domain it will be a valuable addition.

Thanks for your help with the Project!
 Re: Only subdomains are virgin
Author: A.Vesely   (12 May 07 1:51am)
Thanks Matthew, that's great - I donated the MX.

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