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Collateral spam

Jan

06

Collateral spam is caused by replying to spam messages. Usually the sender address is forged, and if the same address is used on every message in a large run of spam, then the owner of that message gets a lot of unwanted email back.

This is generally regarded as a bad thing. But, it occurred to me this morning, why is that? There are mechanisms available to protect your sender address. For example, if you publish SPF and DKIM records, then I can reject (instead of accepting then bouncing) email which forges your address. 

So, perhaps I should be collaterally spamming you when you fail to help me determine whether email really is from you.