Fw: get me off this list

Jerry McAllister jerrymc at msu.edu
Wed Apr 11 21:53:35 UTC 2007

On Wed, Apr 11, 2007 at 02:55:23PM -0400, Jaymz Young wrote:

> Add me to the list of folks who did not subscribe and can not unsubscribe???
> On 4/11/07, Ted Ims <ecims at mindspring.com> wrote:
> >
> >I'm incorrectly receiving the list as well and can't unsubscribe.
> >
> >
> >-----Forwarded Message-----
> >>From: kathy91383 at aim.com
> >>Sent: Apr 9, 2007 7:27 PM
> >>To: mksmith at adhost.com, stapleton.41 at gmail.com,
> >freebsd-questions at freebsd.org
> >>Subject: get my off this list
> >>
> >>  what is this list and why am i on it?!?!
> >>

I do not know how you got on the list.  Normally, as mentioned, there
is a confirmation required before one actually gets on the list.

As for having trouble getting off the list, here is one possibility.
I manage a couple of lists and this is a frequent problem.
A person subscribes an address or gets it put on the list somehow.   Then
along the way the person begins to use a different Email address.
The old address still works so that person sets forwarding at old
address to the new one and after a while, doesn't think about it any
more.   Messages from the list keep coming - now to the new address
because of the automatic forwarding.   

Then the person decides to unsubscribe from the list and sends in an
appropriate message -- but the message is sent from the new address
rather than the old address which is the one actually subscribed.
So, the Email list software tries to remove the new address, but, of
course, that doesn't solve the issue.  The list software does not know
about the connection between the old address and the new one to which
it is forwarded.  The list administrator can guess about what is 
happening, but doesn't have a good way of discovering the address
connection because the error messages from the failed unsubscribe
attempts only show the new address, but nothing about the old one.

I periodically run a routine that sends a message to each subscriber 
that contains the address of the subscriber it is being sent to.  That
way, if it bounces, I can get the original subscription address out of
the message or if it does not bounce, but makes it through to the 
person's new address through the forward, then that person is essentially
notified of the original subscription and can either log in to that old
address and send an unsubscribe or if they can no longer get in to that
old account, send a message to the list administrator with the additional
information needed to identify the old address and take action.

In this particular case, where the person does not believe they took any
action to initiate the original subscription, it is unclear how it got
that way.   But, one possibility is someone trying to maliciously inflict 
mischief and abuse on some people.   What some abuser could have done
is to make a subscription for an address on some host and then make the
necessary confirmation response.   Then the person would go in to that
account and set up forwarding to some innocent person or even to a large
number of persons.   It would be a type of attack.  Those sort of
attacks can also be traced to the original [fake] subscription by sending
out a message to all subscribers with the address each message was sent
to in it.   Then, whoever receives it would need to help the list
administrator remove it.   There may also be some other tools to help
trace it, but they are not always effective.

I don't know if this is what has happened in these recent cases, but it
is one possibility.   Hopefully, if this is what has happened, it might
be possible to track it down to the original juvenile brat that is doing
it and get his daddy to ground him until age 35 or so.

So, good luck getting this sorted out.


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