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Chapter 12. Fighting Spam > Catchall Spam

Catchall Spam

For those of us lucky enough to have our own email domains, one useful way to catch spam is to inspect the catchall account’s contents.

A catchall account is an account that most email servers use to put all mail addressed to the domain that don’t have a valid email address (there is no mailbox matching the name given). Most servers are set up to simply discard such emails after sending a nondelivery receipt (NDR). However, instead it is becoming more common to drop all these messages into an account set up specifically for these undeliverable messages. When spammers send spam, one technique is to try to guess email account names. The result is that many times the catchall account has many copies of a particular spam message.


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