HELP Key ???

J. Landman Gay jacque at hyperactivesw.com
Thu Oct 28 14:23:08 CDT 2010


On 10/28/10 1:46 PM, Bob Sneidar wrote:
> I see that the Administrivia contains as one payload it's own spam
> mailer. It uses a long list of subject lines, and I think one of them
> is "HELP". If this is the subject line you used, or if the subject
> line contained that word, you may have triggered a false positive in
> the list's AV filter.
>

That may not be what is going on. On many text-based lists like this 
one, the word "HELP" is the standard keyword one sends to the 
adminstrative address in order to receive an auto-mailing of the 
commands available when using the list. It's a remnant of an older, 
text-based system, and two of the parrot lists I read still use it. It 
is very common for users to accidentally send the HELP command to the 
main list address instead of to the administrative (server) address. 
When that happens, all sorts of things like password requests, user 
account updates, search request terms, temporary stop requests, and 
other non-topic emails show up in the main list, to the annoyance of all 
the readers.

There is a fairly standard filter that looks for possible administrative 
requests, one of which is HELP, to see if the email was sent to the 
wrong address. If it finds any of the command words in certain 
locations, it forwards the email to moderation so that a real person can 
determine whether the email was intended as a server/account command or 
as a valid list post.

I know this is the case with the bird lists I read. I'm not sure about 
Mailman (which is what this list uses) but it makes sense.

-- 
Jacqueline Landman Gay         |     jacque at hyperactivesw.com
HyperActive Software           |     http://www.hyperactivesw.com



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