Hello, my name is Mike, and I’m a spammer

But wait. It’s not my fault. Really! I noticed this past Thursday that our Internet connection at home was a bit spotty. I looked at our provider‘s status page but didn’t see anything applicable. I figured that our router had gotten a little wonky which happens on occasion and resetting it did improve things. I also got quite a few bounced messages of spam. That, too, isn’t too uncommon as the sending address for spam messages are often forged so I do occasionally get bounces to spam message that I didn’t send.

Friday morning, I found that I had received thousands of bounces and that our connection was almost unusable again. I logged in from work and stopped the mail server to investigate further. It turns out, that not only was the sending address forged, someone was using my mail server to originate spam. Ugh!

I pulled out my Postfix book and was able to tighten up the sending restrictions to only allow valid sending addresses (it was previously allowing anything@peay.us). I then had to clean up the thousands of queued up messages before I could start up the mail server again.

It took the better part of the morning which I feel bad since I was at work. I suppose it counts as professional development, but I can’t help but feel a bit embarrassed that the personal mail server of a Systems Administrator was originating spam. At least it wasn’t an open relay. I do know better than that!

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