whitelisting mailing lists with dccproc

Brian J. Murrell dcc-list@interlinx.bc.ca
Tue Sep 11 19:48:04 UTC 2001

On Tue, Sep 11, 2001 at 12:53:04PM -0600, Vernon Schryver wrote:
> That's what I think the DCC does best, determine "bulkness" and not spam.


> It is possible in theory to use only certified spam traps and detect
> spam with the DCC, but I've doubts about keeping the traps sufficiently
> secret to make that work in practice.

Really?  I have spamtraps that have been fed for years now.  How do
you think the spammers would "find them out"?

> DCC clients only send checksums.  If you have even the slightest
> doubt about that, and even if you have not doubts, you should
> check the source to see that it is true.

That is true.  But I trust you Vernon.  :-)  And I don't see it as a
big deal anyway even though I am a privacy zealot.

> The words in a message are not the only private things that one 
> might want to shield.  The fact that something was said can matter.

Yeah, well, if I was in espionage, maybe I would care.  :-)

> That's what I meant, provided they are trusted to never be spam.

Right.  ISPs should be DCCing customers mail (in most cases).  And be
honest about it!

> However, what if you are running a large ISP with 100,000 customers?
> Then it might make sense to run local mail past a DCC server to detect
> unexpectedly bulky local senders.

Just what I was thinking -- and saying above.

> You are correct that the DCC server only hears about checksums, and
> cryptographically secure checksums at that.  

I think that is good enough for 99% of the population.  I would think
that anyone concerned about flows being tracked (to whatever degree
DCC can track them) would not be terribly concerned about spam.  I
would think they have bigger things to worry about.

> No, the DCC ***NEVER*** sends text.

What is what I thought.  I am glad to know I was right.

> However, you could feed a message that you bgates@microsoft.com might
> have sent to `dccproc -Q` or `dccproc -QC`.  If you get non-zero
> answers, then you know that messages with the checksums of your test
> have been seen.  You can't know from that test whether a single message
> contained both "From: bgates@microsoft.com" and "Subject: screw
> netscape", but only that those checksums have been seen among 1 or
> more messages.  If you are running DCC server, can use `dblist -v` to
> ask about messages with both a given From and subject.  For example, you
> could look a database for a record like this one:
>   09/11/01 11:55:02.876352    4        auth 101                  316518
>    *IP           ok         e475b896 492c60fc efecb432 6e29e3c5   31644c 12c72
>    *env_From     ok         908fa2ba aa84d686 418ea742 e74ab030   31644c 1066f
>     From         26         43e0e286 cad55550 08e0cff2 82a3a0d0   31644c 8158
>     Subject      158        ac0f825d 6c6566fd 48b3c035 da6c1ab3   31644c 12e6b
>     Message-ID   7          63c39712 21a78109 2e7bcf7d 515924f9   31644c 7e99
>     Received     7          548779af 4a00c062 75987db9 3c264f79   31644c 7f03
>     Body         6          bae52a62 f03dc879 eea0d648 8a18a09c   31644c 2083
>     Fuz1         6          f1704633 0df0aed5 b19eaff5 43c4f6a2   31644c 118d2
> If you feed your message through `dccproc -QC` or `cdcc pck body`,
> you'll find that it's Fuz1 checksum was f1704633 0df0aed5 b19eaff5 43c4f6a2.
> From the records matching that key, you can know how many people
> receievd it.  Thus, the DCC database contains no text, but it does
> allow you to confirm guesses, such as about who received your message.
> That's not generally very useful, but usually neither is what is called
> "traffic analysis."  The questions that the DCC data can answer are
> a trivial subset of those that can be answered by the FBI's Carnivore
> or any other packet snooper, but they are worth worrying about.

I don't think so (worth worrying about) but that is my opinion and my


Brian J. Murrell

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