E-mail with attached files appears empty to DCC

Gary Mills mills@cc.UManitoba.CA
Sun Mar 28 04:39:36 UTC 2004

On Sat, Mar 27, 2004 at 06:21:52PM -0700, Vernon Schryver wrote:
> > From: Gary Mills 
> > We've had a few complaints from professors that some of their students
> > are unable to e-mail assignments to them because of our DCC bulk mail
> > filter.  These students use one of the free e-mail services, such as
> > Hotmail or Yahoo.  They simply attach a Word file to an e-mail message
> > with an empty body, and send it, expecting it to work.
> If the attachments were in cleartext instead of encyphered in the one
> of the proprietary formats of a convicted monopolist whose purpose in
> such mail is to extend and protect the monopolist's empire, the fuzzy
> checksums would recognize them as distinct, if they are distinct.  It
> also wouldn't hurt if those professors would set good examples for
> their students by using services that are not significant contributors
> to the spam problem by hosting throw-away drop boxes.

Actually, it's the professors who use the university e-mail system.
Students arrive here already having freemail accounts, and prefer to
continue using them.  The university system is available to them, but
not all of them use it.

> Besides, are you sure those messages are not simply "bulk"?  Are you
> sure those professors are not sending bit-for-bit identical copies of
> single messages to many dozens or even hundreds of students?  If so,
> an answer might be for the professors to use reputable, white-listable
> mail systems for their bulk mailings, such as your systems.

No, it's the students who are submitting their assignments, so they
are presumably all different.

-Gary Mills-    -Unix Support-    -U of M Academic Computing and Networking-

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