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Sending Bug Reports
The SpamBouncer development team needs your bug reports to fix errors in the SpamBouncer code and to help us keep up with spammers, who change tactics regularly to get ahead of (you guessed it) spam filters.
Before you contact the SpamBouncer development team for help, please collect the following information:
- Operating System and Version. Find out which flavor of Unix you are running on your server, and the version. On most Unix-based systems, you can get this information by typing uname -rs at your shell prompt. If your system is a Macintosh running OSX, you need the exact version. If your system is Windows-based, you need both the Windows version and the Cygwin version.
- Procmail Version. You can find this out by typing procmail -v at your shell prompt.
- Your .procmailrc file. Include your .procmailrc file and any auxiliary Procmail scripts it calls as MIME file attachments when contacting the development team.
- Procmail log extracts. Include extracts from your Procmail log where relevant, such as when reporting a bug that generated an error message in the log.
When sending bug reports or whitelisting requests, we often request that you include a copy of the email with complete headers, or of the complete headers. If you are unsure how to forward spam with complete headers from your email program, check out SpamCop's excellent email forwarding web page.
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Below are the four types of bug reports we want at the SpamBouncer, and how to submit each type of report. The types of reports are listed in order of urgency; bugs and false positives receive quick attention and may result in a bug-fix release, while missed spam reports or blocked spam reports provide information for the ordinary update process.
- Actual bugs. If the SpamBouncer suddenly starts forwarding all of your email to Timbuktu, generates strange errors in the logs, or otherwise behaves strangely, first check the Troubleshooting page for reports of known bugs and workarounds. If you do not see an answer there, please send a bug report to email@example.com. In your bug report, include a clear description of what you saw. Attach extracts from logfiles or email with complete headers, if appropriate.
Expect to receive email back about this type of report, either asking more questions, providing a fix, or telling you that a fixed SpamBouncer release has been or will shortly be posted. We take bugs seriously.
- False positives. If the SpamBouncer catches legitimate email, please send a false positive report to firstname.lastname@example.org. In the false positive report, briefly explain what happened. For example, if the SpamBouncer caught personal email from your mother, say, "The SpamBouncer caught personal email from my mother." If the SpamBouncer caught email from a bulk email list that you have properly whitelisted in your LEGITLISTS file, say, "The SpamBouncer blocked email from a list in my .legitlists file." Then, include the complete headers of the email that generated the false positive. (We normally do not need to see a message body for a false positive.)
You will usually receive email back about a false positive report, either providing a fix, or telling you that a fixed SpamBouncer release has been or will shortly be posted. We take false positives seriously, as well.
- Whitelisting request. The SpamBouncer supports two types of internal whitelists: whitelists of non-bulk, personal email, and whitelists of legitimate bulk email. Any SpamBouncer user can make a whitelisting request. Any company that meets the stated criteria is also free to make a whitelisting request.
NOTE: Necessary Legalese: While the SpamBouncer development team tries to maintain consistent and fair standards for whitelisting decisions, witelistings are granted at the discretion of the development team only, and may be dropped at any time for any reason. No individual or organization has the right to a whitelisting.
- Non-bulk email. If you do business with an online merchant, and would like to have that merchant's transaction emails whitelisted, send a request to email@example.com. A transaction email is an email directly associated with a specific transaction, such as a purchase of goods or services. For example, if you buy airline tickets online, the emails associated with the purchase are transaction emails and qualify for whitelisting.
In your email, state what you want to have whitelisted, and provide complete headers from the transaction emails that you would like to see whitelisted. Those headers should contain the information we need to do the whitelist. DO NOT SEND message bodies of transaction emails! We don't need that information, and it may contain sensitive private information of yours.
- Legitimate bulk email. If you subscribe to a bulk email list that you believe is widely used, and that accepts confirmed opt-in (COI) subscriptions only, you can request a legitimate bulk email whitelisting from the SpamBouncer. Before the listing is granted, the SpamBouncer development team will verify that the email list, or bulk email provider, uses COI for all subscriptions.
In your email, state which email lists or senders you want to have whitelisted. If you want specific email lists whitelisted, provide complete headers from the sign-on, info/help, and sign-off responses the list sends, as well as headers from an email sent to the list. If you want all email from a specific server or servers whitelisted, tell us about that sender, and provide the IPs of sending servers you want whitelisted.
- Missed spam. If spam landed in your inbox (the DEFAULT folder), legitimate bulk email folder (the BULKFOLDER), or admin email folder (the ADMINFOLDER), send a copy of that spam with complete headers and (if possible) unmodified message body to firstname.lastname@example.org. Do not include an explanation; none is needed. Those of you who use the Unix email programs elm or pine can simply bounce the email to the reporting address using the b command.
- Blocked spam. If you notice a large quantity of outright spam from some spammer landing in your BLOCKFOLDER instead of your SPAMFOLDER, send a copy of the spam with complete headers and (if possible) unmodified message body to email@example.com. Those of you who use the Unix email programs elm or pine can simply bounce the email to the reporting address using the b command.
NOTE: Do not send a copy of each spam that landed in your BLOCKFOLDER instead of your SPAMFOLDER. We need only one copy of each identical or nearly identical spam.
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