[PATCH 1 of 1] docs/overview.txt: Provide short mercurial HOWTO

Yann E. MORIN yann.morin.1998@anciens.enib.fr
Fri May 21 22:50:00 GMT 2010


On Saturday 22 May 2010 00:08:41 Titus von Boxberg wrote:
> When I execute the hg email command, ancien.enib.fr sometimes bounces
> the mail to you with 554 informing me that my patches are spam.
> At least it did not like the first Mac OS patch series.
> Really a smart MX host ;-)

Not so smart, I'm afraid.

This machine was set-up about 12 years ago, early 1998. It was supposed to
serve as a mail-relay for the former students of the school, and was
administered by some of them, on a voluntary basis.

The machine was working very well, and SPAM were not that common in those
pre-historic ages. :-]

Since then, time has passed, and the machine became known to spambots. It
suffered a very high-density attack early 2000, which ruined the school's
network for two weeks. Unfortunately, one of the admin has gone MIA, a
second one had migrated to the states, and the third and last one was on
holiday. All former students that had a mail on this machine (virtually all,
dating back to the `60s, that is... a lot of them!) got spamed beyond

The machine was then configured to:
- spam-trap with spam-assassin
- check sender against known spammers and/or open systems
- virus-scan the mails with ClamAV

Except for a HW issue and complete replacement circa 2001, all went well
for the past 10 years, without even a single admin loging in during as
long as *7* years!

But then... The ClamAV version we used was discontinued upstream on 20100415,
last month, which had terrrible consequences...
- the virus DB was corrupted on april 17th, when it was automatically
  updated with an incompatible version
- consequently, all mails were treated as spam
- ..and stored in the "bad list" by Spam Assassin
- all sending domain were considered spammers, and blocked
- every mail got dropped to the floor without notice
- and then I noticed the silence from the outter space... :-/

It took three weeks to fix the issue, of which two to get in contact with a
former admin, who absolutely did not care, but granted me root access. After
a week trying to fix the issue in a VM (can't directly affect the machine,
it's in production for other services), I finally managed to fix up the
issue. But there still are some sending domain registered as spammers and/or
messages accidentally match against the now improper "bad list", which I don't
know how to fix...


Sorry for the long mail, but you asked! ;-P

Yann E. MORIN.

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