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Boxtrapper procedure NOT CLEAR - Please Clarify

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by DogTags, Nov 7, 2004.

  1. DogTags

    DogTags Active Member

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    Boxtrapper procedure - Needs Clarification

    Hi All

    How does Boxtrapper work?

    1. email sent to boxtrapper-protected address
    2. verification challenge sent to original email sender
    3. original email sender manually verifies email by replying to challenge
    4a. boxtrapper sends verification acknowledgement to original sender
    4b. ????? this is where is becomes unclear - (1) once an email is manually verified by system, shouldn't the original email then be sent to the intended email recipient? It doesn't do this for us. (2) Shouldn't the original email sender's email address be automatically be added to the good-guy list? That doesn't happen. (3) Shouldn't further email from the original sender's email address now go through unimpeded? Nope, you guessed it, that's not what happens. Instead, the original sender gets another verification challenge.

    Also, what is the storage thing? Like, how many days should the email be stored, or something like that.

    This seems like it would be a nice system, but it's confusing and incomplete.

    If there are any boxtrapper users who wouldn't mind explaining this system, please help us understand this thing. We've been banging away at it, but there just isn't much out there on this that we can find.

    Thanks for any help :)
     
    #1 DogTags, Nov 7, 2004
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2004
  2. danimal

    danimal Well-Known Member

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    Here's my understanding

    DogTags,

    I just started using BoxTrapper and am mostly pleased with it. It is clearly a work in progress as some very obvious things are broken or missing, but overall, it is doing what I needed: pretty much eliminating spam with minimal additional work.

    Here's the way it works:

    BoxTrapper works like a lot of opt-in spam solutions (TDMA is another big one). The idea is:

    a) it is enabled for a particular email account (happy@spamfree.com, for example)
    b) that account can manually create whitelists, blacklists and ignorelists (explained later)
    c) if an email comes through that doesn't match any list (let's say from newuser@somewhere.com), that email is sent to an internal queue. BoxTrapper then sends a "you need to prove you are a human" email back to the address it came from (i.e. newuser@somewhere.com). If newuser@somewhere.com replies to the "prove" email, then BoxTrapper releases the original email which goes into happy@spamfree.com's normal inbox. BoxTrapper also adds a "from newuser@somewhere.com" to happy's whitelist, allowing future emails to go right through and directly to happy's inbox.

    Step C is totally transparent to happy@spamfree.com. That is to say, an email may suddenly show up in your inbox that wasn't on your whitelist (or other list) because the sender manually replied to the verify email.

    d) if an email comes through that matches the ignorelist, then BoxTrapper just deletes the email. Nothing further happens. Happy doesn't get notified (except that a line is written in the Log file), and the sender doesn't get notified. This is probably the best list to put most spammers, since it just drops them.

    e) if an email comes through that matches the blacklist, then BoxTrapper deletes the email but also sends back to the sender a "we don't like you. Go away!" type email.


    So, when it is working, the above works pretty well. As a user, the only things you need to do are:
    1) periodically go through the queue. If there are emails that you want to get and should be getting, you can release them manually to your inbox and optionally add them to the whitelist. Or, if there are lots of similar spams, you can delete them and add them to the ignorelist or blacklist.

    2) some spam may come through to your inbox because (a) the spammer actually replied to the "are you a human?" verification email or (b) BoxTrapper let it through due to a bug. In either case, you can manually update your whitelist, removing the address (if there) as well as optionally add the address to your ignorelist or blacklist.

    The "storage" parameter that you are referring to is how long messages should be kept in the queue. If you set it to 30, then after 30 days, messages will just be deleted by BoxTrapper. This way, your queue doesn't grow too big. I'd set it to whatever boundary you are comfortable checking on. I.e. if you are like me and basically live on your computer, than 1 week is more than enough, since I check the queue almost daily. If you are more like my wife where you only sometimes check email and hardly even think to check the queue, than 30-60 days might be better.

    Anyway, that's how it works. If it's not doing that, then it's broken for you. Either it's not configured right or you have a (more) broken version or something. There are still issues that I'm having with the system (I'm about to post about it elsewhere), but it certainly is a nice add-on. I would have much rather had TDMA, which is much more powerful and flexible, but is waaaaay more complex and not integrated with cPanel or the end-user webmail system (big big advantage to BoxTrapper).

    Enjoy!

    -Danimal :cool:
     
  3. DogTags

    DogTags Active Member

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    Thanks for your very nice explanation above :)

    Yeah, the dang thing ain't working right. It's not releasing mail that has just gone through the approval process. The approved mail just sits there and then gets deleted even though the whole validation routine has been done.

    Cheers :)
     
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