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Thread: How can I tell if a message was sent via FormMail?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Posts
    78

    Default How can I tell if a message was sent via FormMail?

    So, I'm currently fighting a spammer using FormMail, I think, to send spam. I currently have the FIXED_SENDER set in the FormMail script AND I have "FromAddr" set in my form.

    The spam I'm getting is going to my e-mail address and appears to be coming from the "FIXED_SENDER" e-mail address. The subject line is NOT what is configured in the form, nor are any of the form fields in the spam message that is being sent.

    So, I'm trying to figure out how I can determine if this spam is actually being sent through FormMail or not. Is there some kind of mail header or some field I can configure in the FormMail script that will identify the message as being sent from FormMail?

    Something else I've noticed is when I receive a legitimate form submission via FormMail, the "from" line is ONLY the e-mail address:

    Code:
    tomdkat@blah.com
    The spam messages I'm getting have the "from" line with broken brackets, like this:

    Code:
    tomdkat@blah.com <tomdkat@blah.com>
    How can I tell if FormMail is being used to send e-mail? I'm thinking the spammer is invoking FormMail OUTSIDE of the website form, which is why the form fields are not part of the messages being sent.

    Thanks!

    Peace...

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Posts
    2,224

    Default Re: How can I tell if a message was sent via FormMail?

    the main way u can find out whther the spam is coming from formmail is the format of the message

    if it's like this:
    name: jack smith
    address: blah blah

    that is with field name followed by field value

    I'm thinking the spammer is invoking FormMail OUTSIDE of the website form
    thats wot they usualyl do. sometimes they parse ur HTML so they know what fields to submit, but formmail will accept any valid form submission addressed to valid recipients.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Posts
    78

    Default Re: How can I tell if a message was sent via FormMail?

    Quote Originally Posted by crabtree View Post
    the main way u can find out whther the spam is coming from formmail is the format of the message

    if it's like this:
    name: jack smith
    address: blah blah

    that is with field name followed by field value
    Thanks. The thing is, NONE of the message contents have any of the form fields in them so I don't know if the e-mail addresses are simply being spoofed or if FormMail is actually being used to send the message.

    thats wot they usualyl do. sometimes they parse ur HTML so they know what fields to submit, but formmail will accept any valid form submission addressed to valid recipients.
    I would imagine if FormMail was invoked directly and not via the HTML form, the HTTP referer should NOT be the URL of the form, correct? If this is case, maybe I can define a Rewrite rule that will block access to FormMail unless the referer is the URL of the form.

    I don't know why I didn't think of this until just now. I'll give that a shot.

    Thanks!

    Peace...

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Posts
    2,224

    Default Re: How can I tell if a message was sent via FormMail?

    basically, if there are no fields in the email, then it isn't from formmail.

    referrers can be spoofed so its not helpful

    also, u will block real users whose browser don't supply referrer.

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