This Space for Rent

Ahh, Microsoft, you continually redefine the meaning of customer support

We get a steady stream of nigerian 419 letters from hotmail, and keep bouncing them back to the abuse desk there. Every time we bounce some spam, we get a little form "we've gotten your letter" message from their luser desk, and occasionally we get a hilariously wrong personal message from their helpdesk, but never a "we've gotten rid of a spammer; thanks for the note."

We actually have friends who use hotmail, so we can't really bung that service into the blacklist (and, to be honest, they're not that bad; the amount of spam coming off hotmail is only about 3 things a week, and this doesn't even compare to the thousands of attempts coming from compromised dial-up accounts. But sometimes, well, the thought of just bunging the entire network into the firewall is almost irresistable. Sometimes, like, um, today, which started with the best getting a 419 letter with the following headers

From Sat Feb 12 08:29:34 2005
Received: from (
          (MAIL FROM:<>)
          by (TFMTKAYTFO)
          for |/usr/local/bin/procmail (qid 00069d7); Sat, 12 Feb 2005 08:29:34
Received: from mail pickup service by with Microsoft SMTPSVC;
         Sat, 12 Feb 2005 05:41:00 -0800
Received: from by with HTTP;
        Sat, 12 Feb 2005 13:40:41 GMT
X-Originating-IP: []
X-Originating-Email: []
From: "hariet booker" <>
Subject: UK N.L Information Service
Date: Sat, 12 Feb 2005 13:40:41 +0000
Mime-Version: 1.0
Content-Type: text/plain; format=flowed
X-OriginalArrivalTime: 12 Feb 2005 13:41:00.0763 (UTC) FILETIME=[7D2FEAB0:01C511
Status: RO
Content-Length: 2632
Lines: 53

As usual, I didn't pay attention to any headers except for the first Received:; after confirming that this hotmail address is actually a hotmail address (and not some spammer playing fun games with reverse allocations), I sent off my usual this nigerian 419 spam either originated on or was relayed through your domain; please deal with it letter.

A few minutes later, I got back a letter that redefines unresponsive:

This is an auto-generated response designed to answer your question as quickly
+as possible. Please note that you will not receive a reply if you respond
+directly to this message.
Unfortunately, we cannot take action on the mail you sent us because it does not
+reference a Hotmail account. Please send us another message that contains the
+full Hotmail e-mail address and the full e-mail message to:

Note that the original message came from an IP address that is assigned to Microsoft, and, furthermore, that the abuse account at Microsoft is But, because the From: address isn't, the minimum wage slaves who "process" abuse requests get stuck and are unable to do anything else.

Idiots. Absolute idiots. The next spam from hotmail is going to get the whole domain firewalled off, and I'll just give mail accounts to our friends who are haven't been given gm**l invites.