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All the Perl that's Practical to Extract and Report
Tuesday March 02, 2004
nms users continue to provide a great amount of amusement for me. The current trend seems to be to confuse the nms developers with their ISP.
Yesterday I got an email from someone asking me to change the passwords on their web site - "We need to change the password again because far too many people have the password and strange things keep happening to my website". Of course they included the current username and password in the email for good measure.
Today I got an email that said that I had sent them an email about "extensions with mail in them that may not work". The sender didn't understand what I meant and asked for clarification. I replied saying that I hadn't sent them an email and asking them to forward it to me with headers.
This afternoon they sent me the text of the email (without headers). It's a pretty standard ISP email pointing out the problems with most formmail scripts and recommending nms as a replacement. There's a link to the nms site, but I don't know why they think that it came from me. Here's part of what I've just said in my reply. I should probably put it on the nms site somewhere and call it "Formmail Scripts for the Hard of Understanding".
- Many people have forms on their web sites where a visitor can fill in some details and the data is emailed to the owner of the site. The software that collects the data and sends the email is called a "formmail script".
- There are a large number of these "formmail scripts" available for free on the internet. Many of them are very insecure. In some cases these scripts allow bad people to send whatever emails they want to whoever they want and the email will be traced back to your web server. This is obviously a bad idea.
- A couple of years ago, some friends and I wrote a formmail script which replaces many of these badly written existing scripts. Our script does not allow unwanted emails to be sent. Many ISPs and web hosting companies have been recommending that their customers switch to using our scripts.
- It sounds like your web hosting company have decided to make that recommendation, which is why they sent you that email.
- If you don't use a formmail script on your web site, then you can
safely ignore the email. If you use a formmail script then you should follow the recommendations in the email and install our script as a replacement.
- If you don't understand any of this, then you should pass the information on to whoever built your web site.
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