[aprssig] APRS message-handling algorithms / libraries

John Goerzen jgoerzen at complete.org
Sun Apr 8 16:30:24 CDT 2012

Absolutely, spam prevention is something a person has to solve before 
even beginning on a project like this.

Actually, my opinion is that with SMTP, you cannot completely solve the 
problem, so you have to engineer it out of existence as much as 
possible.  The Winlink APRSLink people did that by:

    * Requiring the APRS-side user to pre-authorize all email addresses
      allowed to send them messages
    * Permitting messages formatted in a special and uncommon way to be
      sent to the APRS-side user even if that user hadn't pre-authorized

Their first approach could still be vulnerable to spammers that are 
impersonating a particular user (such as if the user's computer is 
compromised by a bot and is sending out malicious material).

My plan with XMPP is to follow their first approach.  I do not see a 
particular need to permit bypassing the whitelist with XMPP.  XMPP has 
much stronger peer validation than does SMTP, and in fact to the extent 
that spam is even possible with XMPP, it is usually trivially controlled 
by permitting messages only from existing people on your roster - 
something that is much more commonly done in IM than in email.  The only 
remaining spam avenue would be "invite spam", but by requiring invites 
to originate on APRS, that can be completely engineered away as well.

It would be folly to claim it's 100% foolproof, but I think it is 
actually better than some of the other systems that are out there, which 
are already pretty good.

-- John

On 04/08/2012 03:25 PM, Arnie Shore wrote:
>  From an interested lurker:
> WRT SPAM detection, the protocol isn't the issue here.  It's the logic
> that's necessarily gone into smtp clients, and, presumably wd be
> needed by an XMPP client .   AS
> On 4/8/12, John Goerzen<jgoerzen at complete.org>  wrote:
>> Hi Lynn,
>> On the one hand, you raise good points; on the other hand, what I'm
>> proposing is nothing particularly new.  We already have:
>>      * PC keyboard to RF bidirectional messaging (Xastir, whatever is out
>>        there for Windows)
>>      * Bidirectional email to APRS messaging (APRSLink, other gateways)
>> So I guess I don't understand why XMPP is a concern whereas the others
>> aren't.  Honestly I think it's LESS of a concern than email, as XMPP is
>> more strongly authenticated than SMTP is, etc.  What does the iGate
>> operator do about someone on Winlink sending messages that they shouldn't?
>> -- John
>> KR0L
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