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Re: lynx-dev Redirection in E-mail headers?

From: David Woolley
Subject: Re: lynx-dev Redirection in E-mail headers?
Date: Tue, 14 Dec 1999 08:12:47 +0000 (GMT)

> Is there a convention for formatting an E-Mail message so that
> when it is opened it launches a viewer and displays a page not
> contained in the message body?  Logically, this might be

The convention is that you don't do it!  The most obvious reason
for doing this would be to reduce the email bandwidth during a
SPAM by trying to open the web site, but all automationm in email
is getting a bad name these days because of things like Mellisa,
and, personally, I would have done my best to inhibit such features in
any MUA I used even before Mellissa.

There are proper ways of indicating remote content in MIME, but I doubt
that many commercial MUAs honour them.  However, the most common method
is probably HTML email, which itself is a bad thing, and for which there
are Microsoft security patches to inhibit some of this sort of automation.
If you want to do things the proper MIME way, you need to read the
RFCs (or get on one of the IETF mailing lists, where new draft RFCs
are announced using this feature, even though there is no automation
on the MUAs that I use).

Note that such email sent to a mass mailing list could be used as a
denial of service attack on a third party web site, as could using
the same mechanism used on USENET.

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