[ntp:questions] Questions from people whose return address is gmail, googlemail, Yahoo, etc.

Charles Elliott charles.elliott316 at comcast.net
Sat Sep 6 12:21:17 UTC 2014



      The questions at lists.ntp.org mail list server receives some of

the most detailed, highly technical, arcane, time-consuming-to-answer, 

and security-related questions from people whose return address is gmail.com

and other, essentially anonymizing, email addresses.  For example, early

this past summer, the list received mail from a young man who claimed to 

be in London and working on a project somehow associated with Princeton 

University, which is located in the State of New Jersey in the United 

States, and needing incredibly accurate time for some reason.  The 

domain name of his return address was gamil.com.  Doesn't that 

strike you as being somewhat improbable?  Is this the 

same man who recently narrated the beheading of two American 

Journalists in the Middle East?  How do you know it is not?

ISIS members have become incredibly adroit in using social 

Media Websites for their purposes, even thoughtfully giving the

parents of their beheading victims several days advance notice

of their son's demise.  Some day, is it going to be important to

ISIS to have accurate time to coordinate a massive strike on

the electric, railroad, or bridge infrastructure in some

Western country?  Are list members going to facilitate that?


Another example was the person, allegedly from South Africa, who was asking

detailed, technical, and arcane questions about NTP whose return email

address was neither in the whois database nor pingable.


      I propose that in the short term NTP questions list members not
respond to

inquires from people whose return address is a bulk email provider, and in
the long

run the NTP list server be made to reject email from bulk providers, such as

Yahoo, and Microsoft, and from domains that are not in the whois database or

do not respond to pings.


Charles Elliott

316 E Cambria St

Philadelphia, PA 19134-3324

(215) 425-5222


More information about the questions mailing list