E-mail bombing is nothing more than nuisance material. The cure is generally a kill file or an exclusionary scheme. An exclusionary scheme is where you bar entry of packets received from the source address.
If you maintain a site and malicious users from the void start bombing you, contact their postmaster. This is usually quite effective; the user will be counselled that this behaviour is unnecessary and that it will not be tolerated. In most cases, this proves to be a sufficient deterrent. (Some providers are even harsh enough to terminate the account then and there.) However, if you are faced with a more difficult situation (for example, the ISP couldn’t care less if its users bombed the Internet collectively), you might have to take more aggressive measures.
One such measure is to block traffic from the originating network at the router level. (There are various packet-filtering techniques that you can apply.) However, if this doesn’t suit your needs (or your temperament), there are other, more proactive solutions. One fine technique that’s guaranteed to work is this: Fashion a script that catches the offending e-mail address each time it connects to your mail server. For each such connection request, terminate the connection and auto respond with a polite, 10-page advisory on how such attacks violate acceptable use policies and that, under certain circumstances, they may violate the law. After the offending party has received 1,000 or so returns of this nature, his previously unconcerned provider will bring the offender onto the carpet and promptly chop off his fingers.
Flash bombs & war scripts
Flash utilities (also referred to as flash bombs) belong to a class of munitions that are used on Internet Relay Chat (IRC). IRC is the last free frontier because it is spontaneous and uncontrollable. It consists of people chatting endlessly, from virtual channel to virtual channel. There is no time for advertisements, really, and even if you tried to push your product there, you would likely be blown off the channel before you had a chance to say much of anything.
In this respect, IRC is different from any other networked service on the Internet. IRC is grass roots and revolutionary Internet at its best (and worst), and with all likelihood, it will remain that way forever.
IRC was developed in Finland in the late 1980s. Some suggest that its purpose was to replace other networking tools of a similar ilk (for example, the talk service in UNIX). Talk is a system whereby two individuals can communicate on text-based terminals. The screens of both users split into two parts, one for received text and one for sent text. In this respect, talk operates a lot like a direct link between machines using any of the popular communications packages available on the market (Qmodem and ProComm Plus are good examples). The major difference is that talk occurs over the Internet; the connection is bound by e-mail address. For example, to converse with another party via talk, you issue a command as follows:
This causes the local talk program to contact the remote talk daemon. If the person is available (and hasn’t disabled incoming connections via talk), the screen soon splits and the conversation begins.
IRC differs from talk in that many people can converse at the same time. This was a major innovation, and IRC chatting has become one of the most popular methods of communication on the Net.