[thelist] Recommended use of HTTP_REFERER?

John.Brooking at sappi.com John.Brooking at sappi.com
Mon Oct 27 11:44:15 CST 2003

Simon graciously replied:
>Require the user to be logged in, using cookies or whatever your 
>favourite authentication method is. For many scripts (such as a form 
>feedback script) it doesn't make sense to require user logins. In that 
>case, just make sure the scripts can't do anything harmful (like send 
>emails to any email address).

That's exactly why I asked, to find out the recommended way of implementing
a contact form. I had read that earlier Perl scripts, like FormMail.pl from
Matt's Script Archive [1], were not to be used due to security holes which
allowed spamming. Given Simon's good hint about just make sure it can only
send to certain addresses, I initially started writing my own script to
include this limitation (without requiring a login).

However, I soon realized that maybe I ought to check to see if some of these
old scripts had been updated to be more secure. Sure enough, the newer
versions (starting with 1.91) of FormMail.pl claim to have closed "the worst
problems that have been made public in: [2] It does this by limiting
destination addresses to either certain domains or an actual list of allowed

Does anyone have any experience with FormMail.pl 1.91 or 1.92 (the latest)
and can recommend it to me, or not?

- John
[1] http://www.scriptarchive.com/index.html
[2] http://www.monkeys.com/anti-spam/formmail-advisory.pdf

P.S. to Points South: I'm CC'ing you because this relates to the question I
asked recently (to which I haven't gotten an answer) about if you recommend
any particular contact form email script. In all probability, I will install
and use FormMail.pl 1.92 for my commercial domain, barring any negative
responses to this message.


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