In article <e8bfafc4-7ad0-4fb1-b5af-898838291...@billmail.scconsult.com> you 
write:
>To me that this smells of mis-using SMTP as an authentication backend. Badly.

No, it's probably some bug that makes it think that it has a message
to send but it fails and keeps retrying.

Once upon a time, I though it would be fun to have a content farm, so I set one
up which you can find here:   

http://start.web.sp.am/

You will quickly see that it it has a very large number of very
similar pages that link to each other like crazy, in the content
farm tradition.

I set it up, added a few links to it from other places so search
engines could find it, and forgot about it for a while.  One day I
noticed my server was kind of slow, with a very heavy load on Apache.
A quick look at the logs showed that while most search engines fetched
a page every minute or so, Bing thought my content farm was
fascinating and was hammering on my poor little server as hard as it
could.

I mentioned this to an acquaintance at Microsoft who told me that
although he could not discuss Microsoft's internal operations, he sure
heard some loud and excited conversation from down the hall.  After
another hour or so, Bing stopped visiting.

So anyway, this sort of bug is not unprecedented, and I would credit the
AUTH hammering to screwups rather than evil.

R's,
John

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