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Re: Unusual spam recently - hummm - postprocess

On Thu, Jun 03, 2004 at 05:29:25PM -0700, Rick Moen wrote:
Earlier, I mentioned (to summarise and review) that I take care to have
my MTA reject mail it considers inherently objectionable on various
grounds, as a superior alternative to performing such processing after
acceptance.  (Among other things, it allows my system to say "no"
without being guilty of generating bogus bounces to forged addresses.)

Mr. Stone then opined that he saw no advantage because an upstream MTA
might (e.g., if it was a relay) react to my 55X Reject by issuing a
bogus bounce of its own.

The end result is the same in a lot of cases. The point is that you
shouldn't take a holier-than-thou attitude about when people should send
bounces. In the case of viruses, when it's unequivocal that a message is
garbage you should just drop it on the floor. If you're going to take
any kind of action to reject the message, OTOH, you've got the
possibility of a bounce going to the wrong person. That's life until
there's a system in place for validating envelope addresses. SPF may or
may not be that way in the future. At the moment it is not.

I've heard this sort of comment before from people who really ought to
know better, and who actually _do_ understand the concept of local
responsibility.  Maybe they're bored and are trolling; it's difficult to
say.  Or maybe they're just following the ever-popular philosophy of
post first, think later.

To spell it out, I'm responsible for making sure _my_ MTA isn't
misbehaving.  I'm not responsible for _your_ MTA misbehaving.

It's not misbehaving to generate a bounce message. Glad I could clear
that up.

Mike Stone

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