Automatic reply to bad e-mail addresses?

Automatic reply to bad e-mail addresses?

Post by Rick Matthe » Sun, 15 Jun 2003 12:30:53



I have just set up my first Linux server.  I am doing mail forwarding
for a few addresses, so that our staff can give out addresses of the

I would like an autoreply on any bad address in incoming mail that
directs the sender to a web page with a directory of e-mail addresses.

Is there a reasonably straightforward way?

If not, I plan to explore setting up a "vacation" program and put up
bogus accounts for the most common bad addresses.  (We only have six
staff, so this is not as daunting as it sounds.)

Thanks.

Rick

 
 
 

Automatic reply to bad e-mail addresses?

Post by Jeremy Gra » Sun, 15 Jun 2003 13:12:41



> I have just set up my first Linux server.  I am doing mail forwarding
> for a few addresses, so that our staff can give out addresses of the

> I would like an autoreply on any bad address in incoming mail that
> directs the sender to a web page with a directory of e-mail addresses.

> Is there a reasonably straightforward way?

You should be able to specify a default recipient for nonexistent
addresses.  With qmail, you can specify this in .qmail-default in the
qmail alias user home directory.  Surely sendmail and postfix have a
similar setup in their alias systems.  The default recipient can then
process the message in anyway you like.  

However, do consider the effects that your autoreply will have when you
are the target of a spammer's dictionary attack or when a spammer's
spider crawls your directory.  

--
Jeremy A. Gray

"Remember the Pueblo." -- the Fourth Law of Marvin

 
 
 

Automatic reply to bad e-mail addresses?

Post by Gary G. Taylo » Sun, 15 Jun 2003 13:48:58



> You should be able to specify a default recipient for nonexistent
> addresses.

How about /dev/null?
--
Gary G. Taylor * Rialto, CA
gary at cdfound dot org / http:// geetee dot cdfound dot org
"The two most abundant things in the universe
are hydrogen and stupidity." --Harlan Ellison
 
 
 

Automatic reply to bad e-mail addresses?

Post by ynotsso » Sun, 15 Jun 2003 17:21:31




Quote:>> You should be able to specify a default recipient for nonexistent
>> addresses.

> How about /dev/null?

That's a very trivial matter to do so, but why would anyone want to
configure the service so that spammers can flood the bandwidth as you're
suggesting?

One would still be accepting all spam, but just dumping it in the bit
bucket.

A ridiculous thing to do unless one has "unlimited" bandwidth, and even then
as well.

        tony

--
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Automatic reply to bad e-mail addresses?

Post by ynotsso » Sun, 15 Jun 2003 17:30:17



> I have just set up my first Linux server.  I am doing mail forwarding
> for a few addresses, so that our staff can give out addresses of the

> I would like an autoreply on any bad address in incoming mail that
> directs the sender to a web page with a directory of e-mail addresses.

> Is there a reasonably straightforward way?

> If not, I plan to explore setting up a "vacation" program and put up
> bogus accounts for the most common bad addresses.  (We only have six
> staff, so this is not as daunting as it sounds.)

It's a simple thing to do in sendmail with a line in the sendmail.mc file
such as:

     define(`LUSER_RELAY',`local:_special_acount_name')dnl

and then configuring the vacation service for _special_acount_name.

But one would be cRaZy to do so, as it would give out your valid email
addresses to any spammer who cared to parse the URL you provide, who would
then sell that info to the spam address databases, etc.

CrAzY.

        tony

--
use hotmail com for any email replies

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Automatic reply to bad e-mail addresses?

Post by Rick Matthe » Mon, 16 Jun 2003 00:26:56





> > I have just set up my first Linux server.  I am doing mail forwarding
> > for a few addresses, so that our staff can give out addresses of the

> > I would like an autoreply on any bad address in incoming mail that
> > directs the sender to a web page with a directory of e-mail addresses.

> It's a simple thing to do in sendmail with a line in the sendmail.mc file
> such as:

>      define(`LUSER_RELAY',`local:_special_acount_name')dnl

> and then configuring the vacation service for _special_acount_name.

> But one would be cRaZy to do so, as it would give out your valid email
> addresses to any spammer who cared to parse the URL you provide, who would
> then sell that info to the spam address databases, etc.

> CrAzY.

>         tony

Not so crazy in our case.  The web page is already there and has been
for years.  This is a church web site, and we need to share the
e-mail addresses of all our staff. Thus we aren't divulging any
addresses that are not  already out there for plucking by spammers.

We have been hosted on a complimentary site for seven years, but
our ISP just noticed that our web site has 35,000 files and over 600 Mb.
They have tactfully asked us to cut back our size, get off, or
begin paying competitive rates.

Thus the need to set up our own web server and begin handling
our own mail forwarding.

I gather from these comments that I will need to install a
"vacation" program to do anything like what I want?  However,
if this causes a hacker attack to suck up all our bandwidth with
replies, perhaps this is a bad idea.

Rick

 
 
 

Automatic reply to bad e-mail addresses?

Post by ynotsso » Mon, 16 Jun 2003 03:50:11



Quote:> I gather from these comments that I will need to install a
> "vacation" program to do anything like what I want?  However,
> if this causes a hacker attack to suck up all our bandwidth with
> replies, perhaps this is a bad idea.

"vacation" is a stock component of every sendmail distribution.

"man vacation" will describe its usage.

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Automatic reply to bad e-mail addresses?

Post by Rick Matthe » Mon, 16 Jun 2003 06:49:02





> > I gather from these comments that I will need to install a
> > "vacation" program to do anything like what I want?  However,
> > if this causes a hacker attack to suck up all our bandwidth with
> > replies, perhaps this is a bad idea.

> "vacation" is a stock component of every sendmail distribution.

> "man vacation" will describe its usage.

I would have thought so, but:

  man -k vacation
  vacation: nothing appropriate

  which vacation
  /usr/bin/which: no vacation in /usr/local/sbin:/usr/local/bin:
       /sbin:/bin:/usr/sbin:/usr/bin:/usr/X11R6/bin:/root/bin)

I am using Redhat 9. Sendmail is installed and running.

Rick

 
 
 

Automatic reply to bad e-mail addresses?

Post by ynotsso » Mon, 16 Jun 2003 07:34:46



Quote:>> "vacation" is a stock component of every sendmail distribution.

>> "man vacation" will describe its usage.

> I would have thought so, but:

>   man -k vacation
>   vacation: nothing appropriate

>   which vacation
>   /usr/bin/which: no vacation in /usr/local/sbin:/usr/local/bin:
>        /sbin:/bin:/usr/sbin:/usr/bin:/usr/X11R6/bin:/root/bin)

> I am using Redhat 9. Sendmail is installed and running.

You probably are using a redhat RPM and *not* a sendmail distribution. I
don't know why, but Redhat wants to muck up a perfectly good program. I have
never installed the sendmail RPMs on any Redhat distro, but rather download
the source from http://www.sendmail.org then compile and configure for the
local site's needs. Never had any problems in the past 9 years with it.

Since the RPM is inadequate, you should probably follow
http://sourceforge.net/projects/vacation/ to get what you need.

        tony

--
use hotmail com for any email replies

-----= Posted via Newsfeeds.Com, Uncensored Usenet News =-----
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Automatic reply to bad e-mail addresses?

Post by Rick Matthe » Mon, 16 Jun 2003 10:36:24




> > I am using Redhat 9. Sendmail is installed and running.

> You probably are using a redhat RPM and *not* a sendmail distribution. I
> don't know why, but Redhat wants to muck up a perfectly good program. I have
> never installed the sendmail RPMs on any Redhat distro, but rather download
> the source from http://www.sendmail.org then compile and configure for the
> local site's needs. Never had any problems in the past 9 years with it.

> Since the RPM is inadequate, you should probably follow
> http://sourceforge.net/projects/vacation/ to get what you need.

>         tony

Thanks.  Will do.

Rick

 
 
 

Automatic reply to bad e-mail addresses?

Post by Loren Co » Tue, 17 Jun 2003 00:25:03






>> > I have just set up my first Linux server.  I am doing mail forwarding
>> > for a few addresses, so that our staff can give out addresses of the

>[....]
> We have been hosted on a complimentary site for seven years, but
> our ISP just noticed that our web site has 35,000 files and over 600 Mb.
> They have tactfully asked us to cut back our size, get off, or
> begin paying competitive rates.

> Thus the need to set up our own web server and begin handling
> our own mail forwarding.

have you considered just hosting the website and leaving mail as is?
if size is still an issue, then change the agent behaviour to that
all mail is downloaded and deleted off the sever w/each access to
an email directory.   --Loren

- Show quoted text -

Quote:

> I gather from these comments that I will need to install a
> "vacation" program to do anything like what I want?  However,
> if this causes a hacker attack to suck up all our bandwidth with
> replies, perhaps this is a bad idea.

> Rick

 
 
 

Automatic reply to bad e-mail addresses?

Post by Rick Matthe » Tue, 17 Jun 2003 13:05:23







> >> > I have just set up my first Linux server.  I am doing mail forwarding
> >> > for a few addresses, so that our staff can give out addresses of the

> >[....]
> > We have been hosted on a complimentary site for seven years, but
> > our ISP just noticed that our web site has 35,000 files and over 600 Mb.
> > They have tactfully asked us to cut back our size, get off, or
> > begin paying competitive rates.

> > Thus the need to set up our own web server and begin handling
> > our own mail forwarding.

> have you considered just hosting the website and leaving mail as is?
> if size is still an issue, then change the agent behaviour to that
> all mail is downloaded and deleted off the sever w/each access to
> an email directory.   --Loren

Please forgive the naive nature of these questions.  I appreciate
everyone's patience.

I had thought that when we redirected mydomain.org to our own server

automatically.  That does not seem to be happening, as mail
is still going to the old ISP.  I didn't even know that was possible.

So it seems that leaving the mail forwarding with the old ISP (as you
suggested) is what is currently happening.  I thought at first it was
just a matter of DNS server caches being behind, but that seems
unlikely at this point.

Our church's Roadrunner service has more than enough e-mail addresses
for the staff, so I had just planned on doing nothing but forwarding
from my server to their Roadrunner address.  This is simple, and perhaps
it is more secure not running POP or IMAP.  I have no plans to set up POP or
IMAP. My only goal is to give each of them an address that looks like
our church domain.

Now I need to decide to ask the old ISP (who is still providing
nameserver service for our domain) whether to direct mail to us
along with other traffic.  The one advantage I see is ease
of setting up new forwarding addresses whenever I like.
Advice?

Thanks again for everyone's help.  I have been a Unix user for
many years, but have done almost no system administration.  This
is my first Linux experience.  But, I am going to be getting a lot
more over the next few months.

Rick

 
 
 

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