OT: spammers are using my domain again

Trevor Smith trevor at haligonian.com
Fri Oct 8 18:45:38 UTC 2004


On October 8, 2004 10:28 am, Thomas Zehetbauer wrote:
> If I understand this correctly you have a domain and your web hoster
> runs a smtp relay. That's fine, just list your hoster's smtp in the SPF
> record.

OK, I don't understand how to implement your suggestions so I'll first just 
verify that I have been clear about my situation.

My domain, haligonian.com, is likely what is called a "vanity domain". It was 
originally a business domain name but I do little business these days. I am 
the only user with any access to email addresses at haligonian.com. I do not 
host the domain; I pay a small company in Quebec, Canada to host it. They 
provide for me mail and web servers.

My ISP is a local company, Aliant, which is the telco in Nova Scotia, New 
Brunswick, PEI and Newfoundland, Canada. They are a large-ish company. They 
are the people that connect me to the Internet at home. When I'm at home, and 
I try to send mail through my haligonian.com smtp server (hosted in Quebec, 
remember), I can not succeed (can't recall the error and I'm not home now). 
The only mail server I can get through to is Aliant's.

When I'm at school, my "ISP" is the university I attend (Dalhousie). When 
there, I can send through my haligonian.com smtp server.

So, if I understand SPF correctly (and I may not), the procedure is to list 
the (IP) addresses of machines that may be running SMTP servers through which 
I may ever legitimately send an email. These include "my own" server (which I 
use when I'm at school) -- no problem there since my mail/web hosting 
provider certainly knows and can keep track of the address of the smtp server 
it runs for me -- AND any and all SMTP servers that my telco (when I'm at 
home) might run and allow me to use. Now, I have no idea how many of those 
servers there are or  what their addresses are. Certainly I have no hope of 
getting the telco to report that information whenever it might change to 
either me or my web/mail hosting company so that my web/mail hosting company 
can update their SPF records accordingly.

I don't see how the SPF process could work for me, unless I misunderstand the 
process which, again, is admittedly possible.

UNLESS -- SPF only needs simple records (not IP addresses) like:

mail.haligonian.com
smtp1.ns.sympatico.ca

which may change over time, but not often and since there are only 2, I could 
manage the reporting of such changes to my hosting provider (assuming I 
convinced them to set up SPF).

So I guess my question is, which scenario is it? Should I pester my hoster or 
not? And what about the reports that Microsoft's patents (pending) make the 
whole system suspect?

-- 
Trevor Smith // trevor at haligonian.com




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