If you accept email for recipients that do not exist, you must pay a toll for causing backscatter on the Internet.
Any one wanting to read or chime in, please feel free! I know all of you are e-mail admins, and you may have some thoughts on the subject as well.
I am extremely disappointed with SpamCop.net – one of the few blacklist sites that have – rather, HAD a good reputation…
Is any one else being affected by their actions of Blacklisting domains because they follow RFC822 and send NDR's when a mail is not successfully delivered?
Okay, here's the overall story – SpamCop sets up these 'HoneyPot' email addresses (whatever@xxxxxxx). SpamCop then sends e-mails out to many domains (illegitimate e-mail addresses – basically acting as spammer's themselves) and wait to see which domains send an NDR back to the 'HoneyPot' email address. If your domain follows RFC822 and sends the NDR, they blacklist the IP address of the server that sends the NDR.
Their website ( http://www.spamcop.net/fom-serve/cache/329.html#bounces) even details their stance on the issue. I have copied it below:
'Q: Why not allow bounces? They are required by RFC822!
A: Originally, SpamCop made attempts to forgive misdirected bounce messages - to reject them as evidence of spam. However, there are two factors conspiring to force us to rescind this policy. First of course, is that these misdirected messages *are* spam as we define it (Unsolicited Bulk Mail). They are objectionable to recipients and can even cause denial of service to innocent third parties. Users of our blocking service want us to stop them.'
I understand what they are trying to accomplish – to prevent NDR's from being sent to you when spammers 'spoof' your personal e-mail address. However, SpamCop is punishing domains that abide by all security standards for e-mail except for their 'rogue' approach to NDR delivery. Total BS in my opinion.
Now of course, any domain could enable LDAP authentication on incoming e-mail and block NDR's being sent when an e-mail address is sent to a non-existent e-mail address in your domain – BUT, even excluding RFC822 rules requiring NDR's on e-mails that are not successfully delivered, most organizations want to keep NDR's enabled so that senders are aware if a message is not successfully sent. I mean, if a customer sends an e-mail to our domain and misspells the SMTP address of one of our sales people – You want an NDR to go back to them so hopefully they realize their mistake.
Spamcop.net even says to use SPF for checking the e-mail origin… Well, I use SPF. But only block e-mails where the sending domain provides an SPF record and the authentication fails. I am not going to block emails coming into our domain just because a sending domain may not have SPF setup for their domain… I mean, I cant force them to provide and SPF record, even though it is recommended.
SpamCop.net users should either stop relying on their services or either use SpamCop.net in a 'weighted' approach for determining SPAM.
Any way – I had to gripe about this poor decision on SpamCop's behalf and would like to get your opinions…
Chris Wall - MCSE + Messaging
NAM Exchange Administrator
T (919) 460.3236
F (919) 468.4889
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