Catchall, exceptions, and wildcard processing.

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fmaxwell
Posts: 151
Joined: Sat Aug 03, 2002 9:10 am

Catchall, exceptions, and wildcard processing.

Post by fmaxwell » Mon Jun 02, 2003 10:04 am

This is a revisiting of issues that I raised last year, but I wanted to get them back on the radar screen.

Ability to Use a Catch-All and Still Bounce Selected E-mail

There should be a way to use a catchall address and have a list of "no-such-user" addresses that cause mail to bounce. This would be helpful when a person was no longer served by that mail server (e.g., Bob Smith is no longer with the firm) and you wanted to provide a bounce for their specific address. If you want to do this now, you can't have a catchall. If you do have a catch-all, then e-mail to Bob Smith's old address won't bounce and the postmaster (or whoever handles the catch-all) sees e-mail from Bob Smith's proctologist saying it's time for Bob's annual exam.

Wildcard Processing for Mailboxes

Wildcard processing does not work logically for mailboxes:
I believe that wildcard processing should work as follows:

Step 1: Check if unambiguous address is assigned to a mailbox. In other words, if mail comes for popcornsales@mydomain.com, MailEnable should look for a specific entry of popcornsales@mydomain.com in each mailbox.

Step 2: Check if there are wildcard matches that are not a catchall. For example, if mail comes in to "webmaster@mydomain.com", it would be routed to a mailbox for which "*master@mydomain.com" exists as an entry.

Step 3: Check for catch-all entry. If one exists, accept the e-mail, otherwise reject it.

I think that users would need to be cautioned that, if there were overlapping wildcards, that would go multiple recipients. For example, suppose you had mailbox entries for new*sales@mydomain.com, new*@mydomain.com, and *sales@mydomain.com. If an e-mail was addressed to "newcarsales@mydomain.com", it would go to all three.

Given the CPU horsepower which is now readily available, that level of processing to handle the wildcard processing would pose no significant performance penalty to MailEnable. To demonstrate that, I went to a directory on my hard drive that had 13,447 files. At the command prompt, I typed "dir *mon*.*" and 188 files were listed as fast as the screen could scroll (a blink of an eye) and that's with a CPU that's worth all of about $60U.S. brand new (an Athlon XP1700+).

json
Posts: 227
Joined: Sun Aug 24, 2003 6:56 pm
Location: Denmark

Post by json » Fri Sep 26, 2003 2:07 pm

Bump that.

I've got exactly this problem, I've closed an account (because of the amount of spam I got), but there's no way I can close the account for real, then the catchall account on the same domain would get the spam..!!

Please implement a way to create a "catchall - except" ....

best regards,
J.

cassius
Posts: 338
Joined: Tue Mar 11, 2003 2:29 pm
Location: Indianapolis, IN

Post by cassius » Fri Sep 26, 2003 6:13 pm

You can, guys. This is what I said when you first brought it up, I guess you didn't listen (unless I'm thinking about somebody else).

Enable your catchall.
Create a special account for the exceptions (say, nospam@yourdomain.com or something).
Add whatever e-mail addresses you want disabled to that account.
Make the disk space quota for the account 1kb.

The first message that comes in to any of those addresses will go in that account.
Every message after that addressed to your exception list will get bounced back to the sender, because the account is over its quota.
Your catchall still works for everything else.

Huzzah

json
Posts: 227
Joined: Sun Aug 24, 2003 6:56 pm
Location: Denmark

Post by json » Fri Sep 26, 2003 7:03 pm

I don't want it bounced back (I'm already doing that), I want the mail server to deny that the e-mail address exists. Most spammers don't care whether the messages are bounced or not (I guess), and the messages that I bounce now often return with a "none existing address", and end up in my POSTMASTER inbox.

regards,
J.

ba
Posts: 3
Joined: Wed Oct 15, 2003 12:43 pm

Post by ba » Thu Oct 16, 2003 3:37 am

It would be really nice to be able to send wildcards to different accounts. For example, we have our bounce address as bounce_132_213@domain.com.

This represents a different databaseID, client, etc that we host for. Without the ability to do bounce*@domain.com, our only option is to send all mail there with the catchall: *@domain.com which sucks because we have to process it all.

If there is a way i am missing to do this please someone point it out. Thanks.

Guest

Post by Guest » Tue Nov 11, 2003 1:37 pm

json wrote:I don't want it bounced back (I'm already doing that), I want the mail server to deny that the e-mail address exists. Most spammers don't care whether the messages are bounced or not (I guess), and the messages that I bounce now often return with a "none existing address", and end up in my POSTMASTER inbox.

regards,
J.
Yeah - ME needs to implement a way to block recipient addresses at the SMTP level. Searching the forum, I see lots of people have been asking for this feature. The ME folks have supposedly been working on it for almost a year now. See http://forum.mailenable.com/viewtopic.php?t=916

json
Posts: 227
Joined: Sun Aug 24, 2003 6:56 pm
Location: Denmark

Post by json » Wed Nov 19, 2003 7:29 am

Not much info coming from them at the moment..!!

regards,
J.

David Payer

Re: Catchall, exceptions, and wildcard processing.

Post by David Payer » Thu Nov 20, 2003 2:02 pm

fmaxwell wrote: RE: wildcard
text*@domain.tld does not work.
Example: If one creates an entry of repair*@mydomain.com, e-mail addressed to repairbed@mydomain.com, repairsofa@mydomain.com, and repairtable@mydomain.com are either rejected (if there is no catch-all) or routed to the catch-all (if there is one).
Oh great. Just what I want: all the mail to Johnson@domain, halvorson@domain , swenson@domain all go to the same box. That is a disaster waiting to happen.

If you want this kind of functionality, I would suggest catching everything in a catchall and then do a special processing program that is customized.
This is a function that would only be used by a specialized company and if it isa requirement for them, they can afford the special programming. I would rather have fixes than this kind of functionality.

David P

ba
Posts: 3
Joined: Wed Oct 15, 2003 12:43 pm

Post by ba » Thu Nov 20, 2003 2:14 pm

Um wildcard processing is not an abstract idea that organizations do not find valuable.

It is extremely valuable and we have a need for it as well.

Fixes are of course nice also... ;)

David Payer

wildcards

Post by David Payer » Tue Nov 25, 2003 5:00 pm

ba wrote:Um wildcard processing is not an abstract idea that organizations do not find valuable.

It is extremely valuable and we have a need for it as well.

Fixes are of course nice also... ;)
I agree, it could be extremely useful. Since it would be useful (to some) it would be a good add-on package for someone to develop and sell. Then those who would use it could buy it.

Maybe you could put a poll up and see how popular it would be with most people here. I do agree it would be very nice, but outside the realm of a general purpose mail server.

I have seen programs that do mail processing well. Here is one for $795 http://www.deskpro.com/

David P

Sypher

ditto

Post by Sypher » Tue Nov 25, 2003 5:06 pm

This is exactly the functionality that I am looking for as well. I currently am able to do a catch-all with specific refused addresses under Linux with Exim, but I really want to be able to move my mail server to my Windows box and use ME. I used ME for a while a year ago, but had to switch because of the lack of this functionality.

I would even be willing to pay for this feature if it were only in the Professional and Enterprise versions. *hint* *hint*

:)

Guest

Re: Catchall, exceptions, and wildcard processing.

Post by Guest » Sat Nov 29, 2003 2:04 am

David Payer wrote:Oh great. Just what I want: all the mail to Johnson@domain, halvorson@domain , swenson@domain all go to the same box. That is a disaster waiting to happen.
Maybe after you've got some more experience running a mail server, you will understand the value of wildcarding.

I have a spam-trap on my web page for the spammers to harvest from. It generates an e-mail address that includes the date, time, and IP address of the harvest. All of that e-mail goes to an address at honeypot.mydomain. Any mail sent there I want to forward to the abuse mailbox so that I can send complaints, thus *@honeypot.mydomain makes perfect sense.

I give out custom addresses that are prefaced with an underscore. Examples:

_amazon@mydomain
_microsoft@mydomain
_yahoo@mydomain

Each one of those addresses was only given to one sender. If I start getting spam at _yahoo@mydomain, I know that Yahoo sold my e-mail address to spammers and I can then kill that address and take appropriate action against Yahoo. I want to receive e-mail to those addresses and I want to send it all to a single mailbox. How is that a "disaster waiting to happen"?

How about the small business that wants to look large and pipe all mail addressed to *sales to one recipient? Thus their one sales guy could get mail for routersales@domain, cablesales@domain, pcsales@domain, and printersales@domain. With a wildcard of *sales@domain, the webmaster could create mailto links without having to coordinate the creation of individual addresses in the mail server.

Don't assume that there is no widespread need for wildcarding just because your mail server needs are rather simplistic.

Guest

Post by Guest » Sat Nov 29, 2003 2:09 am

cassius wrote:You can, guys. This is what I said when you first brought it up, I guess you didn't listen (unless I'm thinking about somebody else).
Apparently you're the one who does not listen. I don't want to tell the spammer that the mailbox is full. I want to tell the spammer that there is no such address.
Enable your catchall.
Create a special account for the exceptions (say, nospam@yourdomain.com or something).
Add whatever e-mail addresses you want disabled to that account.
Make the disk space quota for the account 1kb.

The first message that comes in to any of those addresses will go in that account.
Every message after that addressed to your exception list will get bounced back to the sender, because the account is over its quota.
Your catchall still works for everything else.

Huzzah
That's a great way to tell a spammer You've got a live e-mail address. Keep trying to get mail through to it.

David Payer

Re: Catchall, exceptions, and wildcard processing.

Post by David Payer » Sat Dec 27, 2003 3:01 pm

[quote
Don't assume that there is no widespread need for wildcarding just because your mail server needs are rather simplistic.[/quote]

My needs are different from yours, it is true. I have been running mail servers in an ISP environment since 1995.

Your needs though valid are not common. If you are looking for a solution for this specific problem, it may be wise to look outside the realm of a $195 mail server, this is my point. Do some specific programing for YOUR needs. I venture that 90% of those here would find that functionality something they would not use. At the same time, I have mentioned things that can be used as pre-processors for mail. Your needs are specific and go beyond what a standard mail server typically offer. It is ok to ask for the world but then expect the price to go up. My goal is to have good functionality at a low price. I will add other features with add-ons provided by others.

David P

fmaxwell
Posts: 151
Joined: Sat Aug 03, 2002 9:10 am

Re: Catchall, exceptions, and wildcard processing.

Post by fmaxwell » Mon Jan 12, 2004 2:09 am

David Payer wrote:Your needs though valid are not common.
They aren't just my needs and those needs are quite common. They are the needs of countless people all over the net who are dealing with the spam problem. Right now, catchall in MailEnable means that you can't bounce e-mail, even if one of your addresses is getting nothing but spam. It means that if person X leaves your organization, you will still receive mail for him/her in the catchall account, even if you don't want it or believe that it's an invasion of privacy to continue to receive e-mail intended for others. That's not some obscure or weird need.

Having the ability to use wildcards isn't some obscure, weird feature. Look at the example I showed: If one creates an entry of *sales@mydomain.com, e-mail addressed to newcarsales@mydomain.com, usedcarsales@mydomain.com, and fleetsales@mydomain.com are either rejected (if there is no catch-all) or routed to the catch-all (if there is one). That's not an odd, weird use of wildcards.
If you are looking for a solution for this specific problem, it may be wise to look outside the realm of a $195 mail server, this is my point.
So you're saying that MailEnable should be a package for people with low expectations? I disagree. I'd like to see MailEnable be the most capable Windows mail server for those who wish to fight the spam problem. If using a catchall means that the server accepts spam for every address a spammer dreams up, then ME has a problem. Why fight against changes that are relatively simple to make when they would help many people?

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