postermaster@ messages in SmarterMail 14.x
Idea shared by Robert Emmett - September 4, 2015 at 3:31 PM
Completed
Employee Post
I am looking for comments / suggestions / concerns from the community users (particularly system and domain administrators) regarding a recent change in SmarterMail 14.2.5703 (13 Aug 2015).
 
  • Changed: Messages sent over SMTP to postmaster@[domain] will now deliver to the primary domain admin and the global postmaster address if a postmaster account has not been created for the target domain.
Previously, if a system administrator did not specify a global postmaster mailbox under Settings | General Settings | Server Info | Postmaster Mailbox and there was no domain level postmaster mailbox/alias, the message just "disappeared."  This was a loose interpretation of the RFC: it was technically accepted but it was not delivered.
In SM 14.2, we changed the code to deliver to the primary domain admin (and attempt to send to the global postmaster) if the domain does not have a postmaster mailbox/alias.  We felt that this better satisfied the requirements of the RFC for handling postmaster messages.
Recently, we have been notified that because of this change some primary domain administrators are getting inundated with spam sent to postmaster.  They may not want to create a postmaster account that counts against their mailbox limits; they may not want to create a postmaster alias for similar reasons.  Additionally, for servers with hundreds even thousands of domains, the system/domain admins may not want to create postmaster mailboxes for all of those domains.
What we are proposing is to add a system administrator option in Settings | General Settings | Server Info under/beside the Postmaster Mailbox entry that basically says: "Deliver postmaster@[domain] messages to primary domain admin if the postmaster account is not setup."  This setting could then be propagated to the domains.
Does this seem a potential solution?  If so, should the setting to defaulted to on or off?  We really look forward to your comments / suggestions / concerns.
Thanks,
Robert Emmett
Software Developer
SmarterTools Inc.
(877) 357-6278
www.smartertools.com

6 Replies

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1
I would be very careful with this for several reasons:
 
1. There is a very popular NO POSTMASTER antispam database, "postmaster.rfc-ignorant.org" which many now poll and, if the domain is not found to have a postmaster@domain.tld address, will block or weight their spam according to the results returned.
 
2. YAHOO! demands a POSTMASTER@ e-mail address for every domain and, if someone complains about spam from a domain, actually begins checking all e-mail arriving from the domain for postmaster@
 
3. When setting up feedback loops, many of the domains now check, and verify, that a postmaster@ e-mail address exists for the domains for which feedback loops have been setup.
Bruce Barnes
ChicagoNetTech Inc
brucecnt@comcast.net

Phonr: (773) 491-9019
Phone: (224) 444-0169

E-Mail and DNS Security Specialist
Network Security Specialist

Customer Service Portal: https://portal.chicagonettech.com
Website: https://www.ChicagoNetTech.com
Security Blog: http://networkbastion.blogspot.com/

Web and E-Mail Hosting, E-Mail Security and Consulting
5
My opinion is that ALL postmaster@ and abuse@ messages should be sent to the global postmaster and nowhere else unless a user or alias is specifically created in the domain.  Even if the domain creates a postmaster@ and/or abuse@ user or alias the global postmaster should receive a copy of the message.
 
I would NOT want a postmaster@ message delivered to the domain admin account unless they specifically create the user or alias.  The domain admin will simply receive a lot of spam and other messages that they don't know what do do about, and in many cases there's nothing they can do about the issues anyway.
 
-Joe
 
Thanks,
-Joe
0
We are struggling with an steep increase in spam lately and I was wondering if it's somehow related to the postmaster@ account issue (or lack there of) detailed above.
 
We were redirected to this thread but I don't know if it's somehow related.
 
My own account is flagged as a domain administrator account (FirstNameLastName@domain.com with one alias FirstName@domain.com) and up until yesterday I had never created a postmaster@ account.
 
I created this account based on the info above but I don't know if it's related to the problem.  So far nothing has been delivered to the new account, SPAM or otherwise and my normal account is still getting hit regularly.
 
The issue we are having relates to SPAM originating from some of these new suffixes like .win, .racing, .date and .faith.
 
The thread with more details is here
 
Has anyone seen this type of increase?
 
Thoughts or suggestions?
 
 
 
 
1
Robert Emmett Replied
Employee Post
Everyone, we have made the following changes to have we're handling postmaster e-mails:
 
  • If the system administrator has specified a global postmaster address, ALL postmaster messages will be delivered to that address.
  • If a domain has a postmaster account / alias / mailing list then the e-mail will be delivered to that account.
  • If a domain does not have a postmaster account configured, the message will be sent to the primary domain administrator IF that option is enabled by the system administrator.
 
This new option is available to system administrators.  If you edit a domain and go to the Technical tab, the checkbox is at the bottom: "Use primary domain admin as postmaster address if there is no postmaster account".  It is disabled by default.
 
Giving the system admin to option to specify whether or not postmaster messages are delivered to the primary domain admin should help the recent increases in spam associated with the postmaster changes.  If any of you would like to a custom build with these changes, please contact sales@smartertools.com.
 
 
Robert Emmett
Software Developer
SmarterTools Inc.
(877) 357-6278
www.smartertools.com
1
Excellent addition/change, Robert.
 
If this could also be extended to ABUSE@, that would make the product even better . . .
 
Will the POSTMASTER@ changes be included in the release tentatively scheduled for tomorrow evening?
Bruce Barnes
ChicagoNetTech Inc
brucecnt@comcast.net

Phonr: (773) 491-9019
Phone: (224) 444-0169

E-Mail and DNS Security Specialist
Network Security Specialist

Customer Service Portal: https://portal.chicagonettech.com
Website: https://www.ChicagoNetTech.com
Security Blog: http://networkbastion.blogspot.com/

Web and E-Mail Hosting, E-Mail Security and Consulting
0
Question :
Robbert, when you say "primary domain admin"
Are you referring to what is showing up in the user list as "Primary Administrator" ? 
With the smarter mail version we are using, all of our domains when created are getting "Primary Administrator" accounts that look like this : "KHd0zlD0uwz7" as the account name. I remember in an older version of smarter mail that the account was called "_primaryadmin_"   So all of the postmaster mail will be going to that random collage of characters email account ?
 

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