Why I think RBL should be done with the MTA rather than Mailscanner

Matt Doherty Matthew_doherty at DATAWATCH.COM
Tue Jun 25 20:08:55 IST 2002

nice signature man,
=KV8w ""
  -----Original Message-----
  From: Patterson S.R. [mailto:S.R.Patterson at SOTON.AC.UK]
  Sent: Tuesday, June 25, 2002 6:15 AM
  Subject: Why I think RBL should be done with the MTA rather than

  Hash: SHA1

  I'm just working through in my head the options for spam blocking and
  come up with the following advantages to using RBL lists on the MTA
  (i.e. sendmail) at point of acceptance rather than using them on

  - - Reduced server load - you don't have to bother accepting a mail
  for delivery (i.e. spooling it all up) when you already know you're
  going to reject it anyway

  - - The remote user/server gets a sensible rejection message at the
  point of "MAIL FROM:" or "RCPT TO:" along the lines of "Your domain is
  black listed, please see http://useful.url"

  - - Perhaps of maximum importance to me, you have complete control of
  your mail relaying policies through sendmail itself - for example, I
  want to use the MAPS Dial up list to block direct mailing to my
  servers from diaul up users. However, I don't want to stop valid
  University users at home on their dialup connections from sending mail
  through my servers. The answer - implement SMTP Authentication
  (already done!) and only reject IP addresses in the MAPS Dial Up list
  if the user hasn't first authenticated themselves with a valid
  username and password. How would you do this in Mailscanner?

  Can anybody see any advantages to using the RBL lists on Mailscanner
  instead of on the MTA directly? I'd like to hear the flip side of the

  This is by no means a dig at the product or at Julian who works very
  hard to implement all of the features which his userbase demands
  (though I somethimes think the userbase demands inappropriate
  features... Don't even get me started on SA...;P)

  Here's a feature for you Jules... How about making "plug in" module
  support for each MTA, spam features, Spam Assassin, Virus scanner, etc
  - by which I mean you only load the code which you need for the
  features and software that you are using. No, don't ask me how you'd
  do that :)

  Yours ramblingly, Steve
  - --
  Steven Patterson, MSci. Tel: +44 (0)2380 595810
  Electronic Information Systems Support and Development
  Computing Services, University of Southampton, UK.
  Public PGP Key: http://www.soton.ac.uk/~srp/pubkey.asc

  Version: PGP 7.0.4


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