More Spam on Backup MX Hosts

mikea mikea at MIKEA.ATH.CX
Wed Jun 18 21:50:52 IST 2003

On Wed, Jun 18, 2003 at 03:41:25PM -0500, Mike Kercher wrote:
>'s a common tactic by a lot of Spamware to hit lower priority MX
> records first in hopes that they will be less secure than the primaries.

Much discussed on the SPAM-L list, and on a couple of private lists
dealing with spam and responses to it. One countermeasure is to put
your highest-priority MX host in as your lowest-priority MX as well.

I've been told that some RFC says this is a bad thing, but I haven't
been told _which_, and it does appear to work somewhat.

Eventually, of course, the spammers will pick MX hosts at random
from the list -- if they aren't doing it already.

Mike Andrews
mikea at
Tired old sysadmin since 1964

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