SPF and MailScanner

Kevin Spicer kevins at BMRB.CO.UK
Thu Jan 29 18:37:47 GMT 2004

On Thu, 2004-01-29 at 18:17, hermit921 wrote:
> I read that SPF (Sender Permitted From) is being incorporated into
> spamassassin 2.70.  Since the idea is to not accept (reject after HELO
> step) any message that fails the SPF test, I conclude SPF can't be used by
> MailScanner.  It can be implemented in postfix, exim, sendmail, etc before
> MailScanner sees the message.  Is this a correct summary?
SPF is just another means to help determine the likelihood of a message
being spam or not.  It is true that many sites may eventually want to
use this to block mail, however this is not the only way to use it.
SpamAssassin is likely to use it like they use rbls, as a trigger for a
score.  So you certainly could use it with SA through MailScanner,
although this would not block the mail during the SMTP transaction (but
this is the same decision you take if you use RBLs in SA or MS rather
than your MTA.

That said, if SPF gains widespread acceptance (AOL is testing at the
moment I think, which is a good sign) and proves to be workable then
using it at the MTA level may be considerably more effective than using
RBL's in the MTA, with a much lower incidence of false positives (which
will invariably be caused by bad system administration of the senders

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