From line has ()

Jethro R Binks jethro.binks at
Wed Mar 15 22:34:44 GMT 2006

On Thu, 16 Mar 2006, James Gray wrote:

> On Thu, 16 Mar 2006 08:06, hermit921 wrote:
> > Just ran into an odd problem.  The new Exchange server here seems to
> > reject any message with parentheses () in the body From line.  It rejects
> > as "sender denied", after the entire message has been seen by Exchange,
> > as soon as I type in the period.  OK, idiot misleading error message, but
> > I want to know if this violates any of the smtp RFCs?  Or is anyone
> > unfortunate enough to know if this is an Exchange configuration setting?
> >
> > hermit921
> The way I read RFC822 (and 2822) is that if an MTA is going to reject a 
> message it should do so as early in the transaction as possible.  It 
> should never accept a message it will not deliver.  So, if Exchange is 
> dropping the message after the final "dot+<CR>" due to a malformed or 
> rejected address, it should have done it during the "MAIL FROM:" or 
> "RCPT TO:" stage.  IOW, I believe this violates the RFC.  But hey, it's 
> Micrsoft - since when to THEY care about published standards?!?

That's nonesense, and even if you believed it, it bears no relation to his 
original question.  He said the problem was in the 'body From', which is 
part of the DATA of the message, which is what is being received right 
before the <dot>+CR.  So it couldn't reject it any sooner on that basis, 
regardless of what the RFC says.

It is quite common to defer rejecting an email until right to the end of 
the SMTP transaction, and required if the reason for rejecting might be 
related to the actual content of the email, rather than the envelope 


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Jethro R Binks
Computing Officer, IT Services
University Of Strathclyde, Glasgow, UK

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