From line has ()

James Gray james at
Thu Mar 16 13:32:02 GMT 2006

On Thu, 16 Mar 2006 09:34, Jethro R Binks wrote:
> 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.

Erm, read RFC2821 specifically section 3.3.  (Paraphrasing) Messages should 
be rejected as soon as possible.  However, I did misread to OP's question, 
and I accept that this, and my earlier comments, have nothing to do with 
their problem.

> 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. 

In fact, the RFC says it SHOULDN'T process any actions based on the DATA 
section until the transaction is terminated with the "<CRLF>." sequence.  
But that wasn't what I was referring to - I was specifically commenting on 
the envelope addresses - as I said, my bad; I misread the OP's question.

> 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
> information.

Half right.  If an MTA is going to reject a message based on the envelope 
info, it should return an error (5xx) after either the MAIL or RCPT 
commands (RFC2821).  Rejecting based on the body/DATA can ONLY be done 
after the DATA is terminated with "<CRLF>." (again, RFC2821).

Now to answer the OP's question.  Sorry, it looks like Exchange actually 
does something with the "From:" header that is preventing it from accepting 
a message.  This doesn't violate the RFC because the "From:" header is 
conmtained in the DATA section and Exchange shouldn't do anything until it 
is properly terminated with the "<CRLF>.".  Best bet would be to dig around 
the support site at MS.  Sorry :(


Due to lack of disk space, this fortune database has been discontinued.
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