Massive queue buildup

Brent Addis brent.addis at
Tue Nov 14 00:47:31 GMT 2006


From: mailscanner-bounces at on behalf of Matt Kettler
Sent: Tue 11/14/2006 1:35 PM
To: MailScanner discussion
Subject: Re: Massive queue buildup

Brent Addis wrote:
> greylisting is bad and I will never ever run it. I know of one case where greylisting has very nearly killed someone. They probably shouldn't have been using email to do what they were, but thats not the point.

>But it is the point. If time is in any way critical, email isn't for you. PERIOD.

Unfortunatly, no matter how many times to tell people with this, they will still use email. People have this perception that email is the ultimate communicaton tool. We get complaints when email doesn't appear for more than a minute. 

Suffice it to say the person sending the email now knows about mail delays. You can't educate every single user about this sort of thing (people come and go very often) , all you can do is reduce the possiblity of it happening.

I'm not really willing to enter a flame war on greylisting as I care very little about it.
I do however take your below statements on board. This is simply my opinion on greylisting and in no way did I mean to get your panties in a knot.

>Greylisting didn't nearly kill someone, some person used email where time
>criticality was a life-or-death issue. That person's bad choice of communication
>methods nearly killed someone. Greylisting has nothing to do with it.

>Quite frankly, any spam control technology, like say, SpamAssassin, could have
>FPed on the message, causing it to possibly be ignored by the recipient. Would
>you say SA nearly killed someone? Would you stop using it and insist everyone
>else do the same?

>What if one of the routers in that email path had crashed or had a hardware
>failure, would say that Cisco nearly killed someone? Would you stop using Cisco
>products and insist everyone else do the same?

>Bad disk on the mailserver? Seagate's a killer?

>Loss of power? BGE? Yeah, definitely don't use electricity.. it's unreliable and
>could kill someone.

>Let's face it, the email user in question is lucky THEY didn't kill someone with
>their mistake.

>Greylisting is not to blame here. Keep the life-and-death dramatics of someone's
>mistakes out of it.

> greylisting adds an unnecessary delay to email, and can quite easilly be beaten if a spammer sets his mind to it.

>It doesn't add unnecessary delay to most messages, Not if you do it *right*.

>So far this week (today and Sunday) my greylist has:
  >      handled 16,493 total messages
  >      delayed 12,238 messages.
  >      allowed 4,255 messages to be delivered without delay.
  >     accepted 330 messages after delay.

>Of the 330 delayed messages, only 9 were not tagged as spam by SA. Of these 9, 2
>were spams that SA failed to tag, 5 were mass-mailed newsletters (delivery speed
>not important), and only 2 were personal messages.

>So 2 significant FPs out of 16,493 messages. 0.01% error rate, not too bad.

>Any spam control technology has it's downfalls. loss, delay, or depriortization
>of mail will be a side effect of any of these systems in some cases.

>If you do greylisting right, you can keep the delays down to a sane level and
>still hack off a lot of spam. Approximately 72.2% of the inbound mail has been

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