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Sun, Jun 10, 2007 9:27 pm

Email From 166.102.165.166 and 65.54.246.172 Rejected

A family member reported that someone who had tried to send email to her received a bounced message indicating the email was blocked because of antispam provisions. I checked all email from the sender's email address using the find-recipients Perl script I created for such purposes. I saw that one message she sent was rejected and one accepted.

# ./find-recipients.pl wendyvi21@alltel.net /var/log/maillog
Found 2 messages from wendyvi21@alltel.net in /var/log/maillog

Message recipients

Time            Message ID     Status        Recipient
----------------------------------------------------------------
Jun 10 07:58:02 l5ABupmb001042 Rejected      kittycat321@moonpoint.com
Jun 10 08:05:03 l5AC3omb001081 Sent          kittycat321@moonpoint.com

When I checked the /var/log/maillog file for those two message IDs, I found that the first message had been blocked by the Spam and Open-Relay Blocking System (SORBS) blocklist. SORBS is a DNS Blacklist (DNSBL).

The message that was rejected was from ispmxmta05-srv.windstream.net [166.102.165.166], while the one that was accepted was from ispmxmta09-srv.windstream.net [166.102.165.170].

When I checked the SORBS list, it appeared that the 166.102.165.166 had been there for at least a week due to SORBS detecting spam orginating from the email server at that address.

Database of servers sending to spamtrap addresses
Address:166.102.165.166
Record Created:Tue Apr 17 01:00:04 2007 GMT
Record Updated:Mon Jun 4 01:00:03 2007 GMT
Additional Information: [ Updated via: Spam 'o Matic ] Received: from ispmxmta05-srv.windstream.net (ispmxmta05-srv.windstream.net [166.102.165.166]) by desperado.sorbs.net (Postfix) with ESMTP id EE4311144D for <[email]>; Mon[email] 04 Jun 2007 10:40:27 +1000 (EST)
Currently active and flagged to be published in DNS

But when I looked up the other IP address, 166.102.165.170, it appeared it was also in the SORBS blocklist.

Database of servers sending to spamtrap addresses
Address:166.102.165.170
Record Created:Tue Oct 4 13:04:20 2005 GMT
Record Updated:Thu Apr 26 04:41:17 2007 GMT
Additional Information: Received: from ispmxmta09-srv.windstream.net (ispmxmta09-srv.windstream.net [166.102.165.170]) by desperado.sorbs.net (Postfix) with ESMTP id 69DC21143A for <[email]>; Sat[email] 10 Feb 2007 13:52:40 +1000 (EST)
Currently active and flagged to be published in DNS

When I queried the SORBS database through the SORBS Database Lookup webpage, it appeared both addresses were present in the SORBS blocklist, yet when I used blq to query the SORBS blocklist, I found only the first .166 address listed and not the .170 address, which was consistent with Sendmail's rejection of the first message, but not the second one.

# ./blq sorbs 166.102.165.166
166.102.165.166 ispmxmta05-srv.windstream.net : dnsbl.sorbs.net : BLOCKED
# ./blq sorbs 166.102.165.170
166.102.165.170 ispmxmta09-srv.windstream.net : dnsbl.sorbs.net : ok

I received another report from a Hotmail sender that she was finding email rejected as well. I went through the same process as above. Again the SORBS website database query seemed to indicate that both addresses would be blocked, but using blq showed only one was blocked, which matched the entries I found in today's maillog file with the first message from the sender being rejected and the second accepted. The first was from bay0-omc2-s36.bay0.hotmail.com [65.54.246.172] and the second from bay0-omc2-s37.bay0.hotmail.com [65.54.246.173].

When performing a database check via the website, I saw the following for the IP address from which a message was rejected:

Database of servers sending to spamtrap addresses
Address:65.54.246.172
Record Created:Thu Aug 3 02:30:03 2006 GMT
Record Updated:Sat Jun 9 09:00:04 2007 GMT
Additional Information: [ Updated via: Spam 'o Matic ] Received: from bay0-omc2-s36.bay0.hotmail.com (bay0-omc2-s36.bay0.hotmail.com [65.54.246.172]) by desperado.sorbs.net (Postfix) with ESMTP id 7EE241147D for <[email]>; Sat, 09 Jun 2007 18:33:28 +1000 (EST)
Currently active and flagged to be published in DNS

But I also saw the following for the IP address of the server from which a message was accepted:

Database of servers sending to spamtrap addresses
Address:65.54.246.173
Record Created:Fri Aug 4 13:53:11 2006 GMT
Record Updated:Sat Mar 3 08:00:34 2007 GMT
Additional Information: [ Updated via: Spam 'o Matic ] Received: from bay0-omc2-s37.bay0.hotmail.com (bay0-omc2-s37.bay0.hotmail.com [65.54.246.173]) by desperado.sorbs.net (Postfix) with ESMTP id 8E17F114AE for <[email]>; Wed, 28 Feb 2007 21:44:25 +1000 (EST)
Currently active and flagged to be published in DNS

Again, the information returned didn't seem to be consisttent with what a blq query returned:

# ./blq sorbs 65.54.246.172
65.54.246.172 bay0-omc2-s36.bay0.hotmail.com : dnsbl.sorbs.net : BLOCKED
# ./blq sorbs 65.54.246.173
65.54.246.173 bay0-omc2-s37.bay0.hotmail.com : dnsbl.sorbs.net : ok

So the results I obtained through the website query don't seem to accurately reflect what will be blocked, if I interpret seeing "Currently active and flagged to be published in DNS" appearing in a red block as an indication the address is in the blocklist as one to be blocked.

[/network/email/spam/blocklists] permanent link

Sun, Jun 10, 2007 4:20 pm

Content Management System (CMS) Comparison

I need to set up a Content Management System (CMS) for a new website. I've considered Drupal and Mambo, but wanted to find information comparing the two. I found a site today, The CMS Matrix that allows you to compare the features of dozens of content management systems. You can select up to 10 at a time to see a comparison chart of features.

A comparison of Drupal and Mambo can also be found at Leading Open Source CMS: Mambo versus Drupal - A Comprehensive Comparison. That article references a more comprehensive comparison of Drupal and Mambo, Drupal VS. Mambo written for Xaneon Development, a company which developed Mambo extensions.

References:

  1. The CMS Matrix
  2. Leading Open Source CMS: Mambo versus Drupal - A Comprehensive Comparison
    By Angsuman Chakraborty
    September 13, 2005
    Simple Thoughts - Simple solutions for complex problems
  3. Drupal VS. Mambo
    Originally written for Xaneon Development by Arto Bendiken
    Submitted: January 12, 2006
    Xaneon Development

[/network/web/cms] permanent link

Sun, Jun 10, 2007 1:25 pm

OS-X Running on a PC

Enterprising OS-X hackers have found a way to run Apple's OS-X operating system on standard PC hardware as related in Wired's article Mac Hacks Allow OS X on PCs. Despite Apple's use of a chip to specifically prevent users from putting the operating system (OS) on a standard PC, it is now possible to run the OS on standard PC hardware.

[/os/os-x] permanent link

Sun, Jun 10, 2007 1:17 pm

Apple's Core Animation

Wired has an article, Kiss Boring Interfaces Goodbye With Apple's New Animated OS about a new animation feature that will become available in the Leopard version of OS-X. The feature will allow developers to provide an animated interface to their applications.

[/os/os-x] permanent link

Sun, Jun 10, 2007 12:28 am

Mailman Mailing List Messages Arriving with Unwanted Attachment

I set up a Mailman mailing list for a family member. After I set up the list, she sent a message to the list. The message arrived with a .txt attachment, ATT00088.txt, that was 251 bytes in size. The attachment had only 3 lines. The first was the mailing list name, the next was the mailing list email address, and the last was the listinfo URL for the mailing list. She uses Outlook 2003 and this is apparently a problem that occurs with Mailman maling list messages received by Outlook users when a footer is added to messages, which is Mailman's default behavior. Apparently Mailman adds the footer as an attachment if the original message posted contains a message formatted in HTML MIME, or a text/plain MIME bodypart using a different character set than what Mailman would use for the footers.

To prevent the addition of a footer to messages, from the main mailman administration page for the list, I clicked on [Non-digest options] The text below appeared in the "Footer added to mail sent to regular list members" field.

_______________________________________________
%(real_name)s mailing list
%(real_name)s@%(host_name)s
%(web_page_url)slistinfo%(cgiext)s/%(_internal_name)s

The information listed has the following meaning.

msg_footer (nondigest): Footer added to mail sent to regular list members

Text appended to the bottom of every immediately-delivery message. This text can include Python format strings which are resolved against list attributes. The list of substitutions allowed are:

Since the list owner did not want any footer being sent with messages, I removed all of the text from that field.

I also went to the digest options page and for the "Header added to every digest" field, I removed all of the text in that field.

References:

  1. [Mailman-Users] Why are footers sent as attachments?
    Posted: January 29, 2006
    The Mailman-Users Archives
  2. 4.39. HELP! Mailman is munging HTML & MIME-formatted messages before they are sent out? (problems with Mailman 2.1.x footers)
    Mailman FAQ Wizard

[/network/email/mailing_list/mailman] permanent link

Sun, Jun 10, 2007 12:15 am

Messages from Mailman Mailing List Appear From Listname-bounces

I set up a Mailman mailing list for a family member. When she receives messages from the list they are arriving with a "from" address of listname-bounces@listdomain.net On Behalf Of", with "listname" being the name of the mailing list, followed by the sender's address. She uses Outlook 2003 and sees this as the "from" address, but when the same messages arrive in a Hotmail account, the "from" address is the sender's email address. This behavior is apparently due to the fact that Mailman creates, among other message headers, a "Sender" header of the form "Sender: listname-bounces@listdomain". Some email clients, such as Outlook will place the contents of that "sender" header in the "from" field when they display the message.

By default, most email clients don't display the message headers, but if you view the message headers for a message, you will see the "sender" header that Mailman adds. Viewing Message Headers in Outlook 2002 explains how to view those headers in Outlook

References:

  1. Why do posts appear to be from listname-bounces@mailman.u.washington.edu?
    Author: R. Skiver Thompson
    August 2004
    Frequently Asked Questions About Mailman
  2. Viewing Message Headers in Outlook 2002
    December 16, 2004
    MoonPoint Support

[/network/email/mailing_list/mailman] permanent link

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