[Mailman-Users] Misdirected Monthly Notification Bounces

Richard Barrett r.barrett at openinfo.co.uk
Mon Aug 4 18:36:13 CEST 2003

On Sunday, August 3, 2003, at 12:53  am, Tom Stoner wrote:

> Hello,
> I am a list administrator on a Mailman 2.0.7 system, and not a system
> administrator.  I've already referred this problem to our system
> administrators and they've attributed it to a worm or virus infection 
> by one
> or more list members.  I don't think so, and believe they just don't 
> have
> any ideas about what's causing the problem and are blowing me off and 
> hoping
> the problem will go away on its own.  Here's what's happening:
> For the past three or four months, about half a dozen non-deliverable
> monthly subscription reminder messages come bouncing back to me.  
> They're
> addressed to "<mylist>-admin@<domain>.org.  None of these people are 
> members
> of my list however.  They are however reportedly members of one or more
> other lists on this same system.  A fact which may or may not be 
> important
> is that when the available lists on the system are shown 
> alphabetically, my
> list is first one.

One possible cause of receiving bounce notices for mail address that 
are apparently not members is rewriting of mail aliases by some system 
out there, where the rewritten email address is undeliverable.

Typical problem is person A leaves the business and their mail alias is 
redirected to person B or Person A's mail is setup up so that their 
secretary gets a copy of their mail as Person B. Person B subsequently 
leaves the business and their mail alias is removed but redirection of 
mail to person A's alias is continued. Result is mail sent to the alias 
of person A is bounced because it is undeliverable to the alias of 
person B, in respect of whose alias the bounce notice is raised.

These situations can be a real pain to track down but may not be the 
cause of your grief. But, at least I know this problem occurs while the 
hypothesized worm or virus causes I have not seen.

One approach I have used, with MM 2.1.2, to track down elusive bounces 
is to temporarily enable personalization and VERP for a list with 
bounce problems, set a maximum bounce score < 1.0, ensure list is set 
to notify list owner when bounces cause unsubscribe, send a test 
message to the list, and see what the VERP'ed return addresses are on 
the bouce notifications of the users unsubscribed because of bounces.

I do not know of a simple answer to tracking this sort of problem down 
with MM 2.0.7

> Just a few minutes ago I visited the archives for your users list here 
> for
> the first time ever and scanned the archives for the past couple 
> months.  I
> didn't spot anything previously posted which I thought related to this
> problem however.  As I said, I'm not a Mailman system administrator.  
> So I'm
> not familiar with configuration settings other than those I can change 
> for
> my own list.  I don't know how those monthly reminder messages are
> configured or sent, nor do I presume to have the necessary access 
> rights to
> get in and even just look at them.  That said, are there any 
> suggestions I
> might pass back to the system administrators about this?  In advance, 
> thank
> you very much.
> Tom Stoner
> Ann Arbor
> tgstoner at umich.edu

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