[Mailman-Users] Another puzzler

Martin Dennett md6969 at gmail.com
Fri Oct 6 08:39:32 CEST 2006

Mark Sapiro wrote:
> Martin Dennett wrote:
>> Brad Knowles wrote:
>>> At 7:23 AM +0100 10/4/06, Martin Dennett wrote:
>>>>  There is no other information in the bounce message, so how do I
>>>>  find out who the message is really trying to be delivered to?
>>> This kind of problem is what VERP was designed to make much easier to 
>>> detect.  Check the relevant FAQ entries on this subject, and keep in 
>>> mind that this may require a level of access to your Mailman server 
>>> that you may not have.
>> Will check the FAQ's, but you're correct about my server access :-(
> I'm sorry to say that if as you seem to say above, no part of the
> original message is quoted in the bounce message and you don't have
> the ability to alter the Mailman configuration on the server, the only
> thing I can think to do is to directly mail your list members and see
> who bounces. You could do a kind of binary search by sending a brief,
> apologetic note with Bcc: to half the list. If you get a bounce, the
> offending address is in that half. If not, it's in the other half (be
> sure you wait long enough). Keep repeating this process until you
> narrow it down to one address. Of course, this is tedious for you and
> for your non-bouncing members who will receive a number of these
> probes, but I don't think there's another way.
> You could examine the Received: headers in the bounce message, but I
> think these will originate with the unknown server and thus, won't
> help you understand how (from where) the message got to that server.
By a process of elimination, examining all the header lines and my 
geographical knowledge (the bouncing address was a college with a county 
name in it - all I had to do was look for an address with a town in that 
county; not easy with 1500 addresses to scan), I've found the address 
that's causing the problem. I've now removed it from the list, and will 
wait and see what happens if the guy suddenly realises he's no longer 
receiving mail ;-)

Thanks for all the help as usual!


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