[Mailman-Users] spam, AOL and server names

Dennis Morgan dennis at e-aa.org
Thu Mar 22 15:10:46 CET 2007

Thanks for your reply Brad.

Yeah, I read and reread the FAQ. Mailman has one of the best faq's I've 
ever seen.

The percentage of our mail that AOL rejects is just huge - around 90% - 
I was hoping that maybe someone could see something that we were doing 
wrong. It'd be nice to get the rejection rate down.


Brad Knowles wrote:
> At 7:59 AM -0500 3/20/07, Dennis Morgan wrote:
>>  A persistent problem we've had is a significant amount of our users are
>>  AOL - and many are clueless. We're pretty ruthless about deleting AOL
>>  users when we get a report that someone is using their spam button - 
>> but
>>  even so a lot (most) of our mail to AOL gets rejected. We've decided
>>  that part of the problem is we're using an older version of majordomo.
> See also FAQ 3.42.
>>  I *think* another part of our problem can be found in this bit of our
>>  dns report from dnsstuff.com:
>>  ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
>>  OK: All of your mailservers have their host name in the greeting:
>>  mail.e-aa.org:
>>      220 dedicated.bixbycreek.com ESMTP Sendmail 8.12.10/8.12.10; 
>> Tue, 20
>>  Mar 2007 05:44:34 -0800
>>  ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
>>  In other words our mailing domain name is different than our mail 
>> server
>>  domain name.
> That shouldn't be an issue.  I send e-mail as brad at shub-internet.org, 
> although I may use any number of different servers as my outbound mail 
> relay for those messages depending on where I am, what computer I'm 
> using and what network it uses to access the Internet, etc....
> Only really stupid people check the domain name of your envelope 
> sender and require that it be sent from a machine with a matching 
> domain name.  I've run into some stupid people like this, but I'm 
> pretty sure they're not doing this at AOL -- we weeded out that kind 
> of stupidity years ago, when I was the Sr. Internet Mail Administrator 
> at AOL.
>>  ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
>>  WARNING: One or more of your mailservers is claiming to be a host other
>>  than what it really is (the SMTP greeting should be a 3-digit code,
>>  followed by a space or a dash, then the host name). If your mailserver
>>  sends out E-mail using this domain in its EHLO or HELO, your E-mail
>>  might get blocked by anti-spam software. This is also a technical
>>  violation of RFC821 4.3 (and RFC2821 4.3.1). Note that the hostname
>>  given in the SMTP greeting should have an A record pointing back to the
>>  same server. Note that this one test may use a cached DNS record.
>>   mail.eaachat.org claims to be non-existent host dedicated.eaachat.org:
>>   220 dedicated.eaachat.org ESMTP
>>  ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
> I don't think that this is a problem, either.  But I'd need to see for 
> myself to be certain.
>>  I'm assuming that both of the above problems are part of our AOL
>>  problems. Am I correct? And if so - does anyone have a tip or two about
>>  what to do to resolve it?
>>  We're creating an SPF record to see if that helps - we really want at
>>  least some of our mail to get through to AOL. We plan to make the 
>> switch
>>  next week.
> Don't use SPF.  Don't use it anywhere.  It causes way more problems 
> than it can possibly solve.  Everything I said back in 2004 on this 
> subject is still applicable today, if not more so.  See 
> <http://bradknowles.typepad.com/considered_harmful/2004/05/spf.html>.

More information about the Mailman-Users mailing list