[Mailman-Users] mailman list questions about password and bounces-back for invalid emails

Barry S. Finkel bsfinkel at att.net
Fri Feb 28 17:11:22 CET 2014

On 2/27/2014 1:01 PM, s7r wrote:
> Hi,
> I have 2 simple questions about mailman mail lists:
> 1). I can see there is an option to receive monthly reminder of
> password, and the password is sent in plain text. Is the password in
> plain text visible to the mail list owner / administrator? Or mailman
> stores a secure hash of the password like sha-256 or ripemd-160? If
> the password is stored in hash format, how come I can receive it
> monthly in plain text?
> 2). If an email address works for some time but becomes suddenly
> invalid (e.g. server down, domain cancelled, etc.) and when messages
> are being sent to that address they bounce back with permanent
> failure, will mailman remove these email addresses automatically? If
> yes, after how many attempts of sending? What if the email address
> server is just down for a day or something.
> Thank you!
> - --
> s7r at sky-ip.org

The answer to 2) is contained in the bounce score values that have
been set for the list.  Each subscriber has a bounce score of 0.
For each bounce, the bounce score is updated by 1, but only one
bounce a day increases the score.  When the score reaches the pre-set
limit (default 5), the subscriber is set to NOMAIL (due to bounces).
Then once per week, an e-mail is sent to the subscriber telling
him/her that the list subscription has been disabled.  If there is
no response after the third notification, then the subscriber is
unsubscribed.  Only the last bounce message is sent to the list
owner.  The list owner controls the bounce parameters.

When I was in charge of a Mailman system, I ran a bounce report
every morning so that I could see all bounce scores > 0 for all
lists on the server.  I had lists built from external sources
(i.e., an HR Database), and I needed to know what addresses in the
HR Database were bad.  This report came from Mark Sapiro's
collection of useful Mailman programs.

As for passwords, I disabled the monthly password reminders.
Many of my lists were auto-subscribe lists (from HR), and the
subscriber almost never needed his/her password.  I do not remember
a case where a subscriber needed assistance with a list password.

--Barry Finkel

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