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Subject: Re: rejected mail - RFC822 conflict ???
From: Brad Knowles <BKnowles @ aol . net>
Organization: America Online, Inc.
Date: Wed, 07 May 1997 17:51:37 -0400
To: Eric Thomas <ERIC @ VM . SE . LSOFT . COM>
Cc: LSTOWN-L @ PEACH . EASE . LSOFT . COM, LSTSRV-L @ PEACH . EASE . LSOFT . COM, Valdis Kletnieks <Valdis . Kletnieks @ VT . EDU>, Michael Ramundo <sysmrr @ CNSIBM . ALBANY . EDU>, Jeff Kell <jeff-kell @ UTC . EDU>, Pete Weiss <Pete-Weiss @ PSU . EDU>, list-managers @ GreatCircle . COM
In-reply-to: Your message of "Wed, 07 May 1997 22:18:52 +0200." <199705072109 . RAA01301 @ postman . ops . aol . com>
Reply-to: KnowlesB @ aol . net

Your message dated: Wed, 07 May 1997 22:18:52 +0200

> Well  Brad, just  don't get  all surprised  the next  time the  usual AOL
> bashing gang  flames you :-) They  are usually wrong, but  this time they
> will be right.

    Let them flame away.  It has been my experience that those who
flame AOL have never had to deal with a system anywhere *near*
1/10th the size of what we have, where a difference in scale
typically results in a difference in kind.

    If they think they can do any better (yourself included), let
them come here and prove it.

>          Come to think about it,  you can actually prove the opposite. If
> it is possible to severely impact AOL by sending a spam message with MAIL
> FROM:<@xxx:yyy>  that AOL  would internally  convert to  MAIL FROM:<yyy>,
> then obviously it is possible to  severely impact AOL by sending the same
> spam message but with MAIL FROM:<yyy>, which AOL does accept. Yes?

    Assuming that by "yyy" you mean a proper address with both a
domain part and a local part, then no.  We also refuse to accept mail
from any address where the domain part does not resolve in the DNS
(i.e., which we could presumably send a bounce back to, if need be).

    If by "yyy" you mean an address that does not have both a local
part and a domain part, then no -- we refuse to accept mail from
any address where the domain part does not resolve in the DNS.

> Well, if  the one sender,  2-3 legitimate recipient messages  in question
> threaten the very existence of your property, I think you need to upgrade
> to less vulnerable  property :-)

    The 2-3 legitimate messages per day you reference do not
themselves pose the problem.

    The illegitimate messages do, and the systems that propagate
the *requirement* that we must pay to accept any and all messages,
even if they threaten the very existance of our system, likewise
pose a problem.

>        This discussion  is clearly not going anywhere and  unless it gets
> more technical quickly I suggest we all go home and forget about it.

    Agreed.


    The response I've gotten from AOL users so far has been
exceedingly positive, and I regret that we (driven both by myself
*and* management, it's not just been a crusade of a single person)
have had to take this action to protect our system, but I believe
that the majority of AOL members will appreciate this fact when
they are faced with the choice of either having a system at all,
or having one that refuses to accept certain types of messages.

    I believe that you'll find beleaguered SysAdmins the world over
that will feel the same way we do, and we will not be the minority,
but instead will be leading the majority down the proper path.

-- 
Brad Knowles                                MIME/PGP: KnowlesB @
 aol .
 net
    Senior Unix Administrator              <http://www.his.com/~brad/>
<http://swissnet.ai.mit.edu:11371/pks/lookup?op=get&search=0xE38CCEF1>




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