Mail Server best practices - was: Pandora's Box of new TLDs

Chris Owen owenc at
Sat Jun 28 22:25:16 UTC 2008

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On Jun 28, 2008, at 4:56 PM, Jean-François Mezei wrote:

> The biggest problem however are outfits like microsoft whose hotmail/ 
> msn
> properties have undocumented logic which confirm reception of the
> message at the SMTP/821 level but then proceed to discard the email
> instead of delivering it to the person's inbox (or spam folder).

At some point what is the difference between putting the mail into a  
spam folder and sending them to /dev/null?

Yesterday I received 4,932 emails.  294 of those went into my inbox.   
36 of those went info my quarantine folder.  The other 4,602 went  
straight to /dev/null (actually many of them went through various  
blacklist building scripts first).  Had I put the full 4,638 into a  
"spam folder" that would have been completely worthless.  It would be  
impossible for me to actually review all those emails.  Ultimately,  
there wouldn't be any difference between that and /dev/null.  The only  
difference is I would have deleted them later rather than when they  
came in.

So should I have bounced all 4,602?  Since ninety some percent of them  
came from forged addresses that would not only be pointless but would  
be contributing to the problem (and get us into

The size of the problem presented by spam is just enormous.  Before we  
started selective greylisting, we used to accept a million messages a  
day.  Of those we only delivered about 50,000.  And that's for a  
system only handling about 5,000 email accounts.  I can't even imagine  
having to do that on the scale hotmail is talking about.


Chris Owen         ~ Garden City (620) 275-1900 ~  Lottery (noun):
President          ~ Wichita     (316) 858-3000 ~    A stupidity tax
Hubris Communications Inc

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