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Old 11-05-2009
Mail Server managing block lists

I have been having a problem lately with companies adding my small mail servers IP to their RBL lists with no method of retrieving samples of abuse, and a ridiculously long and convoluted procedure for removal. Example being AT&T who in responce to my request to be delisted told me that my IP was fine and had never been listed, despite my paste of a telnet session clearly showing it rejecting mail. This creates a great deal of inconvenience for my mail users having legitimate communications for these companies, and I have been trying to formulate a more proactive approach to getting mail delivered and dealing with any legitimate abuse concerns in a more timely manner.

What I am picturing is a mail system configured such that if the mail server encounters an error that looks like an RBL blocklist it first forwards a copy of the mail in question and the specific error message returned by the remote SMTP server to myself instead of the sending user so I do not have to wait for a user complaint to begin investigating and de-listing procedures. I would also like to forward the message to an alternate smtp server on a different IP block for delivery in order to make the problem transparent to the end mail user and just accomplish their intent of having the mail delivered to the intended recipient. Then only if all available servers in the farm have tried and failed to deliver the message bounce it back to the sender with an error message.

So my question is does anyone know of existing software/scripts that behave in this manner (or perhaps attempt to achieve the same goals using different methods), or could point me in the right direction for setting up my own scripts if no one else has already attacked the problem in this manner (which would surprise me).

Please refrain from replying that this is improper as it attempts to bypass the security measures put in place by the remote mail server. I am well aware of this, in fact it is my goal, not because I wish to facilitate spam delivery, but because many operators of RBL lists are running their systems in an irresponsible manner. I have no problem with any list that clearly shows when an IP is blocked, provides a reason for blockage and a sample of the offending email, then gives a clear and timely procedure for getting de-listed, but entirely too many people have broken or inferior systems that don't give me a clear answer to why is there a problem and when can it be fixed, something my clients expect me to answer.

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