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Subject: Re: UKNM: Mail Server Virgin!
From: Leigh Blue Caldwell
Date: Mon, 28 Sep 1998 15:20:49 +0100

> We've got a BT leased line and are running our own DNS and mail server. BT has just sent us a message saying that they believe we may be the subject of spam activity. I've checked the mail server activity and the security system and can find no evidenc> e of anything untoward - the only regular, reasonably heavy flow of mail comes from being on this list - and typically BT can offer us no further explanation.

> Has anyone any ideas, clues or general comment on what else to look out for, where else to look or other action which I can take.

It is possible (indeed likely) that you are being used as a mail relay
by some spammer or other, especially if you have a standard system
configuration with no special protections in place. What kind of
mail server are you running and do you know if it blocks or logs
external relay use? This is a potential problem not only because it
uses your (and BT's) bandwidth, but because a significant number of
system administrators will refuse to accept mail from you if you are
found to be allowing (deliberately or just by default) your system to
be used by spammers as a relay, and don't do anything about it. This
isn't a policy I particularly agree with, but it is a fact of life
that a lot of admins are starting to carry it out.

If you do feel it's a problem and/or if BT complain again, I can put
you in touch with someone who can help you to analyse the situation
and find out what needs to be done. They do charge for their time,
though. I'd expect an audit and some fixes to cost a couple of
hundred pounds. Or the relevant information is available for free on
many newsgroups and mailing lists, if you don't mind doing the
configuration yourself.


information | Leigh Caldwell, managing director, Internation.
innovation | St. George's House, 44 Hatton Garden, London, U.K.
integration | +44-171-242-3200 (fax 3033)
Internation. | blueatinternation [dot] co [dot] uk www.internation.co.uk

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