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sjdean

Mailhosts Linking

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Let me see if I understand this wonderful system.

A mailhost is defined as a server, right? A server with a realworld IP address?

The second person who registers the same mailhost, has to put up with using the same mailhost name as the first person, no matter how wrong it is. Then because this mailhost name is overwritten, the second persons server ip's gets shunted into the Hosts/Domains list for others to look at?

Take for example a situation of an isp, providing domains, smtp email delivery with backup mx's, ie:

5 MX <yourdomain>.isp.com

10 MX backupisp.isp.com

then say there are two users:

a.isp.com

b.isp.com

User A registers first, and gets the Mailhost name set to: SomethingNotRelatedToTheISP

User B comes along, tries to register using the correct ISP name, but has it overwritten by SomethingNotRelatedToTheISP purely based on the fact that these two domains share the same backup.isp.com mailhost?

But then even worse IMHO, User B then gets to see User A's IP/Domain Name.

Only by this point, the Hosts/Domains are actually irrelevent, because User A has jumped ship to another ISP and those subdomains and IP addresses now don't exist, they're now redundant in the list, and the user has re-registered his NEW mailhost linking his old mailhost IP addresses with his new mailhost IP addresses for User B to see in his list?????

Whoever designed this should be shot!

Redundant Data that isn't/can't be removed

Linked data to arbitrary names

No facility to edit MailHost names

In all seriousness though, how does it link MailHosts Names to Mailhost IP's? Does it actually look at all MX's for a domain and join it to the first registered?

Based on the fact my primary IP MX (212.159.113.89) should be unique, I can't understand how Im linked with several other peoples MailHost names - unless the system links on Backup MX records too?

Cheers

Simon

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Take for example a situation of an isp, providing domains, smtp email delivery with backup mx's, ie:

5 MX <yourdomain>.isp.com

10 MX backupisp.isp.com

then say there are two users:

a.isp.com

b.isp.com

Simon.... in your example, a, b are not users and yourdomain and backupisp are NOT domains. isp.com is the domain and those would normally be host names , often with many people sharing the same IP address (but not name) associated with that name. All of you get your information from isp.com and that is the common thread. Provide the specific information to your case if you do not agree.

It does not matter whether there is extraneous data in your mailhost file. The only time you are likely to have a completely clear mailhost is if you run your own server on your own domain on a fixed IP address that you do not share. In your example above, all servers and IP's would be under the control of isp.com so if you are being spammed by one of them, you should be dealing with your isp directly anyway.

Mailhosts is only meant to stop you from reporting your own ISP, and it will do this. If there is a bad name somewhere, contact the deputies who can change it.

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Simon.... in your example, a, b are not users and yourdomain and backupisp are NOT domains. isp.com is the domain and those would normally be host names , often with many people sharing the same IP address (but not name) associated with that name. All of you get your information from isp.com and that is the common thread. Provide the specific information to your case if you do not agree.

a and b would be users with their ownsubdomains. So for example, my email address is youknowwho[at]simtext.plus.com.

If you look at my DNS settings, simtext.plus.com is marked as a MX with the highest priority while simtext.plus.com also has an A record pointing to my ADSL connection (which just so happens there's a Linux mail server sitting on it). In case my adsl connection goes down, my isp (plus.com) provide a backup MX which should then shunt my mail onto my server. edit: shunt it to my box when my adsl line is back up

Other users have their own subdomains as required, thus in my example a and b are both users on isp.com effectively with their own domains.

I grant you, that backupisp and yourdomain are not domains in the strictest since, they are hostnames, they're still valid subdomains capable of having their own A, NS and MX records etc, so to all intents and purposes, they are domains.

It does not matter whether there is extraneous data in your mailhost file. The only time you are likely to have a completely clear mailhost is if you run your own server on your own domain on a fixed IP address that you do not share.

It's not my mailhost file. It's spamcops mailhost file. And it's not so much the extraneous data that bothers me (though it could be construed bad data design), it's the redundant data. Data that shouldn't be there because it's not correct anymore.

In your example above, all servers and IP's would be under the control of isp.com so if you are being spammed by one of them, you should be dealing with your isp directly anyway.

I apologise. I was obviously not very clear.

In my example above, while the IP addresses are dished out by the ISP to its users, its users do still have domain names as eg:

a.isp.com

b.isp.com

so users could enjoy email addresses of anything[at]a.isp.com for example.

Further to this the "domain" would enjoy the following DNS records:

a.isp.com A xx.xx.xx.xx (IP)

a.isp.com MX 5 a.isp.com.

a.isp.com MX 10 backup.isp.com

edit: this means that all email goes directly to my box from wherever on the world, unless my adsl line is down

So then when a.isp.com (xx.xx.xx.xx) isn't available, the next MX record is used (backup.isp.com) to queue up mail for it's users, which then shunts it off to the next MX (a.isp.com) when it becomes available.

It's really basic DNS stuff this...

Mailhosts is only meant to stop you from reporting your own ISP, and it will do this. If there is a bad name somewhere, contact the deputies who can change it.

While the service does exactly what it does, I reckon there's a huge problem with the data. And it surely cannot work to contact the deputies to change the mailhost name.

As I say... IP addresses from various ISP's have now been linked to each other through an arbitrary name called "Mailhost name".

It would seem, for example, Two users from isp.com join the "Mailhost name", but then one person leaves and joins another ISP then uses the same Mailhost name. The IP's then seemingly get linked.

If I can get the administrators to find out what has happened in my instance, it would be appreciated.

As I do have my own mail server and my own static IP address, and as I specified a different Mailhost name to the one I joined, I suspect the system has joined me to a different Mailhost name based on the backup MX record.

I then have further examples to check from their about why other isp's ip addresses and domain names are listed under the Mailhost name I've joined...

Cheers

Simon

Edited by sjdean

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If you have a specific question about a section of the FAQ that confuses you, please identify/post that section here with your question and we will attempt to help you understand. If you haven't looked at a FAQ yet, please see the information provided at http://forum.spamcop.net/scwik/SpamCopWhatIs or http://forum.spamcop.net/scwik/SpamCopWhereToGetHelp ....

I find it interesting that you raise your complaint almost immediately after I updated my ancient / attempted / aborted MailHost Configuration Problems FAQ entry with data provided by one of the three people that have access to that database, and that this updated bit uncluded specifically talking about 'goofy names' ....

Your argument that a 'sub-Domain' is not associated with a 'Domain' really doesn't hold a lot of water ... and the MailHost Configuration of Your Reporting Account isn't all that concerned about the Domain/sub-Domain, it's the e-mail servers involved with handling the/your e-mail traffic ..... and in the long run, it's whether the tool does what it was meant to do.

BTW: the individual that did create this tool is still considered pretty much of a genius / wizard in most quarters.

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I find it interesting that you raise your complaint almost immediately after I updated my ancient / attempted / aborted MailHost Configuration Problems FAQ entry with data provided by one of the three people that have access to that database, and that this updated bit uncluded specifically talking about 'goofy names' ....

You did the what now?

Could you point me in the direction of the FAQ? I've had a look in this section and havent found it yet. My musings were based on trying to understand how the Hosts/Domaints and Relaying IP's are made up since they didn't make any sense.

After reading the sticky here titled "Mailhosts - definitions" which quote:

"1: the general name of the mailhost as established in the spamcop files. This name is somewhat arbitrary and as the name for a given set of servers (ex. earthlink servers) is set by the first person to register them the name might not be what you expect. If the name is seriously strange it can be changed by writing to deputies <at> spamcop.net."

and

""Hosts/Domains" is a bit confusing.

What it actually is, is a list of the names of the various mail servers utilized by the "Mailhost name" Those names appear in a drop down list."

So for clarification, I guess my questions are:

1) The Mailhost name is completely arbitrary right? And does not necessarily relate to any ISP?

2) The Relaying IP's/Hosts Domains - the way they're linked to Mailhost names mean that there will inevitably be non-related ip's within a single mailhost, right? ie in my Relaying IP's list I have:

212.159.113.89 Plus.com

217.155.162.168 Zen.co.uk

81.105.198.216 ntl.com

Three completely separate ISP's and servers all linked under an umbrella arbitrary Mailhost name

(incidentally, none of these ip's appear in my headers:

Return-Path: <service[at]admin.spamcop.net>

Received: from sc-app2.spamcop.net (sc-app2.spamcop.net [204.15.82.21])

by simtext.plus.com (8.12.11/8.12.11) with SMTP id kACHlC5e024538

for <sjdean[at]simtext.plus.com>; Sun, 12 Nov 2006 17:47:15 GMT

X-SpamCop-Conf: Zi1p0RNTc0rYhnUd

Received: from [212.159.113.89] by spamcop.net

with HTTP; Sun, 12 Nov 2006 17:47:10 GMT

From: SpamCop robot <mhconf.Zi1p0RNTc0rYhnUd[at]cmds.spamcop.net>

)

3) Are users linked on Backup MX records too?

4) What would you change the Mailhost name to in this scenario?

5) There are other servers listed in the Relay IP's section of my mailhosts file. none of them are involved in processing mail towards me, as I have a Primary MX record on my domain pointing at me. Is this a problem? http://www.dnsstuff.com/tools/lookup.ch?na...om&type=ALL

Your argument that a 'sub-Domain' is not associated with a 'Domain' really doesn't hold a lot of water ...

That was never my argument. They're a valid "domain" in their own right and can have associated MX, NS, A records etc.

and the MailHost Configuration of Your Reporting Account isn't all that concerned about the Domain/sub-Domain, it's the e-mail servers involved with handling the/your e-mail traffic ..... and in the long run, it's whether the tool does what it was meant to do.

I can see that it does that. And very nicely done too. However I do see a few people on here who have had questions about having non related IP addresses appearing in their "Mailhosts". Me too. As I say, with me on my own static IP address and own domain name, and my own primary MX, I was surprised to be lumped with other Relaying IP's and Hosts/Domains that had no bearing or relation to my own setup.

There's probably a very intelligent reason behind why it records what it does, but, it doesn't make a great deal of sense, and being told Im on KitKit.net rather than Plus.net doesn't make any sense, when KitKit.net aren't even hosted at Plus.net anymore. And what do you change the mailname to anyhow? Zen? NTL? Plus?

Would probably make more sense not to display any of the Hosts/Domains or Relaying IP information to the users as, it doesn't make any sense.

Im not trying to be derogatory, far from it. I think Spamcop is great. From a user point of view, and I've seen it mentioned, it seems that there's some quirks and the information presented to users is confusing. Im a Linux geek, running Sendmail and understand DNS (like Im sure a lot of other people here). I'd be most honoured to go through this with someone to explain my thoughts and what I see, I understand you're still addressing issues, so I mean, if there's anything I can do to help really?

Thanks

Simon

Edited by sjdean

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Easy part first ... there's a lot to run through in your last <g>

SpamCop FAQ at the top of this page

.... (2 selections actually, one opens a new browser instance, one opens a new page in the existing browser)

Scroll down to the jump points offered (or just continue scrolling)

Jump/Scroll-down to the SpamCop Parsing and Reporting Service section

Scroll down to the entries sectioned out for MailHost;

How do I configure Mailhosts for SpamCop?

-----> Mailhost System Configuration Explanation

-----> MailHost Configuration Problems FAQ started

-----> Mailhosts Typical Questions A less technical version

-----> One version of a Step-by-step MailHost set-up

-----> "Sorry, confirmation codes do not match:" - Why?

The "FAQ started" is the one I was referring to ..

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Thanks for that. D'oh. I think Im going blind.

If I can give an example though of what Im seeing?

My Mailhosts through Spamcop shows:

anyoldname.com

kitkit.net

kitkitnet.plus.com

plus.com

cable.anyoldname.com

mail2.kitkit.net

zimbo.co.uk

finches.plus.com

mail.kitkit.net

dokicity.com

zen.co.uk

iamexpert.com

simtext.plus.com

smtp.anyoldname.com

212.159.113.89

217.155.162.168

81.174.225.178

202.85.141.224

212.159.100.163

212.159.60.216

81.105.198.216

80.229.134.244

Most of these (in fact Im sure all of them apart from one on each list) aren't associated with my mail server. None of them are used when people send mail to me.

The Mail Headers for me show:

Return-Path: &lt;service[at]admin.spamcop.net&gt;
Received: from sc-app2.spamcop.net (sc-app2.spamcop.net [204.15.82.21])
	by simtext.plus.com (8.12.11/8.12.11) with SMTP id kACHlC5e024538
	for &lt;sjdean[at]simtext.plus.com&gt;; Sun, 12 Nov 2006 17:47:15 GMT
X-SpamCop-Conf: Zi1p0RNTc0rYhnUd
Received: from [212.159.113.89] by spamcop.net
	with HTTP; Sun, 12 Nov 2006 17:47:10 GMT
From: SpamCop robot &lt;mhconf.Zi1p0RNTc0rYhnUd[at]cmds.spamcop.net&gt;
To: sjdean[at]simtext.plus.com
Subject: [SpamCop] account configuration email

As you can see, mail arrives directly at my server due to the Primary MX reference as below

While my DNS:

simtext.plus.com. MX IN	86400 mail.simtext.plus.com. [Preference = 1]
simtext.plus.com. MX IN	86400 autoturn.plus.net.uk. [Preference = 5]
simtext.plus.com. MX IN	86400 mx.last.plus.net. [Preference = 20]
simtext.plus.com. A IN	86400 212.159.113.89
mail.simtext.plus.com.	A IN 86400 212.159.113.89

I was trying to figure out the reason why these associations with mailhosts are made. I presumed that it was because of Backup MX servers being looked at too. But then I can't explain how other distinctly separate isp's can get in on the mix in the mailhost. Is it a bug? A feature? By design?

So, in the FAQ:

"If a mailhost record already exists for that domain (i.e. another user on that domain) your account is simply pointed at that already existing record. If any new servers are identified they are added to the existing record."

From this, and my headers above, I have my own distinct server and mailhost. I should therefore have a new mailhost record produced? It's not. The only thing that makes any sense to me, is if I share the same BackupMX as another user, even though PrimaryMX is different, I would get added to the existing mailhost?

Which is fair enough.

But then you get the messy situation as I tried talking about where it seems users have moved to different ISP's and somehow associate those other servers with the existing mailhost. (zen, cable, plus, ntl etc)

"If a new server is found subsequently, yes we have to manually add it. Similarly, if the domain changes hosts we have to add the new servers and remove the old ones."

This is probably the crux of my argument that I was trying to make. It seems like this work hasn't been done and so you have several physically separate mailhosts and servers under different isp's etc under an ambiguous umbrella.

Which as I say, looking through the old posts here, seems to cause a bit of confusion.

Thanks

Simon

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Q: Are you seeing spam being unreportable because of the current setup?

As I understand it, that would be the only reason the deputies would feel a need to change the configuration.

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From: "WazoO"

To: deputies

Subject: Need help answering a MailHost question

Date: Mon, 13 Nov 2006 17:37:05 -0600

Hard as I try to keep flushing out the FAQ on this, the

issues keep coming in that I can't guess at trying to

describe ... In general, it appears that this user's

Configuration/Registration process worked, but

the simple "you're using a shared database" isn't

sufficient to answer the questions being asked.

Requesting input from those that know the details

and answers ...

Mailhosts Linking

http://forum.spamcop.net/forums/index.php?showtopic=7466

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As it turns out, this person is the only one actually using the host at issue. I thought there were two, but the other user's domain had moved and he reregistered to get his new host listed, so he doesn't need it anymore.

So, I deleted the host entirely and advised sjdean that he should reregister his address.

As the first person to register the host, he will get to name it anything he wants, and it will be "clean" in that it will only contain server info relating to him.

- Don D'Minion - SpamCop Admin -

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Thanks for the actions taken to resolve this user's issue.

It does appear though that I'm still stuck with only the "using a shared database" for any kind of an answer ....

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