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SPF for sending from Spamcop


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I mainly use my own domain [referred to as "mydomain.com" below] for sending emails. However when I'm on the move I'd like to use Spamcop Webmail for sending emails.

I've set up an SPF record on my domain:

v=spf1 a mx ip4:[ip address of mydomain.com] a:[gateway server of mydomain.com] include:[mail server of mydomain.com] include:spamcop.net include:cesmail.net -all

Although Spamcop is fine with this and classifies a message I send myself as OK, Microsoft Entourage classifies it as spam. Have I got the spf entries right?

Further info:

Return-Path: <[me at mydomain.com]>

Delivered-To: spamcop-net- [me at spamcop.net]

Received: (qmail 12737 invoked from network); 31 Mar 2010 08:53:51 -0000

X-spam-Checker-Version: SpamAssassin 3.2.4 (2008-01-01) on blade1

X-spam-Level:

X-spam-Status: hits=-1.4 tests=ALL_TRUSTED version=3.2.4

Received: from unknown (HELO c60.cesmail.net) (192.168.1.105)

by blade1.cesmail.net with SMTP; 31 Mar 2010 08:53:51 -0000

Received: from unknown (HELO delta2) ([192.168.1.50])

by c60.cesmail.net with ESMTP; 31 Mar 2010 04:53:51 -0400

Received: from [...].croy.cable.virginmedia.com

([...].croy.cable.virginmedia.com [94.169.150.XXX]) by

webmail.spamcop.net (Horde MIME library) with HTTP; Wed, 31 Mar 2010

09:53:51 +0100

Edited by NeilMaybin
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I mainly use my own domain [referred to as "mydomain.com" below] for sending emails. However when I'm on the move I'd like to use Spamcop Webmail for sending emails.

I've set up an SPF record on my domain:

v=spf1 a mx ip4:[ip address of mydomain.com] a:[gateway server of mydomain.com] include:[mail server of mydomain.com] include:spamcop.net include:cesmail.net -all

Perhaps it's that I can't get focused enough to follow the logic, but .... the above data doesn't seem to go together for me. Starting at SPF Record Syntax ... Mechanisms can be used to describe the set of hosts which are designated outbound mailers for the domain.

If you are using your Domain's outgoing e-mail server, you are not using sny of the SpamCop/CESmail services. If you are using the SpamCop/CESmail Webmail interface, you are not using "your Domain's'" services. So I'm not sure as to why you're trying to mash together the SPF records in the first place.

Have I got the spf entries right?

In terms of syntax, one could add some "?" caveats to the 'include' statements, but in reality, I don't believe the line actually does what you intended. Specifically, your 'client IP Address' would not be defined within the SpamCop/CESmail SPF records, so one would think that the '-all' entry would tend to point to a 'fail' result.

Although Spamcop is fine with this and classifies a message I send myself as OK, Microsoft Entourage classifies it as spam.

Strange that you state that 'SpamCop has not problem' and you offer an example of an incoming e-mail header-set to allegedly show this .. but then you complain about Entourage handling and offer up no data. And that's even without noting that no one on this side of the screen would have a clue as to just what other variables might be involved in your Entourage setup.

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Perhaps it's that I can't get focused enough to follow the logic, but .... the above data doesn't seem to go together for me. Starting at SPF Record Syntax ... Mechanisms can be used to describe the set of hosts which are designated outbound mailers for the domain.

If you are using your Domain's outgoing e-mail server, you are not using sny of the SpamCop/CESmail services. If you are using the SpamCop/CESmail Webmail interface, you are not using "your Domain's'" services. So I'm not sure as to why you're trying to mash together the SPF records in the first place.

Let me simplify the question. I am trying to send an email from spamcop.net using a Webmail identity which has [me at mydomain.com] as my From: address. Is this something which is potentially valid or potentially invalid using SPF records on [mydomain.com]? If valid, what should the SPF record on mydomain.com look like in terms of how it references spamcop/cesmail servers?

As for Entourage, I take your point. Its rules for classifying a given email as spam or otherwise seem voluminous. However, if I could be certain my SPF record was valid that would at least give me a starting point for investigating Entourage's behaviour.

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I would just copy+modify the spamcop spf into your domains spf. There is space in the TXT record to be more descriptivtive than you have been in your quoted example.

DNS records for webmail.spamcop.net

spamcop.net IN TXT v=spf1 ip4:204.15.80.0/22 ip4:216.154.195.32/27 ip4:64.88.168.64/27 ?all

No idea if webmail.spamcop.net is the correct host/domain to be looking at the SPF records for cribbing from.

HTH

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Let me simplify the question. I am trying to send an email from spamcop.net using a Webmail identity which has [me at mydomain.com] as my From: address. Is this something which is potentially valid or potentially invalid using SPF records on [mydomain.com]?

I'm having a small issue in trying to move outside of the first paragraph in my previous Post. If you are using the "mydomain" e-mail server for outgoing, you're not using CESmail services or hardware. If you arre using the SpamCop webmail interface, then you're not using 'mydomain' services or hardware. As cited within the referenced SPF link, used to describe the set of hosts which are designated outbound mailers for the domain

The From: address with a 'mydomain' Domain ID and seen coming from a CESmail server could be a/the "flag" to some spam filters, based on the typical spammer mode of using forged e-mail addresses within their spew.

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The From: address with a 'mydomain' Domain ID and seen coming from a CESmail server could be a/the "flag" to some spam filters, based on the typical spammer mode of using forged e-mail addresses within their spew.

That is what I am trying to do. I thought the whole point of SPF records was to make this legitimate (in spam prevention terms) by providing a facility for mydomain to authorise mail to be sent in its name from another specified domain. Or have I got it all wrong?

I would just copy+modify the spamcop spf into your domains spf. There is space in the TXT record to be more descriptivtive than you have been in your quoted example.

DNS records for webmail.spamcop.net

spamcop.net IN TXT v=spf1 ip4:204.15.80.0/22 ip4:216.154.195.32/27 ip4:64.88.168.64/27 ?all

No idea if webmail.spamcop.net is the correct host/domain to be looking at the SPF records for cribbing from.

William - many thanks: I will try that. Neil.

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That is what I am trying to do. I thought the whole point of SPF records was to make this legitimate (in spam prevention terms) by providing a facility for mydomain to authorise mail to be sent in its name from another specified domain. Or have I got it all wrong?

SPF definitions uses the terms designated outbound mailers for the domain. I read that as a far cry from your example of a Domain only referenced as part of the From: address. It is not my belief that there is any way to consider the CESmail outbound systems as being disgnated approved for any outgoing e-mail from "mydomain.whatever" .... "You" are only authorized to use the CESmail outbound servers whilst "you" are logged into that network/system, thusly not having any real/direct association with "mydomain.whatever" at all. The only thing seen at the Receibing end that has any dealings with "mydomain" is your inserted From: address, which is where the 'comparison' issue comes into play.

Why not try sending out an e-mail with the 'correct' (SpamCop/CESmail) e-mail address in the From: line, but place your 'mydomain' address into the Reply-To: address line and see if that makes any difference to your Entourage handling mode.

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SPF definitions uses the terms designated outbound mailers for the domain. I read that as a far cry from your example of a Domain only referenced as part of the From: address. It is not my belief that there is any way to consider the CESmail outbound systems as being disgnated approved for any outgoing e-mail from "mydomain.whatever" .... "You" are only authorized to use the CESmail outbound servers whilst "you" are logged into that network/system, thusly not having any real/direct association with "mydomain.whatever" at all. The only thing seen at the Receibing end that has any dealings with "mydomain" is your inserted From: address, which is where the 'comparison' issue comes into play.

Why not try sending out an e-mail with the 'correct' (SpamCop/CESmail) e-mail address in the From: line, but place your 'mydomain' address into the Reply-To: address line and see if that makes any difference to your Entourage handling mode.

I think the net of this problem is that Entourage doesn't appear to recognise that the SPF for mydomain.com defines the spamcop/cesmail mail servers and ip addresses (as far as I have been able to ascertain them) as "designated outbound mailers for the domain". This seems anomalous since it does recognise emails as authorised when they are sent from authsmtp.com as coming from mydomain.com, with authsmtp.com specified in the SPF for mydomain.com.

Thanks for the suggestion - a potentially useful idea but one which didn't change Entourage's behaviour. I think I've exhausted all the effort I want to put into this. I don't often want/need to send webmail from spamcop (I use it primarily for receiving email), and though I'm sure the problem has a solution, I think I'll rely on workarounds rather than trying to delve the mysteries of Microsoft's filtering rules.

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Hi Neil,

What IP does the Spamcop system send mail from (on your behalf)? I guess you checked and tried its SPF records into your own domain's SPF records? (or the spf record attached to the host/domain for that ip)

There is space in txt record to add lots of ips/ip ranges. A google spf I have is huge and does not quite fit.

Not knowing the options available with spamcop and your level of need on this one, then this following suggestion may be of limited value:

An alternative is perhaps using an additional email service which will tell you the SPF records required...I use dnsexit.com reliably for a server on a dynamic ip to make the email more acceptable for delivery by various servers (originally mainly ones that need PTR the MX record).

HTH.

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