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sendmail and "junk" header

sendmail and "junk" header

Many (but not all) of our users are setup with a .forward file in their home directory to forward their UNIX email to our campus wide email server (FirstClass from Centrinity). When this happens, sendmail is placing the word "junk" in the mail header (according to our email administrator) which our campus wide email is then "automatically" deleting.

Anyone know why this is happening and how to stop it?

Thanks!

Brian
*********************************
Brian L. Amstutz
Director of Computing Systems
Asbury Theological Seminary
204 N. Lexington Ave.
Wilmore, KY 40390

Email: Brian_Amstutz@AsburySeminary.edu
Tel: 859-858-2321
Fax: 859-858-2330
12 REPLIES
Fred Martin_1
Valued Contributor

Re: sendmail and "junk" header

I think you could verify whether or not it's sendmail fairly easily at a unix prompt, with:

grep -i junk /etc/mail/sendmail.cf

If you come with any information, it's most likely someone configured sendmail specifically for that.

I'd like to see the lines, if you do come up with anything.

I'm not sure why the mail admin would not be able to do anything about this; unless he's not in charge of the unix side of things.
fmartin@applicatorssales.com

Re: sendmail and "junk" header

Thanks! Here's what I found:
grep -i junk /etc/mail/sendmail.cf
Pjunk=-100

I'm actually the Unix sysadmin so I could change something if I knew what I needed to change (our email admin is admin on an NT system running our non-Unix campus wide email system)

It looks like the above (Pjunk=-100) is setting some kind of priority for junk mail but WHY is it doing it for .forwarded mail?

Thanks!

Brian
*********************************
Brian L. Amstutz
Director of Computing Systems
Asbury Theological Seminary
204 N. Lexington Ave.
Wilmore, KY 40390

Email: Brian_Amstutz@AsburySeminary.edu
Tel: 859-858-2321
Fax: 859-858-2330
Vincent Fleming
Honored Contributor

Re: sendmail and "junk" header

Pjunk is just a definition of low-priority mail handling. I doubt that is what's causing the word "junk" in the header... at least not directly.

Can you post an example header so we can see where it's putting the word "junk"?
No matter where you go, there you are.
Robin Wakefield
Honored Contributor

Re: sendmail and "junk" header

Brian,

The "P" assigns a Precendence or weighting for the message when the queue is processed. Normally, top priority is "special-delivery", lowest is "junk". As far as I know, it will not alter the message in any way.

Another process must be adding the "word to the header.

Rgds, Robin
Fred Martin_1
Valued Contributor

Re: sendmail and "junk" header

I agree, this doesn't seem to be responsible, my cf file contains:

Pfirst-class=0
Pspecial-delivery=100
Plist=-30
Pbulk=-60
Pjunk=-100

And these are out-of-the-box defaults for precedence.

Just for grins try the grep again on all sendmail files:

grep -i junk /etc/mail/*

On my system I got a hit on only one other file but it wasn't related.

There -is- a bunch of stuff in sendmail.cf about forwarding and .forward files. Alas that stuff is beyond my experience at the moment.
fmartin@applicatorssales.com
Fred Martin_1
Valued Contributor

Re: sendmail and "junk" header

I agree with Vincent, I'd like to see a header that contains the junk word.
fmartin@applicatorssales.com

Re: sendmail and "junk" header

Well, I haven't received any info from our email administrator yet, but I sent a message and then took a look in /var/spool/mqueue while it was still waiting there. Listed below is what's on the unix side before it gets sent on. I don't see the word "junk" anywhere so I'm wondering if our email admin was incorrect about it containing the word "junk" when it hits the email server. If that's the case, then is there something else in the header (e.g. priority, precedence, etc) that could cause another email server to think the message is junk? Thanks for your responses!

Brian

V2
T1031773904
K0
N0
P30123
I64/8/22063
Fb
$_root@localhost
Sbrian
Cbrian:xxx:xxx:brian
RPFD:brian_amstutz@asburyseminary.edu
H?P?Return-Path: brian
HReceived: (from root@localhost) by Daniel3.asburyseminary.edu (8.8.6 (PHNE_1719
0)/8.7.1) id PAA26210 for brian; Wed, 11 Sep 2002 15:51:44 -0400 (EDT)
H?D?Date: Wed, 11 Sep 2002 15:51:44 -0400 (EDT)
H?F?From: Brian Amstutz
H?x?Full-Name: Brian Amstutz
H?M?Message-Id: <200209111951.PAA26210@Daniel3.asburyseminary.edu>
HTo: brian
HSubject: test
HMime-Version: 1.0
HContent-Type: text/plain; charset=us-ascii
HContent-Transfer-Encoding: 7bit
.
Christopher Caldwell
Honored Contributor

Re: sendmail and "junk" header

P30123
is the priority
initially set by the following calculation (from the Bat Book):
priority=nbytes - (class * z) + (recipients * y)

nbytes - size of message
class - value given to message by Precedence: header (converted to a numeric based on the P command in sendmail.cf)
z - ClassFactor in sendmail.cf
recipients - number of recipients
y-RecipientFactor

This stuff all adds up to set initial priority - which then gets adjusted by configurations in sendmail.cf each time it tries to deliver a message.

The Precendence: header isn't set by sendmail, it's set by your MUA, but used in the priority calculation by sendmail (i.e. it looks like something else is setting the Precedence: header).

Re: sendmail and "junk" header

After some further testing, here's what I've found.

If I send mail directly to our campus email server, it is NOT labeled as "junk". It is only labeled as "junk" if it's routed through a .forward file.

If I send it using the mailx "-r" option (to set sender address) it does NOT get labeled as "junk" at all (either directly or via .forward) UNLESS the -r domain name is the name of the UNIX system that I'm sending the mail from - even bogus domain names work OK as sender address (e.g. brian@kjdfkj.jljaf).

So...., what does that tell me?

Thanks!

Brian
Christopher Caldwell
Honored Contributor

Re: sendmail and "junk" header

Post the results of
grep local /etc/mail/sendmail.cf

and
the contents of one of the .forward files in question.

Re: sendmail and "junk" header

The .forward file is:
Brian_Amstutz@AsburySeminary.edu

Here's grep local /etc/mail/sendmail.cf - I've removed the comment lines so it wasn't quite as long but it's still kind of messy.
Cwlocalhost

R$* < @ localhost > $* $: $1 < @ $j . > $2 no domain at all

R$* < @ localhost . $m > $* $: $1 < @ $j . > $2 local domain
R$* < @ localhost . UUCP > $* $: $1 < @ $j . > $2 .UUCP domain

R<@> $#local $: <@> special case error msgs

R$=L < @ $=w . > $#local $: @ $1 special local names
R$+ < @ $=w . > $#local $: $1 regular local name

R/$* $#local $: / $1 absolute file pathname
R|$* $#local $: | $1 to a program
R:include:$* $#local $: :include: $1 to :include: list

R$=L $#local $: @ $1 special local names
R$+ $#local $: $1 regular local names
R$+ + * $#local $@ $&h $: $1
R$+ + $* $#local $@ $2 $: $1 + *

R< > $+ + $* $#local $@ $2 $: $1
R< $=w > $* $@ $2 delete local host
R$* < @ $=w . > $* $: $1 < @ $2 . @ $M > $3 convert local names

R$* < @ $+ .REDIRECT. > < $- > $# error $@ 5.1.1 $: "551 User not local; please
try " <$1@$2>

Mlocal, P=/usr/bin/rmail, F=lsDFMAw5:/|@m, S=10/30, R=20/40,
R$+ $: $>50 $1 add local domain if needed
R$+ $: $>50 $1 add local domain if needed
R$+ $: $>50 $1 add local domain if needed

R$+ $@ $1 < @ $j . > add local qualification

R$+ $: $1 < @ $j > add local domain
R$+ $@ $1 < @ $j . > add local qualification
R$* < @ $=w > $1 strip local name
R$* < @ $j > $1 strip local name
R$* < @ $j > $1 strip local name
R$+ / $* / $* / $* / $* $: $1 / $2 / $3 / $4 / $5 < @ $j > local x4
00 rcp

Thanks!

Brian
Dave Unverhau_1
Honored Contributor

Re: sendmail and "junk" header

Brian,

I'm not technical with regard to email, but is it possible that the main campus email gateway/server has been configured to only consider email forwarded by specific servers to be "valid" and hence designates anything forwarded by an unknown server as "junk" (and then deletes it)? Has your FirstClass server been set up to recognize you as a "legal" forwarder of mail? Maybe this stuff was set up by a predecessor of the current campus mail admin (or a vendor) and the current guy just hasn't noticed it. Just some food for thought...hope it helps!

Best Regards,

Dave
Romans 8:28