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From: John.Airey at (
Subject: Apparently the practice was prevalent

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Martin Macok []
> Sent: 10 February 2004 23:53
> To:
> Subject: Re: [Full-Disclosure] Apparently the practice was prevalent
> On Tue, Feb 10, 2004 at 08:20:00PM -0000, 
> wrote:
> > >> format of the email you are reading, RFC 822. It's worth pointing
> > >> out that anyone who does not have an "open" email relay is in
> > >> breach of this RFC
> > 
> > >Not true.
> > 
> > At the risk of descending into a playground argument, 'tis true.
> > Sections 4.3.2, 6.2.2 and 6.2.6 imply that you have an open relay.
> Which RFC ???
> > In fact, RFC 2822 which obsoletes RFC 822 doesn't even mention
> > relays.
> Of course. It also doesn't mention space ships. It's just about
> something else. It has not anything to do with "email relaying".
What do space ships have to do with this discussion? There's no mention of
them in RFC 822, so this is hardly relevant.
> The right one is RFC 2821. See the quote of "Relaying" part from my
> previous post.
Is it? Only 2822 supersedes 822. 2821 supersedes 821, which also implies you
should have open relays. It states that you should have EXPN enabled. Both
were a bad idea even before April 2001, yet they had remained the "standard"
for almost 20 years.

> > Is there any RFC that specifies that open relays are a bad idea?
> Do not expect that there is an RFC for every bad idea around ...
Which basically means that anything not strictly allowed isn't. My point
> > I can't find one.
> I can.
> RFC 2505         Anti-Spam Recommendations       February 1999

No you can't. I also found RFC 2505 after sending my mail, however it still
mentions nothing about open relays. It talks about "Non-Relay" and
"unauthorised relaying" (an oxymoron?). These indeed mean the same thing,
just like "no username and password" with http means that Microsoft
shouldn't have made this "feature" available. It's been abused, granted not
in the way that was first envisaged in the RFC, but abused nonetheless.

This goes to prove that you can't have your cake and eat it. 

Bottom line:

Microsoft made a mistake in not adhering to the standards.
Microsoft have now fixed their mistake, and given the option to restore the
broken behaviour.
Users still complain.

John Airey, BSc (Jt Hons), CNA, RHCE
Internet systems support officer, ITCSD, Royal National Institute of the
Bakewell Road, Peterborough PE2 6XU,
Tel.: +44 (0) 1733 375299 Fax: +44 (0) 1733 370848 

According to the book of Acts, Eutychus was the first man to suffer from a
General Protection Fault with Windows.


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