Saturday, August 29, 2009

Greylisting in IndiMail

Greylisting is a method of defending email users against spam, by temporarily rejecting any email from a IP/Sender which it does not recognize. As per SMTP, the originating server should after a delay retry. A server implementing greylisting should accept the mail if sufficient time has elapsed. If the mail is from a spammer it will probably not be retried since a spammer goes through thousands of email addresses and typically cannot afford the time delay to retry.

IndiMail 1.6 onwards implements greylisting using qmail-greyd daemon. You additionally need to have the environment variable GREYIP defined for the qmail-smtpd process. The environment variable GREYIP specifies on which IP and port, qmail-greyd is accepting greylisting requests. qmail-smtpd uses UDP to send a triplet (IP+RETURN_PATH+RECIPIENT) to the greylisting server and waits for an answer which tells qmail-smtpd to proceed ahead or to temporarily reject the mail. qmail-greyd also accepts a list of whitelisted IP addresses for which greylisting should not be done.

1. Enabling qmail-greyd greylisting server
% su
# svctool --greylist=1999 --servicedir=/service --min-resend-min=2 \
--resend-win-hr=24 --timeout-days=30 --context-file=greylist.context \
--save-interval=5 --whitelist=greylist.whitelist --use-greydaemon

NOTE: The above service has already been setup for you, if you have done a binary installation of IndiMail/indimail-mta

2. Enabling greylisting in SMTP
  • Assuming you've setup your qmail-smtpd service with tcpserver with the -x option (as in LWQ), you just need to update the cdb file referenced by this -x option. The source for this file is typically /etc/indimail/tcp.smtp. For example,
    • could become,
    • If you've setup qmail-greyd on a non-default address (perhaps you're running qmail-greyd on a separate machine), you'll also need to specify the address it's listening on - adjust the above to include GREYIP="", for example.
    • Finally, don't forget to update the cdb file corresponding to the source file you've just edited. If you have a LWQ setup that's,
      # qmailctl cdb

    • Alternatively (and particularly if you're not using the -x option to tcpserver) you can enable greylisting for all SMTP connections by setting GREYIP in the environment in which qmail-smtpd is started - for example your variables directory for qmail-smtpd can contain a file with the name GREYIP
      # echo GREYIP=\"\" > /service/qmail-smtpd.25/variables/GREYIP
    NOTE: The above instructions are for IndiMail/indimail-mta 2.x and above. For 1.x releases, use /var/indimail/etc for the location of tcp.smtp and tcp.smtp.cdb
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