01 November 2005

More email issues

Missing some emails? This might explain it...

It appears that the University, through the IT Security Manager, has recently implemented a security measure that checks the email server responsible for sending any emails to @canberra.edu.au addresses before delivering them. If the check establishes the email server is “valid”, the email will be delivered. If however the server sending the email identifies itself with a name that is not properly registered on the internet, the email will be refused and “bounced” to the sender with instructions on how to correct the problem before emails to University recipients will be delivered.

The objective of the measure is to reduce the number of inappropriate emails getting to UC addresses (including spam, pornographic emails, viruses and other malware delivered along with emails, and so on: a laudable objective). Unfortunately there will be many “false-positives”: legitimate emails that are bounced if there is a problem with the registration of the sender’s email server. The Division in fact found out about the introduction of the measure when Canon Australia complained that their emails to us were being bounced.

Staff should be aware that the new measure is in place and that legitimate emails may not be getting through. If you are not receiving emails that you think you ought to be receiving, contact the sender (your emails to them should still be delivered) and ask them to call you if their messages are being bounced. Explain to them that the bounced email message contains instructions for their mail server administrator on how to fix their problem. The sender may also be able to use a different email server, one that is registered in a DNS as being of type ‘A’, to send their emails to the University.

No discussion was held with the Division about this change, and no warning of its implementation given. The comedu helpdesk would like to receive reports of any bounced emails to monitor the situation and if necessary take it up with ICT Services.