Mail system components. Electronic Mail MRA MUA MSA MAA. David Byers

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1 Electronic Mail PRINCIPLES DNS ARCHITECTURES SPAM Mail system components () () David Byers MRA IDA/ADIT/IISLAB Mail User Agent Reads and writes Writes to using (usually) Reads delivered by or retrieved by MRA Mozilla Thunderbird Outlook Express MRA Mail Retrieval Agent Retrieves from Makes mail available to Fetchmail Integrated in Thunderbird etc. Mail Access Agent Authenticates /user Reads from mailbox Makes available to Mail Submission Agent Accepts mail from Prepares and delivers to Courier IMAPD Postfix postdrop+ sendmail-msa 1

2 Mail Transfer Agent Routes incoming mail Determines which to send mail to May alter mail being routed Postfix Sendmail Mail Delivery Agent Accepts mail from Delivers mail to mailbox Delivers mail to other Postfix, smtp, pipe mail. ( delivery) procmail ( delivery) Mail system components Path of a message MRA () () 1. New message written Mail is written in Mail is submitted to 2. Reception of message at authenticates user checks that user is authorized to submit mail may rewrite headers submits message to reports success to 3. Reception of message at checks that sender and recipient are valid and permitted checks that contents are valid and permitted may run content filters may rewrite headers determines which to submit mail to (, etc) submits mail to If unsuccessful, queues mail for later delivery Path of a message Postfix architecture 4. Reception of message at sends message to remote using (example) 5. Rcpt of message at remote Same as step 3 Message submitted to 7. detects new message signals retrieves message 8. Message read presents message to user Network Network smtp virtual 6. Reception of message at may check filters/rules delivers message to appropriate mail store Postdrop queue postdrop sendmail pipe File, Command Network Network File Local Command 2

3 The role of DNS Simple Mail Transfer Protocol Default: TCP port 25 RFC 2821 E Extensions Example %telnet mail.ida.liu.se 25 Trying Connected to mail.ida.liu.se. Escape character is '^]'. 220 mail.ida.liu.se E Sendmail /8.13.3; Mon, 29 Aug :34: (CEST) EHLO lap-65.ida.liu.se Problem: which server to contact for a mail address? Solution: look up MX record in DNS Text-based protocol No encryption No authentication 250-mail.ida.liu.se Hello gedrix.ida.liu.se [ ], pleased to meet you MAIL Sender ok RCPT Recipient ok DATA 354 Enter mail, end with "." on a line by itself From: David Byers To: Samizdat Info Date: Mon, 29 Aug :38: Subject: Testing Body text. Example: example.com MX example.com MX example.com MX 10 mail1.example.com. 10 mail2.example.com. 20 mx.nodomain.edu j7tbygxf Message accepted for delivery QUIT portofix.ida.liu.se closing connection Structure of a message Things the does Envelope From dialog Header Message metadata Specified in RFC 2822 Body Sequence of ASCII characters Separated from body by CRLF Syntax message::= headers CRLF body headers ::= header headers ε header ::= name : value CRLF Return-Path: Delivery-Date: Fri May 14 08:38: Received: from diag7.ida.liu.se (diag7.ida.liu.se [ ]) by portofix.ida.liu.se ( / ) with E id i423760; Fri, 14 May :38: (MEST) Received: (from by diag7.ida.liu.se ( Sun/ /Submit) id i401197; Fri, 14 May :38: (CEST) Date: Fri, 14 May :38: From: Andreas Johansson To: David Byers Cc: Subject: Re: =?ISO ?Q?N=E4tverksproblem?= Message-Id: In-Reply-To: References: Organization: =?ISO ?Q?Link=F6pings?= universitet X-Mailer: Sylpheed version (GTK ; sparc-sun-solaris2.9) Mime-Version: 1.0 Content-Type: text/plain; charset=iso X-Virus-Scanned: clamd / ClamAV 0.70, clamav-milter 0.70j X-Spam-Flag: NO X-Scanned-By: milter-spamc/ ( [ ]); pass Header rewriting Addition of received header Addition of Message-ID Address rewriting Example rewriting Removal of host name Addition of domain name davby david.byers Mail routing Find server for recipient address Queue mail for submission Re-submit failed messages Send delivery status notifications example Find MX records for address Try records in ascending order Try A record for address 3

4 Things the does Postfix content filters Content filtering Scan for virus content Check validity of attachments Check size of messages Check for spam Common spam checks Keyword/feature filters IP address blacklists Greylisting Authorization Check submitting host IP Check from address Check recipient address Check contents Typically permitted Mail from systems Mail to recipients Mail from trusted hosts to any recipient Three flavors Built-in content inspection After queue content filter Before queue content filter Built-in content inspection Body checks, Header checks Regexp checks on message For stopping specific problems (filter) bounce (forwarded) 4

5 Postfix content filters Postfix content filters Three flavors Built-in content inspection After queue content filter Before queue content filter After queue content filter After mail has been accepted Heavy-duty filtering Need to avoid spurious DSNs Postfix postdrop Postfix sendmail (filter) bounce (forwarded) Postfix queues Three flavors Built-in content inspection After queue content filter Before queue content filter Before queue content filter Before mail is accepted Heavy-duty filtering Only for low-volume sites Content filter (filter) Content filter pipe smtp Relay restrictions Greylisting DNS-based blocklists Spam protection Restrictions Denying relay 220 solzhenitsyn.samizdat.se E Postfix HELO gedrix.ida.liu.se 250 solzhenitsyn.samizdat.se MAIL 250 Ok RCPT 554 Relay access denied Greylisting in action 220 portofix.ida.liu.se E Sendmail / HELO metzengerstein.visit.se 250 portofix.ida.liu.se Hello metzengerstein.visit.se [ ] MAIL Sender ok RCPT Greylisting in action, please come back in 00:10:00 DNS-based blocklists Blocklists work like in-addr.arpa lookup %host -t TXT l1.spews.dnsbl.sorbs.net l1.spews.dnsbl.sorbs.net TXT "! [1] XPD Limited, see Architectures %host -t TXT dnsbl.sorbs.net dnsbl.sorbs.net TXT "Spam Received See: 5

6 -side outgoing mail Outgoing mail has an queues mail Smarthost All mail through one Central configuration has no If central is down, no mail can be sent Failover Better reliability Load balancing Better reliability Better performance Multiple s Incoming mail Single storage server Mail storage Load-balanced s Distributed filesystem on SAN One front-end multiple backends Username-based load balancing SAN Users a-m Users m-z Reading mail Centralized example Load-balanced s with SAN / (AUTH) SAN IMAP IMAP IMAP POP IMAP Webmail Users a-j User-base load balancing L7 Switch Users k-r Users s-z SAN 6

7 Corporate example (I) Corporate example (II) smtp.example.com mx.eng.example.com mail.sales.example.com smtp.example.com Address rewrite mx.eng.example.com mail.sales.example.com eng.example.com MX smtp.example.com. sales.example.com MX smtp.example.com. rnd.example.com MX smtp.example.com. example.com MX smtp.example.com. Split DNS Split DNS eng.example.com MX mx.eng.example.com. sales.example.com MX mail.sales.example.com. rnd.example.com MX pluto.rnd.example.com. eng.example.com MX mx.eng.example.com. sales.example.com MX mail.sales.example.com. rnd.example.com MX pluto.rnd.example.com. Summary components,, etc Postfix architecture Address rewriting Content filtering Spam protection Relaying, greylisting Mail system architectures 7

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