Mailing List Message #8558
From: Steve Rothman <>
Subject: "Unknown" account questions
Date: Tue, 10 Jul 2001 15:36:39 -0400
To: SIMS Discussion list <>
I'm currently using an "unknown" user account in SIMS to trap incorrectly addressed mail and forward it to the postmaster (that would be me)  so it can be dealt with by hand.

Two questions:

(1) A message on this discussion list last month mentioned that the fact of having an "unknown" user account might trigger one of the open-relay detection services to flag the email server as exploitable.  Does having an "unknown" account really create a security problem somehow, or is this basically a flaw in the methods of the open-relay detection systems?

(2) My "unknown" account is receiving a lot of junk email for a couple former users of the system, and I would prefer not to see it. I assume a good way to handle this is to set up an account again for the former users, discard the mail as it comes in, and set up an auto-reply with some message like "so and so is no longer here, please fix your address book, the new address is xxx".  Should I try to emulate a typical "550 user unknown" message? Should I just write something in plain english, although I think 99% of this junk mail is automatically generated? Are there any possible pitfalls with this strategy?

Thanks for advice, -Steve
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