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After some time I build up an E-Mail Server again. I looked up different tutorial to do it right. I did it right or at least I can send and receive E-Mails.

The most important thing for me is that the server is safe. Safe as I don't receive spam, viruses etc. but far more important I don't want to bother other people or systems. I implemented a lot of directives and stuff to harden the system. But I'm still not sure whether it really is or if I somewhere have a mis-configuration.

I have entries in the log which make me twitchy, maybe I'm just not able to read it right.

I'm totally confused. I would like to think, that all mail mentioned above where sent to /dev/null. First the system says it doesn't know the sender (Some explanation xxx@example.com is a known and valid address on my server NoraHuizenga@example.com is not) :

Jan 23 11:36:22 mail postfix/smtpd[15689]: 78587E1E18: client=unknown[59.98.143.142], sasl_method=PLAIN, sasl_username=xxx@example.com  
Jan 23 11:36:45 mail postfix/cleanup[15705]: 78587E1E18: message-id=<b03686d0024b$9768fef8$57530728$@example.com>  
Jan 23 11:36:45 mail postfix/qmgr[15510]: 78587E1E18: from=<NoraHuizenga@example.com>, size=2357, nrcpt=20 (queue active)  
Jan 23 11:36:45 mail postfix/smtpd[15711]: connect from localhost[127.0.0.1]  
Jan 23 11:36:45 mail postfix/smtpd[15711]: NOQUEUE: reject: RCPT from localhost[127.0.0.1]: 550 5.1.1 <NoraHuizenga@example.com>: Recipient address rejected: User unknown in virtual mailbox table; from=<> to=<NoraHuizenga@example.com> proto=ESMTP helo=<localhost>  
Jan 23 11:36:45 mail amavis[14998]: (14998-09) Negative SMTP resp. to DATA: 554 5.5.1 Error: no valid recipients  
Jan 23 11:36:45 mail postfix/smtpd[15711]: disconnect from localhost[127.0.0.1]

My interpretation of this first passage is that someone uses a well known account of the system in the first place to connect to the system. Second it tries to send E-Mail using a different name, that is not known to the server.

Second Amavis want to bounce it:

Jan 23 11:36:45 mail amavis[14998]: (14998-09) Negative SMTP resp. to DATA: 554 5.5.1 Error: no valid recipients
Jan 23 11:36:45 mail postfix/smtpd[15711]: disconnect from localhost[127.0.0.1]
Jan 23 11:36:45 mail amavis[14998]: (14998-09) (!)V41u_uXR4ZV9(6_lwbkN2e1dX) SEND from <> -> <NoraHuizenga@example.com>, ENVID=AM.V41u_uXR4ZV9.20160123T103645Z@mail.example.com BODY=7BIT 550 5.1.1 from MTA(smtp:[127.0.0.1]:10025): 550 5.1.1 <NoraHuizenga@example.com>: Recipient address rejected: User unknown in virtual mailbox table
Jan 23 11:36:45 mail amavis[14998]: (14998-09) (!)NOTICE: UNABLE TO SEND DSN to <NoraHuizenga@example.com>: 550 5.1.1 from MTA(smtp:[127.0.0.1]:10025): 550 5.1.1 <NoraHuizenga@example.com>: Recipient address rejected: User unknown in virtual mailbox table
Jan 23 11:36:45 mail amavis[14998]: (14998-09) unexpected status/result, please verify: To be bounced, but DSN was neither sent nor suppressed?, <fischerma@adelphia.net>
an 23 11:36:45 19 more entries of that type

But last the log says:

Jan 23 11:36:45 mail amavis[14998]: (14998-09) Blocked BAD-HEADER-0 {UnknownOpenRelay,Quarantined}, [59.98.143.142]:29864 [59.98.143.142] <NoraHuizenga@example.com> -> <fischerma@someprovider.domain>,<lsettler@someprovider.domain>,<LBecker@someprovider.domain>,<custserv@someprovider.domain>,<shon.remich2@someprovider.domain>,<cojocinder@someprovider.domain>,<care@someprovider.domain>,<elliotoffice@someprovider.domain>,<ericbenedict@someprovider.domain>,<vzwkanacsInternetWABAVA@someprovider.domain>,<hailey.huizenga@someprovider.domain>,<HuizenLL@someprovider.domain>,<lrcase@someprovider.domain>,<TreasIndTax2@someprovider.domain>,<treasindtax@msomeprovider.domain>,<spoof@someprovider.domain>,<nanadawn100@ssomeprovider.domain>,<toniann@someprovider.domain>,<kim@someprovider.domain>,<joeytessmest@someprovider.domain>, Queue-ID: 78587E1E18, Message-ID: <b03686d0024b$9768fef8$57530728$@example.com>, mail_id: 6_lwbkN2e1dX, Hits: -, size: 2355, 222 ms
Jan 23 11:36:45 mail postfix/smtp[15708]: 78587E1E18: to=<fischerma@adelphia.net>, relay=127.0.0.1[127.0.0.1]:10024, delay=24, delays=24/0/0.01/0.22, dsn=2.5.0, status=sent (250 2.5.0 Ok, id=14998-09, BOUNCE)
Jan 23 11:36:45 mail postfix/smtp[15708]: [...]
Jan 23 11:36:45 mail postfix/qmgr[15510]: 78587E1E18: removed
Jan 23 11:36:47 mail postfix/smtpd[15689]: 67360E1E18: client=unknown[59.98.143.142], sasl_method=PLAIN, sasl_username=hms@example.com
Jan 23 11:36:48 mail postfix/smtpd[15689]: 67360E1E18: reject: RCPT from unknown[59.98.143.142]: 504 5.5.2 <tleonsis@washingtoncaps>: Recipient address rejected: need fully-qualified address; from=<NoraHuizenga@example.com> to=<tleonsis@washingtoncaps> proto=ESMTP helo=<example.com>

Jan 23 11:38:02 mail postfix/smtpd[15689]: 67360E1E18: reject: RCPT from unknown[59.98.143.142]: 450 4.1.2 : Recipient address rejected: Domain not found; from= to= proto=ESMTP helo= Jan 23 11:38:03 mail postfix/smtpd[15689]: lost connection after RCPT from unknown[59.98.143.142] Jan 23 11:38:03 mail postfix/smtpd[15689]: disconnect from unknown[59.98.143.142]

Sorry, I'm not allowed to post the log or the configuration as the system here sees it as spam ...

What do you think? Do I send Spam Mails or is my server safe?

My Guess is that I send mails as I got some backscatter mail. How can I suppress this kind of behavior?

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This has probably nothing to do with an open relay (which you can check with this tool), but rather you are getting backscatter mail.

When a spammer or worm sends mail with forged sender addresses, innocent sites are flooded with undeliverable mail notifications. This is called backscatter mail. With Postfix, you know that you're a backscatter victim when your logfile goes on and on like this:

Dec  4 04:30:09 hostname postfix/smtpd[58549]: NOQUEUE: reject:
RCPT from xxxxxxx[x.x.x.x]: 550 5.1.1 <yyyyyy@your.domain.here>:
Recipient address rejected: User unknown; from=<>
to=<yyyyyy@your.domain.here> proto=ESMTP helo=<zzzzzz>

What you see are lots of "user unknown" errors with "from=<>". These are error reports from MAILER-DAEMONs elsewhere on the Internet, about email that was sent with a false sender address in your domain.

Usually, e-mails have 2 "senders" defined in headers: One is the header sender (MAIL FROM), and the other is the envelope sender (Return-Path), being this latter the address where bounced mails will be sent.

So say someone sent a mail claiming it's you (by specifying the envelope sender to your domain) and tried to send an e-mail to a non-existing address. The bounce mail will get to the address specified in the envelope sender, which is you.

This is quite frequent, as anyone may send a mail claiming they are someone they're not (forging the sender headers), it's the MTU's job to determine if this is true or not and to block or permit the mail.

There's a good source of information about Backscatter mail on Postfix.

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  • +1 particularly for pointing to a tool to check if the original poster is running an open-relay. – ChrisInEdmonton Jan 17 '16 at 14:39
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    @ChrisInEdmonton If this is back-scatter spam, then setting up a strict SPF policy may reduce the volume significantly. It is likely that the sending address(es) have been harvested by other spammers and will begin receiving more spam than usual. – BillThor Jan 17 '16 at 15:51
  • @ChrisInEdmonton, thanks for he help so far. I’m quite sure that the entries I have posted here are no backscatter mail. I scanned the logs the last days and find some backscatter mail to the spam I’m probably sending. The quality of my first post was not so good. I try to give more information if the platform will let my post the crucial log passages. Most sender and receiver information are deleted by superuser.com, but they are filled with information – H. Stridde Jan 23 '16 at 18:02
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It took some time, but I found a solution to my problem. Someone from outside used an existing account to log in (SASL Authentication) and then send mails with an invalid sender address something@example.com.

To prohibit this behaviour I added some lines in my main.cf.

#file / database in which valid emails, users and domains can be found
smtpd_sender_login_maps = mysql:/etc/postfix/mysql-email2email.cf, mysql:/etc/postfix/mysql-virtual-users.cf

# reject_authenticated_sender_login_mismatch, reject_sender_login_mismatch,        reject_unauthenticated_sender_login_mismatch use the data from smtpd_sender_login_maps. If not defined you will see lot of errors and be unable to send mails.

smtpd_sender_restrictions =
    reject_non_fqdn_sender,
    reject_authenticated_sender_login_mismatch,
    reject_sender_login_mismatch,
    reject_unauthenticated_sender_login_mismatch,
    reject_unknown_sender_domain,
    reject_unlisted_sender,
    reject_unverified_sender,
    permit_sasl_authenticated,
    permit_mynetworks

If a user wants so send an E-Mail with an defined alias address he first has to define it in the database.

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