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How to determine source of spam?

Posted on 2007-11-15
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Last Modified: 2013-11-30
I have a 2000 Microsoft small business server running Exchange 2000 with latest patches.  There are about 30 clients.  I am seeing spam messages in the outbound queues and am unable to determine the origin.  Relaying is off and 25 is closed except from our filtering service, so the problem is most likely internal.  Short of powering off all the computer and turning them back on one by one, does anyone have a suggestion?
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Question by:rjccaz
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Accepted Solution

by:
abraham808 earned 125 total points
ID: 20291787
Look at the Email headers for clues.
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Author Comment

by:rjccaz
ID: 20291820
Is there a way to view the headers directly from Exchange?  Keep in mind that I don't know which (or IF a) client is causing the messages, so cannot open the messages from Outlook.

Thanks!
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Assisted Solution

by:opie6373
opie6373 earned 250 total points
ID: 20292428
Yes, double click the queue (smtp connector i'm assuming) and then click find now and it will show all the messages in the queue.  double click one of the messages and it will show you the header
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Author Comment

by:rjccaz
ID: 20292569
Ah-ha!  We might be on to something...  I got an error, says "Enumerate messages from the queue node"

After enumerating the messages, it appears that all these messages are from  "postmaster@(MY_DOMAIN).com

Still unsure as to the original source and what to do about them...  Any ideas?
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Assisted Solution

by:opie6373
opie6373 earned 250 total points
ID: 20292778
its probably ndrs from your postmaster account from spammers doing "directory harvesting" they send to endless combos of names@yourdomain.com and when the program doesn't get an ndr it knows it a vaild email address then it starts sending spam to it.

to stop this.  you have to check an option to "filter recipient not in the directory"  

go to ESM, global settings, right click message delivery, properties, recipient filtering, put a check in "filter recipients who are not in the directory" this will block emails that are sent to anyone@yourdomain.com that doesn't have a mailbox.  Your server won't send an ndr, just will block it and force their server to do the ndr.
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Author Comment

by:rjccaz
ID: 20292913
Opie,
I would agree, but I see no option for this, probably because this is Exchange 2000.  Not only that, but the initial symptom was a returned email warning that spam may be being generated on our network and it was more than just an NDR.  This original notification was sent from an AOL account and included the following:

Return-Path: <dispute-paypal.com@(MY_DOMAIN).com>
Received: from rly-ma06.mx.aol.com (rly-ma06.mail.aol.com [172.20.116.50]) by air-ma05.mail.aol.com (v120.9) with ESMTP id MAILINMA053-8b04735f1a735e; Sat, 10 Nov 2007 13:00:13 -0400
Received: from server.(MY_DOMAIN).local ((MY_ISP)]) by rly-ma06.mx.aol.com (v120.9) with ESMTP id MAILRELAYINMA062-8b04735f1a735e; Sat, 10 Nov 2007 13:00:08 -0400
Received: from User ([71.36.31.249]) by server.(MY_DOMAIN).local with Microsoft SMTPSVC(5.0.2195.6713);
Fri, 9 Nov 2007 13:05:22 -0700
Reply-To: <dispute-paypal.com>
From: "PayPal"<dispute-paypal.com>
Subject: Receipt for Your Payment
Date: Fri, 9 Nov 2007 12:54:44 -0700
MIME-Version: 1.0
Content-Type: text/html;
charset="Windows-1251"
Content-Transfer-Encoding: 7bit
X-Priority: 3
X-MSMail-Priority: Normal
X-Mailer: Microsoft Outlook Express 6.00.2600.0000
X-MimeOLE: Produced By Microsoft MimeOLE V6.00.2600.0000
Message-ID: <SERVERyuqr60g1XbIv10000045a@server.(MY_DOMAIN).local>
X-OriginalArrivalTime: 09 Nov 2007 20:05:22.0368 (UTC) FILETIME=[DC0F9400:01C8230B]
X-AOL-IP: (MY_IP)
X-AOL-SCOLL-SCORE:1:2:447414272:9395240
X-AOL-SCOLL-URL_COUNT:
X-AOL-SCOLL-AUTHENTICATION: listenair ; SPF_helo :
X-AOL-SCOLL-AUTHENTICATION: listenair ; SPF_822_from :
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LVL 104

Assisted Solution

by:Sembee
Sembee earned 125 total points
ID: 20294442
There is no recipient filtering in Exchange 2000. If you are under that kind of attack you will have to go third party. Vamsoft ORF can do recipient filtering it will also do the tar pit which you need as well.

Simon.
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Expert Comment

by:opie6373
ID: 20297856
i wish there different zones for sbs 2000 and 2003 and exchange 2000 and 2003.  

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LVL 104

Expert Comment

by:Sembee
ID: 20297866
Why? The information is in the original question that it was SBS 2000.

Simon.
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LVL 12

Expert Comment

by:opie6373
ID: 20297948
b/c if there were separate zones for the different versions i would not be looking at questions in sbs 2000 or exchange 2000.  

i mean there is different zones for windows 2000, xp, 2003, etc

why not exchange and sbs?  
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Author Comment

by:rjccaz
ID: 20301389
Well, I believe I have found the issue.  Appearantly, these are all NDR's.  I had considered that possibility, but was thrown by the fact that they were still appearing.  I have read that it is normal for the NDR messages to continue to appear for upto 48 hours after the initial problem is resolved.  For now, I think my problem is solved.  Thanks for all who helped!

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/886208 for Exchange 2003
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/909005/en-us for Exchange 2000 or 2003
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