SPF record problem

Posted on 2009-07-13
Last Modified: 2012-08-14
I have a person trying to send mail to us and it is getting bounced back to him. I checked my logs and it looks to me like he is failing on the sender ID. I have Exchange 2007 set to reject on all that dont pass. (This may or may not be the best idea, but we are sick of spoofed mail) Look in code area for what was sent back to him. Below that, I included what my Sender ID filter had to say about his message.
I told him that I thought the problem was that he does not have his SPF record setup correctly. His IT person came back and told me the problem is at my end and not his. I will accept that it is at my end, in that I am rejecting messages that fail, but he has a problem that is making them fail. If I do a text record check on, no SPF record shows up, but if I do a text record check on just the domain name, I get the following SPF record. "v=spf1 mx -all"
My understanding of SPF is not as good as I would like it to be, so could someone help me with this. Is his record setup correctly?
Failed Recipient:
Reason: Remote host said: 550 5.7.1 Sender ID (PRA) Not Permitted
-- The header and top 20 lines of the message follows --
Received: from [] by with SMTP;
Mon, 13 Jul 2009 13:29:01 -0400
From: "Jeff Fannon" 
To: "'JoeBlo'" 
References: <1A9B1259E2DF8541923432089271442681A65CC5BE@vml.vhc.lan>
In-Reply-To: <1A9B1259E2DF8541923432089271442681A65CC5BE@vml.vhc.lan>
Subject: RE: test email from American Hospice, Inc.
Date: Mon, 13 Jul 2009 12:31:06 -0500
Message-ID: <002401ca03df$b46ca5d0$1d45f170$@com>
MIME-Version: 1.0
Content-Type: multipart/alternative;
X-Mailer: Microsoft Office Outlook 12.0
Thread-Index: AcoD3necTVQjh3C4QT6RLuIbiWnOggAAPx1w
Content-Language: en-us
This is a multi-part message in MIME format.
Content-Type: text/plain;
Content-Transfer-Encoding: 7bit
My sender ID log
Timestamp       : 7/13/2009 12:31:08 PM
SessionId       : 08CBCC3530F0AC66
IPAddress       :
MessageId       :
P1FromAddress   :
P2FromAddresses : {}
Recipients      : {}
Agent           : Sender Id Agent
Event           : OnEndOfHeaders
Action          : RejectMessage
SmtpResponse    : 550 5.7.1 Sender ID (PRA) Not Permitted
Reason          : Fail_NotPermitted
ReasonData      :
Diagnostics     :

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Question by:VoyagerHealthCare
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Assisted Solution

muzzi_in earned 100 total points
ID: 24844328
Hey his SPP has setup in wrong way as we are getting output just    "v=spf1 mx -all"

which is supposed to be contain their connecting IP addresses. which is not listed

here is example of Microsoft website SPF

        "v=spf1 mx inc ip4: i
p4: ip4: ip4: ip4: ip4
: ~all"

Expert Comment

ID: 24844363
You can ask that sender domain administrator to have look here by providing all the necessary stuff in the below links, just make sure from his end
LVL 26

Accepted Solution

jar3817 earned 200 total points
ID: 24845192
This SPF record "v=spf1 mx -all" is perfectly legal.

It simply means the ONLY server allowed to send for this domain is the same as the MX record, which happens to resolve to and to hard-fail everything else.

According to the log you posted the sending IP address was, not, so your server rejected. It's not your problem but theirs. They should add their ipv4 space to their SPF record, or make sure all their mail comes from that ip address.
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Author Comment

ID: 24846515
The following is what the tech on the other end said. Most of it does not prove his stance from what I can see. Does what he says hold water?

<<From their tech>>>
I looked at the information in the header Rick sent me and everything at our end is correct.  The only possible solutions are that we have been blacklisted at the recipients email server or is behind a forwarding protocol that is hiding the true source of the email (us).
If email is successfully reaching email addresses that also do spf checking ( as an example), then it isnt at our end.
Finally, nothing has been moved with regard to email. is still aliased to and the spf record is correct.

While AOL may check SPF, that doesn't mean that they reject on a fail condition, IMO.....
LVL 71

Assisted Solution

by:Chris Dent
Chris Dent earned 200 total points
ID: 24847389

You're dropping the message based on the rules they have set. The record is entirely legal, however, all that means is that you drop the message because they told you to.

Both IP addresses (the real SMTP server, and the one captured) are owned by the same ISP (Neucom, Inc). "forwarding protocols" cannot be anything to do with you if it's appearing from that source address. It must be the sender or the senders ISP.

I can't connect to an SMTP service on the source IP above, but that only means it doesn't accept inbound connections. There must be an SMTP service there or you couldn't have a conversation with it.

It shouldn't have an impact, but they clearly breach RFC 2181 by using a CNAME record as the target for an MX record. (10.3)

We (well, you) should not have to support systems that refuse to obey simple rules.

In short, I consider this to be the senders problem. You cannot control the source of the TCP connection while you're so far away from it.


Author Comment

ID: 24852692
My server shows the sending IP is but and (The canonical name) ip address is is one of their name servers and its name is   How can this be?

LVL 71

Expert Comment

by:Chris Dent
ID: 24853586

I didn't notice that it was their name server, good catch. That rules out their ISP being responsible.

I would imagine that there's a NAT rule on their firewall, and that either they forgot to add outbound NAT for the mail server, or they have more than one mail server behind there and somehow the sending server differs.


Author Closing Comment

ID: 31603037
Thanks for everyones help. The guy is still saying that it is not his issue. What can you do, but laugh.......  From my side, it is plain as day.

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