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5.7.1 Rejected due to SPF policy for sender

Posted on 2012-08-12
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Hi All ...... I have an interested issue with an Email Distribution List being used by an external address.

DL contains external addresses setup as Contacts (e.g. name@domain.com) and also contains internal Users.

When I send to DL from external, all recipients receive email fine .... BUT when name@domain.com tries to send an emil to DL the 'Rejected due to SPF policy for sender' occurs.

Should I be configuring an SPF record on my end or is this the External Domain that has the issue?
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Question by:Flipp
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by:Manpreet SIngh Khatra
ID: 38286616
Is this DL at your end and what address are you using to send emails to it ?

- Rancy
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by:Manpreet SIngh Khatra
Manpreet SIngh Khatra earned 400 total points
ID: 38286617
Its simple cause you cant receive email on behalf of another domain that you dont host or have Authorize for :(

- Rancy
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by:Flipp
ID: 38286620
hmmm, so is there a way I can authorise sender to send/receive using another domain OR some way to setup in Exchange/AD (2003) for this to happen?
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by:Manpreet SIngh Khatra
ID: 38286623
Is this your own domain\hosted or is some other company domain ?

If its another Organization .... dont try

- Rancy
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by:Kini pradeep
Kini pradeep earned 400 total points
ID: 38286629
If I understand correctly you have added external contacts to one of your distribution list as members. what is the email address of this DL, is it @yourcompany.com ?
If an email is sent from lets say Gmail to this DL, does it deliver this to the external contacts email addresses in their domain?

if mail is originated from yourdomain email address to this DL, are the  emails delivered to the external recipients ? if yes then can you send an email to one of the recipient directly and not through the DL, is it being delivered ?

having said all this it is a good idea to have SPF records registered, if you have not already done so then please do it as a lot of spam filters check SPF these days and a lot of emails where there is no SPF on the domain might not make it through stringent spam checks

Microsoft's wizard based SPF creator is fairly simple
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by:Kini pradeep
ID: 38286631
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by:Flipp
ID: 38286646
If I send from Gmail to dl@mydomain.com then all recipients receive.
If one of the external recipients from DL try and send to dl@mydomain.com then they are unable to send.
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by:Manpreet SIngh Khatra
ID: 38286653
Contacts are just used for sending email to external domains kind of GAL entries ... or sometimes used to forward emails from Private accounts to external as well ..... but as they dont have a Mailbox they cant store anything and cant be used to send emails internally or externally

- Rancy
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by:Manpreet SIngh Khatra
ID: 38286656
If one of the external recipients from DL try and send to dl@mydomain.com then they are unable to send -- Are you trying this from within the environment ? If so it wont work :(

- Rancy
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by:Kini pradeep
ID: 38286657
what if the same user sends an email to an individual in your company rather then the DL, does it give the same message ?
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by:Flipp
ID: 38286676
Let me give you the exact example (or close enough)......

Exchange DL is abc@domain.com which includes several members. Some of these members are Contacts setup with their external email addresses.

If Internal User attempts to send to Contact then they receive email + if Internal User sends to DL then all members receive.

IF, one of the Contacts attempts to send to DL from same email address as in Contact then they receive error.

IF, my Gmail address attempts to send to DL then all members receive email just fine.

:-z
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by:Manpreet SIngh Khatra
ID: 38286681
It could happen as both the sender and receiver is the same in a different domain.

Maybe what if you try this. Create another DL that would only have these contacts in it.

And on the main DL you can set forwarding to the Contacts DL. In this way anyone sends email to the Primary DL is sending email to all not directly to the DL that has the contacts but everyone receives it ..... what say ??

- Rancy
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by:Manpreet SIngh Khatra
ID: 38286683
Remember that the Primary DL wont have these contacts ?

- Rancy
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by:Manpreet SIngh Khatra
ID: 38286687
This happens as it thinks its a spam and hosted by another ORG that is the sender and recipient for that domain (email address).

- Rancy
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by:Flipp
ID: 38286696
hmmm, so is there a way around this so we can provide a way for an external email to send to a DL which contains themselves and other recipients?

Because I can send from a Gmail address, I assumed they could also send?
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by:Manpreet SIngh Khatra
ID: 38286698
DO you have a contact for Gmail in that DL ? Maybe they dont have SPF ...... i guess the workaround i gave for multiple DL's should work or else we can try with soem forwarding via an Outlook rule as well.

- Rancy
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by:Flipp
ID: 38286707
I just tested with Gmail address as a contact and sent from Gmail and it worked fine. So yes I would have to agree that the @externaldomain.com does not have an SPF record setup.

Anyway we can get around this without a client-side rule in Outlook?
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by:Manpreet SIngh Khatra
ID: 38286715
As wrote earlier

Maybe what if you try this. Create another DL that would only have these contacts in it.

And on the main DL you can set forwarding to the Contacts DL. In this way anyone sends email to the Primary DL is sending email to all not directly to the DL that has the contacts but everyone receives it ..... what say ??

If doubts call me :) ... jokin

- Rancy
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by:Kini pradeep
ID: 38286721
http://mxtoolbox.com   check whether they have spf record, most probably not.

on your spam filter solution either inhouse or on cloud, whitelist you external partner domain that should work as well
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by:Manpreet SIngh Khatra
ID: 38286726
White list ?? if the external user can send email to your user how does white list come into picture and SPF error can be resolved with White listing ????

Woops !!

- Rancy
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by:Kini pradeep
ID: 38286734
from the issue what is being discussed,

1. the issue is with the external third party domain that is not able to send emails to the domain in question --the error is  5.7.1 Rejected due to SPF policy for sender
it is not limited to the DL only but for the entire domain (let me know if this is wrong)

Now Exchange servers donot check SPF records before receiving emails from an external domain, it has to be a spam filter/ firewall or some other appliance that does this ...

Now there should be a way to over ride the SPF check is it not Rancy ????? and if yes then where in Exchange will you change implement it ?

At Exch
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by:Kini pradeep
ID: 38286736
remember that whitelisting is based on domains, it doesnt mean that if gmail works all other domains have to work.
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by:Flipp
ID: 38286746
@kprad - The external user/domain can send emails to internal recipients. The issue is when they send to an internal DL that includes them as a Contact.
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by:Manpreet SIngh Khatra
ID: 38286748
If SPF's can be overturned than implementing them to stop Spoofing wouldn't ever make sense and no one would do as they know whitelisting can be done .... and correct me isnt this like creating a route for spoofing as if someone spoofs you tomorrow with this domain yo have it whitelisted so all boom ....

- Rancy
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by:Manpreet SIngh Khatra
ID: 38286753
Flipp: Did you try with my suggestion for Different DL's for users and contacts and have a forwarding ?

- Rancy
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by:Flipp
ID: 38286754
No not yet ... was half way there and thought I would see how you both commented back after I explained issue again.
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by:Manpreet SIngh Khatra
ID: 38286761
Dont worry .... its always good to have comments and possible could be we all learn new things on our way ..... never have Hard feelings .... just want to try my best to safe guard everyone interest and environment.

- Rancy
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by:Flipp
ID: 38303601
So I wanted to follow up on this one ... I can see that our anti-spam inbound filter is forwarding the email onto our Exchange Server just fine, so I am assuming that our Exchange Server is rejecting the incoming email.
Where in Exchange could I check these settings? Log files? I looked at Sender ID filtering and this is set to "Accept".
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by:Manpreet SIngh Khatra
ID: 38303607
The Undeliverable or NDR would be generated .... if you want to test .... send an email to false email address in your organization ... for example if you have FirstName.LastName@domain.com ..... send email to LastNameFirstName@domain.com from external

- Rancy
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by:Flipp
ID: 38303616
That is a different failed message - if you send to an unknown address you get a 5.1.1, where as this issue is a 5.7.1.
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by:Manpreet SIngh Khatra
ID: 38303623
Yes NDR's differ from what the statement is so if users mailbox is full you will have a different one ... so its more like different for different issues ...... not sure if i am answering what you want to know or your concern is ?

- Rancy
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by:Flipp
ID: 38303644
I am trying to find out the source of the issue and whether I can perhaps add a specific domain to send via our Exchange Server. The error as outlined in original question is what I would like to qualify.
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by:Manpreet SIngh Khatra
ID: 38303655
Is this what your looking for ?

XADM: How to Send a Copy of an NDR to a Specific E-mail Address
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/295653

HOW TO: Forward Mail with Unresolved Recipients to a Single Mailbox
http://support.microsoft.com/?id=315631

- Rancy
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by:Flipp
ID: 38303664
No not really ..... I am trying to understand what "5.7.1 Rejected due to SPF policy for sender ..." means when an external email is trying to send to a distribution list I have setup on our Exchange Server 2003.
For some reason when an external user sends to this internal DL which they are also a member of (as a Contact) they get the quoted error above.
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by:Manpreet SIngh Khatra
ID: 38303680
SPF is a text record that is  identifies you in the DNS world as valid domain.
Ideally its not a correct thing as these are contacts and so in the end they will again try to forward the email to their Own email address ....

Sender Policy Framework
http://www.openspf.org/Introduction

- Rancy
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by:Exchange_Geek
ID: 38304026
Long story short (in fact this thread was really long) -

"5.7.1 Rejected due to SPF policy for sender"

This message would always appear when you / someone sends an email to an Organization that is running SPF Checks to thwart spoofing. This has nothing to do with your DL / mailbox / etc etc. The SPF Check is a global setting and would be applicable between Organizations NOT individual objects.

This was first introduced as part of Sender-ID Filtering in IMF ver1.0 in Exchange 2003. This check has a simple policy - block spoofing.

How is it done: Again very simple, each Organization has to announce its own set of servers through which emails would be sent. So, any email that originates from a IP that is not part of SPF record - REJECT THAT EMAIL with NDR "5.7.1 Rejected due to SPF policy for sender"

Work around for this issue, the receiving Organization has to ensure your emails aren't processed as part of SPF Checks by white listing your IP Addresses OR you publish your SPF Record that includes your outgoing server in IP list. There is no other solution to this.

Oh yes there is one another - convince them to stop SPF Checks entirely for everyone :) :)

Hope I've made things clear.

Regards,
Exchange_Geek
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by:Kini pradeep
ID: 38304755
@ flipp:
Is it possible to post the NDR message with the Header. I understand that you might not want to expose the domain names but this might prove helpful.

also is the DL set to require that the users are authenticated ?
if yes could you uncheck this and check delivery , this is under the DL properties in EMC.

@ Rancy:
If SPF's can be overturned than implementing them to stop Spoofing wouldn't ever make sense and no one would do as they know whitelisting can be done .... and correct me isnt this like creating a route for spoofing as if someone spoofs you tomorrow with this domain yo have it whitelisted so all boom .

comments:
I would only white-list a partner or business associates domain not any publicly available domain .essentially Businesses I would trust. we have done this in our organization to ensure that business emails flow even when partners have a very low SCL score.

Could you explain what overturned means in this context, just having an SPF does not ensure delivery to remote domains, the SCL score would however.

How many domains would entertain whitelisting a domain without a SPF framework, very few and that too people that trust you or your company. so I am not saying do away with SPF, but in critical situations where there is a non delivery and business is impacted workaround. whitelisting doesnot mean that spam filter would accept mails without valid return addresses, unless of course it was written by a novice.

If overturned means somebody has added their IP's to SPF record then the admin might as well shut shop and go home as his domain has been compromised.
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by:Flipp
ID: 38318548
Thank you for your awesome replies!

DL is set (and has always been set) to 'Everyone' for Message Restrictions in EMC.

So if it has nothing to do with our Internal DL or whether we have an SPF record or not, how do I solve this problem?

I am unable to post all info from NDR, but can include following:
Your message did not reach some or all of the intended recipients.

      Subject:  RE: Test Message @15:48 [SEC=UNCLASSIFIED]

      Sent:     13/08/2012 3:51 PM


The following recipient(s) cannot be reached:

      External Recipient on 13/08/2012 3:51 PM

            The e-mail system was unable to deliver the message, but did not report a specific reason.  Check the address and try again.  If it still fails, contact your system administrator.

            < <EXTERNAL HOSTNAME> #5.0.0 smtp; 5.3.0 - Other mail system problem 550-'5.7.1 Rejected due to SPF policy for sender ExternalEmail@domain.com' (delivery attempts: 0)>
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Expert Comment

by:arnold
ID: 38335121
Run nslookup -q=txt domainname.com

Tis should return the SPF authorizing string reflecting the source of emails with the option when the sender does not validate. Ultimately, the configuration on the receiving end is the arbiter of what is done when SPF validation fails.  In the case of the example, their configuration is either set to follow the settings in the domain's SPF record, or is set to reject mailings when the sender does not validate.

One way you can authorize the DL server as ascender IP:ip_of_dl_mail_server to the SPf txt record.
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by:Flipp
ID: 38335141
Thanks Arnold.

I think reading through this thread might confuse the actual issue, so let me try and simplify.

I manage domain.com with an Exchange 2003 server (FQDN: mail.domain.com) where there is no SPF Record setup. We are wanting to create an Email DL which contains Internal recipients and External non-domain.local Users by way of using a Contact object in AD. The DL should be made available for anyone to send to (internal or external).

Currently when ExternalUserA, ExternalUserB or ExternalUserC sends to dl@domain.com the internal recipients receive the email, but they receive a NDR with '5.7.1 Rejected due to SPF policy for sender' as message.

What is the actual issue here? Is it that an external email is unable to relay through my exchange server OR perhaps I just need an SPF record? A bit confused and a lot riding on finding a solution to this one :)
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by:arnold
ID: 38335217
Is the NDR comming from your own server?
Do you use SPF checks? You may have to configure a filter that deals with emails that are delivered to dl@domain.com to change the sender to dl@domain.com when being sent back out
Could you post an example of the header of these NDR masquerade the public IPs, server names.
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by:Flipp
ID: 38335231
No the NDR is coming from the External Receiving Server.

We do not use SPF checks, nor do we have a SPF record with domain.com.
How do I go about setting that filter up?

I am still waiting on the original NDR message so I can get header information, as they have only been able to send me the email contents (below):

*********
From: "System Administrator" <postmaster@externalrecipentdomain.com>
Subject: Undeliverable: test 2 10:21 27/08/2012
Date: 27 August 2012 10:22:09 AM AEST
To: "name" <Name@externalsenderdomain.com>


Your message

 To:      DL@domain.com
 Subject: test 2 10:21 27/08/2012
 Sent:    Mon, 27 Aug 2012 10:21:16 +1000

did not reach the following recipient(s):

March, Olivia on Mon, 27 Aug 2012 10:22:06 +1000
   The e-mail system was unable to deliver the message, but did not
report a specific reason.  Check the address and try again.  If it still
fails, contact your system administrator.
   < ipmail07.adl2.internode.on.net #5.0.0 smtp; 5.3.0 - Other mail
system problem 550-'5.7.1 Rejected due to SPF policy for sender
name@externalsenderdomain.com' (delivery attempts: 0)>
Reporting-MTA: dns; cbrwin31.exchange.local

Final-Recipient: RFC822; name@externalreceiverdomain.com
Action: failed
Status: 5.0.0
X-Supplementary-Info: < ipmail07.adl2.internode.on.net #5.0.0 smtp; 5.3.0 - Other mail system problem 550-'5.7.1 Rejected due to SPF policy for sender name@externalsenderdomain.com' (delivery attempts: 0)>
X-Display-Name: Name
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Expert Comment

by:arnold
ID: 38335245
Use the nslookup example I provided earlier to check the SPF reord for the externalsenderdomain.com
The rejection is because externalreceiverdomain.com mail servers enforce SPF policy.

See if the following helps you alter the sender to the distribution list from user@externalsender.com to dl@yourdomain.com with the errors-to: catcherrors@yourdomain.com
Not sure whether a distribution list can be managed through server based filtering rules.
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by:Flipp
ID: 38335253
Below are results of nslookup, but not sure how this helps.
nslookup -q=txt externalsenderdomain.com
"v=spf1 include:sge.net include:_spf.uberenterprise.com.au -all"

How do I actually change the Sender of a DL in Exchange 2003?
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by:Manpreet SIngh Khatra
ID: 38335258
You can your domain mailboxes in the Original DL and then have one account that forwards email to another DL which contains all Contacts ... this will ensue that all users get the email.

As said till SPF is enforced it wouldnt allow its users email generated from another server and back to itself.

- Rancy
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by:Flipp
ID: 38335264
Strangely enough if I use a test domain which does not have any SPF records setup to send to dl@domain.com it reaches all recipients.
DOes that mean that there is a restriction only for External Contacts who are members of a DL try and send to DL they are rejected, but when any other External email account send to it there are no issues?
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by:arnold
ID: 38335267
The -all at the end defines an explicit deny rule meaning reject any and all messages from a sender on this domain if it does not match the rules
one says use the same rules from sge.net
nslookup -q=txt sge.net
The additional list if from another domain.
nslookup -q=txt _spf.uberenterprise.com.au
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by:Manpreet SIngh Khatra
ID: 38335288
The issue will happen only if the same external recipient is sending email to same users which has a contact in any Organization :)

So way to work around is to have some forwarding or something which will make it look like the email was send to the contact from an email at your domain.

- Rancy
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by:Flipp
ID: 38335306
Totally agree - but when I setup a User "External DL" and add them to DL@domain.com then use Forwarding address to another DL it still comes from External Sender. Is there a better way to setup the forwarding so that message then comes from local exchange server?
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by:arnold
ID: 38335308
The absence of an SPF record on a doman, means that it will pass the SPF check on the receiving server.
The from: entry in the message is not what is being check.  The envelope-sender is what really defines who the sender of the email is.
Not sure whether you have had an opportunity to check on the last link that deals with using the send as option that might be what you need which will alter the "sender" of the message to a local user.
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by:Flipp
ID: 38335329
Sorry Arnold, I dont see where I can/should be modifying the Send As for Exchange 2003? I understand now that it is the HELO and MAIL FROM values in header that are being compared and because the recipient domain has an explicit ~all to reject.

Without having contact with IT at either of External domains I am still unsure how I can orchestrate this.
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by:arnold
ID: 38335339
One option is to convert which I think what another expert suggested, dl@yourdomain.com from a distribution list to a mailbox that forwards to a distribution list. While exchange is down
I.e. rename dl@yourdomain.co. To dl1@yourdomain.com
Create a mailbox with server based rule to forward/resend to the distribution list dl1@yourdomain.com
This should alter the sender from external email address to an internal one.

Before attempting the conversion. Try this type of a setup with a new set of mailbox/distribution list.
adding after retreading your earlier comment with forwarding.
The other option is to use a client based rule which will require the use of outlook to continually retrieve the mailbox and the resend/forward the emails to the distribution list.
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by:Flipp
ID: 38335344
Am I correct in that it has nothing to do with that fact we do not have a SPF Record for domain.com? This is because the SPF check occurs from the ExternalReceiverDomain to ExternalSenderDomain?
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by:Manpreet SIngh Khatra
ID: 38335356
Yes what i can do is create a dummy account ..... Exxternal@mydomain.com and add it to the original DL and then simply put forwarding to Contact DL.

- Rancy
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by:Flipp
ID: 38335367
@Rancy - WHen you refer to 'forwarding' you mean with in AD Exchange properties under "Forward to"?
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by:arnold
ID: 38335390
Yes, the issue is that your distribution list maintains the original sender of the message and the SPF record on the externalsender.com domain is the issue.
An old discussion of the impact of SPF on mailing list servers
http://www.gossamer-threads.com/lists/spf/help/34396
Not sure whether exchange has the flexibility/capacity to do it.

https://community.spiceworks.com/topic/173043-allow-external-users-to-send-emails-via-a-distribution-list
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by:Flipp
ID: 38335425
Hmmm, seems this is something of an issue with no real clear answer on how to handle. I have tried the suggestion by Rancy to create User Accounts and have the User Accounts forward to the Contacts. Still fails so I assume that the From or Originator address does not get modified in this process.

Is the other solution to:
1. Speak to IT team of Sender to see if mail.domain.com can be added to their SPF records
OR
2. Use a third-party service to modify the envelope FROM details

???
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by:arnold
ID: 38335930
It is highly unlikely that externalsender.com domain admin will your server to an authorized SPF list even with the request coming directly from their user.

Do you have a Linux based mail gateway in front of your exchange server?
It could be used to make the alterations.

Try the mailbox, outlook, client rules to forward to distribution list.
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Accepted Solution

by:
Exchange_Geek earned 1200 total points
ID: 38338135
OMG @@@@

This should have been simple......

Look, here is the mess - sorry guys, this thread was going a bit too long and if i'm repeating certain of you're troubleshooting steps - please point it out for solutions to be marked at the end of you're thread.

Here is the mess in short.

userA@gmail.com sends an email to DL@mail.yourdomain.com.
Exchange categorizes the email and sends emails to internal recipient

VERY GOOD

Exchange categorizes the email and sends emails to external recipients.

Now, external folks may be UserA@yahoo.com, UserB@hotmail.com, UserC@whatever.com

When email gets to yahoo, Yahoo would cross verify the originating IP of the sender - which in your case is you're Exchange Servers (remember you're server was forwarding the email), fair enough - however Message header didn't stamp/remove the from address (which was userA@gmail.com). So Yahoo, does an SPF Check on Gmail's published SPF and doesn't find Your Exchange server as part of it.

Hence the rejection.

You cannot do anything about this if there is a SPF Check and rejection on such sort.

The only work around is, if you have a sender that you trust - you can add their email domain (for this they also need to have an SPF) into you're SPF. Once done, yahoo (Yahoo as an email domain was just an example) wouldn't reject you're emails at all.

End of story, Beer time !!!!

Cheers,
Exchange_Geek
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by:Flipp
ID: 38338299
... you can add their email domain (for this they also need to have an SPF) into you're SPF ...

So I need to create an SPF for mydomain.com and add whatever.com to it?

Anything outside of above required for workaround?
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by:Exchange_Geek
ID: 38338332
Yep, thats it - however, if whatnotsoever.com emails and email gets rejected again - you'll know what's the issue.

Regards,
Exchange_Geek
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Assisted Solution

by:Flipp
Flipp earned 0 total points
ID: 38338373
Thanks Exchange_Geek.

As well as your explanation, across at http://social.technet.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/exchangesvrgeneral/thread/5c364e8d-009b-4033-9099-40e5b03d5853/ there is a good explanation to what happens in Exchange 2003 vs 2007/2010.
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by:Exchange_Geek
ID: 38338399
Bingo, it is the same explanation, just in different words - btw Rich is very knowledgeable too :)

Regards,
Exchange_Geek
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Author Closing Comment

by:Flipp
ID: 38356889
Appreciate your persistance on this one ...... we got there in the end :)
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Administration of Active Directory does not have to be hard.  Too often what should be a simple task is made more difficult than it needs to be.The solution?  Hyena from SystemTools Software.  With ease-of-use as well as powerful importing and bulk updating capabilities.

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