incomming emails failing due to SPF error check fail

Posted on 2014-07-30
Last Modified: 2014-08-05
Hello there first time posting in here, in the last few days I have stopped receiving emails from my clients and this is the message they are getting, I have gotten about 40 phone calls from all different clients and this is the same message they are all getting.

servername.mydomain..local rejected your message to the following e-mail addresses:

my name ( <>

 servername.mydomain.local gave this error:
 550 Message rejected because SPF check failed

 Your message wasn't delivered due to a permission or security issue. It may have been rejected by a moderator, the address may only accept e-mail from certain senders, or another restriction may be preventing delivery.

I also have a SPF record
SPF record lookup and validation for:
SPF records are published in DNS as TXT records.

The TXT records found for your domain are:
 v=spf1 mx ip4: -all

 Checking to see if there is a valid SPF record.

 Found v=spf1 record for
 v=spf1 mx ip4: -all

 Results - record processed without error.

 The result of the test (this should be the default result of your record) was, pass . The explanation returned was, sender SPF authorized

I am unsure what is going on at this point. Using Exchange 2013
Question by:brian stuckless
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Expert Comment

by:Seth Simmons
ID: 40230878
I am unsure also.  SPF issues would be the result of the sender, not the recipient.

If this was your issue, you would be receiving the NDR stating SPF failure since the remote mail server is verifying the sending server is valid for that domain.  This is the opposite.  If someone is trying to send to you and they get it returned with SPF failure, the issue is on their end.  However, it does seem very odd that it's multiple users at the same time.  Doesn't quite make sense.  Your SPF record is fine but has nothing to do with remote users sending mail to you.

Does mail get delivered to your mailbox if you send from your own personal gmail or yahoo account or do you get it rejected with the same SPF failure?
LVL 14

Expert Comment

by:Justin Yeung
ID: 40230891
From my understand SPF is to validate the "sender" but not the receipent, so you should able to send out mail without an issue since your SPF looks fine.

The issue looks like from the sender, did you try as Seth suggested to send an email from like hotmail or gmail?

And what type of mail server you are using? Any relay appliance on top of it?

Author Comment

by:brian stuckless
ID: 40230902

when I send it from my personal email its a hit or miss some times it comes though and some times I get the same SPF, also used the remote connectivity analyzer from Microsoft and the same issue work sometime and the same SPF.

using Exchange 2013, I don't even have the Anti-spam enabled on it so this is really weird.
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LVL 14

Expert Comment

by:Justin Yeung
ID: 40230918
Enable logging on your 2013 exchange.


How many hub servers do you have?

Author Comment

by:brian stuckless
ID: 40230945
Logs are enable, and only one hub server install on stand alone server not on a DC.

Author Comment

by:brian stuckless
ID: 40230975
Just the standard rolls installed with exchange 2013, this is one of the logs I was able to pull out.

2014-07-31T03:33:33.148Z,IDEALFSJSVR003\Default IDEALFSJSVR003,08D17A56DF02E7CB,53,,,<,MAIL FROM:<> SIZE=0 AUTH=<>,
2014-07-31T03:33:41.211Z,IDEALFSJSVR003\Default IDEALFSJSVR003,08D17A56DF02E7CB,54,,,*,08D17A56DF02E7CB;2014-07-31T03:33:33.085Z;1,receiving message
2014-07-31T03:33:41.211Z,IDEALFSJSVR003\Default IDEALFSJSVR003,08D17A56DF02E7CB,55,,,<,RCPT TO:<>,
2014-07-31T03:33:41.211Z,IDEALFSJSVR003\Default IDEALFSJSVR003,08D17A56DF02E7CB,56,,,>,250 2.1.0 Sender OK,
2014-07-31T03:33:41.211Z,IDEALFSJSVR003\Default IDEALFSJSVR003,08D17A56DF02E7CB,57,,,>,250 2.1.5 Recipient OK,
2014-07-31T03:33:41.211Z,IDEALFSJSVR003\Default IDEALFSJSVR003,08D17A56DF02E7CB,58,,,<,BDAT 2395 LAST,
2014-07-31T03:33:41.211Z,IDEALFSJSVR003\Default IDEALFSJSVR003,08D17A56DF02E7CB,59,,,*,,receiving message with InternetMessageId <>
2014-07-31T03:33:45.238Z,IDEALFSJSVR003\Default IDEALFSJSVR003,08D17A56DF02E7CB,60,,,>,550 5.7.1 550 Message rejected because SPF check failed,
LVL 14

Expert Comment

by:Justin Yeung
ID: 40230999
the log doesn't really contains any info regarding on this.

from my understand or the most possible issue is your DNS lookup since it is hit or miss issue.

first, when an email sent to your exchange server, it will scan the sender ID by using the SPF record, in most case SPF record is using DNS name but not IP, unless it is a small environment.

when your exchange server unable to resolve the IP address of that name, it will consider failure of the SPF record from the sender and return with and NDR.

Author Comment

by:brian stuckless
ID: 40231006
So even if the Anti-spam is not enable on the exchange it will still scan for the SPF?

Also when I do a DNS lookup every thing looks fine.

This is the weirdest issue I have every seen and its become a huge issue as I am unable to get emails.

Any other advice would be much help. as I am at a stand still.
LVL 14

Expert Comment

by:Justin Yeung
ID: 40231013
it is call sender ID filtering in exchange.

Anit-Spam purposes is for Junk mail and Bulk.

what is the DNS server setting on your exchange box?

I really think that is a DNS issue !!!!.

Author Comment

by:brian stuckless
ID: 40231019
Correct Sender ID filtering, still has to be enable tho?

What DNS Server Setting are you looking for?

thanks for the help

Accepted Solution

brian stuckless earned 0 total points
ID: 40232163
The issue has been resolved it was caused by Viper Email security, Anti-spoofing the service has crashed, even tho I had it disabled when testing what the cause of this issue was, I thought I would remove it completely this morning and once it was removed the emails started to work again.

thanks for all the help

Author Closing Comment

by:brian stuckless
ID: 40240773
this fixed the issue

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