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When you set-up a "postmaster" email in postfix/cyrus/dovecot/fetchmail, etc, or a web-master address in an apache vhost, can spammer's query your server and get that information? Or is it only for internal use by the system?

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3 Answers

up vote 4 down vote accepted

Spammers send mail to common addresses at every domain they can. They don't need to find that you've set it up.

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Some software let's you specify your own address as the postmaster's address (say) instead of using postmaster@domain.com. If you do this, will the mail server give out the alternative address? I'm pretty sure Apache let's you set a different webmaster address too. –  Nick Apr 22 '10 at 11:20
    
No. Mail servers don't give out where an email is forwarded to. –  thomasrutter May 6 '10 at 8:19
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Spammers don't query for that address, it is specified by RFC as needing to exist (along with webmaster, hostmaster, etc) so they just blindly send to it. And no it is not for internal use only.

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That's cute. You assume that because it's in the RFC that people follow it. :-) –  Bart Silverstrim Apr 22 '10 at 11:31
    
@Bart: Complying to RFCs is a very good idea. What does your own version of RFC 793 say, and how are you able to see my answer? –  ΤΖΩΤΖΙΟΥ Apr 22 '10 at 12:45
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The thing I love about standards is there's so many to choose from. –  Bart Silverstrim Apr 22 '10 at 13:52
    
@Bart: it is a good way to collect spam to train the spam filters :) –  Dan Andreatta Apr 22 '10 at 13:52
    
@ΤΖΩΤΖΙΟΥ-I can't see your answer. –  Bart Silverstrim Apr 22 '10 at 15:05
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Actually, RFC2822 dismisses the requirement for a postmaster address I believe. See here:

http://www.emailsecuritymatters.com/site/blog/best-practices/blocked-by-rfc-ignorant-...-now-what/

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It's still a good idea to have a "point of contact". Postmaster may not be ideal, but it works, and serves the purpose. –  Avery Payne Apr 27 '10 at 18:01
    
it should also be noted that it is required by other RFC's rfc-ignorant.org/policy-postmaster.php (link from the article you linked to) –  Zypher Apr 27 '10 at 18:18
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