I've had several problems with SMTP emails from my server and domain sent using Exim being blocked by certain other domains, which may have been partly due to certain server settings tripping up certain optional strict MessageLabs filters. One of those problems was, my emails using the server hostname as its HELO instead of the mail server, causing a mismatch with the appropriate MX record, which I've fixed.
However, checking my new email headers, the server hostname is still creeping in there (example headers below), after the DKIM signature and the PC name and IP address of the PC used to compose the email, alongside references to
What is the meaning and role of the hostname appearing in this position in the headers?
Is this expected behaviour for such an email sent via Exim, or a quirk which could be taken as a domain mismatch and sign that the email might not be legitimate?
Based on its proximity to the IP and name of the PC I composed the email on, and references to
esmtpsa, I suspect it's something to do with SMTP authentication, possibly tracing every box involved in sending the email to confirm none are infected botnets or similar, but that's just my speculation. I'm very keen to get everything to do with SMTP auth perfect given my recent problems with tripping the very strict corporate filters used by some of my contacts.
Here is an example email header that my current EXIM setup is generating, taken from an email composed in Outlook and sent to Gmail. Unfortunately I can't bold the relevant line, but you can ctrl-F to
server.my-host-domain.com, it's the only occurrence:
Delivered-To: email@example.com Received: by XX.XX.XX.XX with SMTP id b67csp2867807oig; Thu, 25 Feb 2016 01:29:56 -0800 (PST) X-Received: by YY.YY.YY.YY with SMTP id c144mr20309773oib.108.1456392596947; Thu, 25 Feb 2016 01:29:56 -0800 (PST) Return-Path: <firstname.lastname@example.org> Received: from mail.my-domain.com (mail.my-domain.com. [MY.DOM.AIN.IP]) by mx.google.com with ESMTPS id t83si5898326oig.81.2016.02.25.01.29.56 for <email@example.com> (version=TLS1_2 cipher=ECDHE-RSA-AES128-GCM-SHA256 bits=128/128); Thu, 25 Feb 2016 01:29:56 -0800 (PST) Received-SPF: pass (google.com: domain of firstname.lastname@example.org designates MY.DOM.AIN.IP as permitted sender) client-ip=MY.DOM.AIN.IP; Authentication-Results: mx.google.com; spf=pass (google.com: domain of email@example.com designates MY.DOM.AIN.IP as permitted sender) firstname.lastname@example.org; dkim=pass email@example.com DKIM-Signature: v=1; a=rsa-sha256; q=dns/txt; c=relaxed/relaxed; d=my-domain.com; s=mail; h=Content-Type:MIME-Version:Message-ID:Date:Subject:To:From; bh=tYDwf48ibFqt0fGVMwP/XE776YX3eIVAbPEdH+zTGMs=; b=vhicxFvzf3hvv8fYxOfb7tgzWK3Sk8f7OUCm8v2CBiUH/GX9ddDIhDPNwxnIhExHbwHdj7/TqpgTMOXPekIsqRRDNT/j5mofqWfuvj9l4+7Lqb3/pxDmj+QSx+89hJu8msOvfnix/SKtv2Kf1OFHRi63LxZjGM/1+xuCBfrLrzM=; Received: from [MY.PC'S.IP.ADDR] (helo=PCname) by server.my-host-domain.com with esmtpsa (UNKNOWN:AES256-GCM-SHA384:256) (Exim 4.72) (envelope-from <mail.my-domain.com>) id 1aYsF8-00020u-H6 for firstname.lastname@example.org; Thu, 25 Feb 2016 09:29:55 +0000 From: "My Name" <email@example.com> To: <firstname.lastname@example.org> Subject: Test email Date: Thu, 25 Feb 2016 09:29:48 -0000 Message-ID: <email@example.com> MIME-Version: 1.0 Content-Type: multipart/alternative; boundary="----=_NextPart_000_0016_01D16FAF.154AAB30" X-Mailer: Microsoft Outlook 16.0 Thread-Index: AdFvrvTde9zi+r6IQ3OmsfVq1pbzow== Content-Language: en-gb
I particularly want to know if there any problems posed by having the server hostname appear here, mismatching the
from domains. Ideally, I'd like the domain
my-domain.com and the domain
my-host-domain.com to be completely independent of each other because, for all I manage both on the same box, they represent different, independent operations, but if there's a benefit or no harm to having the server hostname appear at this point in the email headers I'm happy to compromise here.
While I'd certainly welcome any tips on how to fix this if indeed it is something that should be fixed, it's the significance and meaning of Exim generating this email header in this way that I'm most interested in. I'm pretty confident I could change this in my EXIM settings but I want to understand the implications of making such a change.
Centos Linux VPS, Exim 4.72 with Dovecot.
YY.YY.YY.YY represent two IP addresses I don't recognise and couldn't find useful info about with
whois, I'm assuming they're something to do with Google's mail servers on the receiving side.