Misdelivered messages

David S. Madole david at madole.net
Wed May 23 10:03:00 EDT 2007

> From Dana Canfield on Wednesday, May 23, 2007 9:38 AM
> hackxx at uindy.edu and xxmelser at uindy.edu are local users 
> receiving hundreds of spam per hour.  None of it is addressed 
> to them.  Their email addresses don't appear anywhere in the 
> message source.  The messages in hackxx's account appear to 
> be the same messages that xxmelser is receiving.  Most of the 
> misdirected messages seem to be addressed to other local 
> users, such as xxmilton at uindy.edu or foxworthxx at uindy.edu. 

The messages almost certainly are addressed to those who received them and are not misdelivered. Delivery of messagea is based on the SMTP envelope recipients, not what it in the message headers. Sometimes you will find the envelope recipient in a Received: header for reference, but some MTAs or delivery agents do not record it anywhere. If you check your MTA logs, you should be able to verify the envelope address and that delivery was correct.

You can easily create this same situation with a normal mail client, just send a message To: one address and Bcc: to another. The Bcc: recipient will see a message that is apparently not to them, according to the To: header, yet they received it because they were listed in the envelope.

In any case, everything is probably working just as it is supposed to.


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