Blocking Out of Office replies to Internet

Hi,
I know the default on Exchange 2000 is to not allow Out of Office replies 
outside the Exchange organization.  I am taking some flak from "Power Users" 
who say they need this functionality. My arguements for not turning it on are
1. Potential message looping
2. Spammers can validate the existance of valid email addresses.
Does anyone have any concrete locations of official policy (e.g. Micorsoft 
KBs, security best practices) on this issue so I can direct my management to?
Thanks
0
markj (32)
2/23/2005 4:13:03 PM
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I don't think you'll find a Best Practice, as this really pertains more to 
company need.  Regarding your arguments:

1.  Potential looping - this should be all but a non-issue.  The default 
behavior of Out of Office is to only fire once per sender.  I personally 
don't know of any cases where a properly set up Out of Office message 
started a mail loop.  As long as you do not enable Automatic Replies to the 
internet, and do not allow automatic forwarding, this shouldn't be an issue.
2.  Valid point, though that does require that the spammers be sending mail 
from a legitimate e-mail address.  Most spam today is sent using forged 
From: addresses, so the Out of Office reply would most likely simply result 
in an NDR being returned back to the user.  That in an of itself probably 
isn't so desirable.

Keep in mind that I'm not trying to talk you into turning it on - just 
wanted to provide answers to your questions.

-- 
Ben Winzenz
Exchange MVP


"markj" <markj@discussions.microsoft.com> wrote in message 
news:E2AD9AA8-9003-4CB0-AD65-E0173C08F768@microsoft.com...
> Hi,
> I know the default on Exchange 2000 is to not allow Out of Office replies
> outside the Exchange organization.  I am taking some flak from "Power 
> Users"
> who say they need this functionality. My arguements for not turning it on 
> are
> 1. Potential message looping
> 2. Spammers can validate the existance of valid email addresses.
> Does anyone have any concrete locations of official policy (e.g. Micorsoft
> KBs, security best practices) on this issue so I can direct my management 
> to?
> Thanks 


0
Ben
2/23/2005 4:31:09 PM
The only real case I have seen is security.  I have a friend in a company 
and they have a high level of security with the US.  Part of their policy is 
not to notify people, either by phone or other means that a member of the 
company is not in town.

I have only seen a mail loop once with 5.5 and a hardware fax appliance. 
The appliance sends a message to the user if a fax sent was no correctly 
formatted. The user sent a fax, turned on out of office and left for the 
week.  A few days later, the fax server had some 25,000 Out Of Office 
messages from the user and the user had the same from the fax server.  The 
problem was that the fax server's from address also contained the tracking 
number of the fax so the address was always changing. Never have heard about 
it since though.


HTH,
Brian



"markj" <markj@discussions.microsoft.com> wrote in message 
news:E2AD9AA8-9003-4CB0-AD65-E0173C08F768@microsoft.com...
> Hi,
> I know the default on Exchange 2000 is to not allow Out of Office replies
> outside the Exchange organization.  I am taking some flak from "Power 
> Users"
> who say they need this functionality. My arguements for not turning it on 
> are
> 1. Potential message looping
> 2. Spammers can validate the existance of valid email addresses.
> Does anyone have any concrete locations of official policy (e.g. Micorsoft
> KBs, security best practices) on this issue so I can direct my management 
> to?
> Thanks 


0
Brian
2/23/2005 5:57:53 PM
Reply:

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