SnertSoft: We Serve Your Server

milter-gris/0.22
«We are Grey. We stand between the darkness and the light.»
- Delenn, All Alone in the Night, Babylon 5


Description & Usage ° Installation & Notes ° License & Support

WARNING

THIS IS MAIL FILTERING SOFTWARE AND WILL BLOCK MAIL THAT FAILS TO PASS A GIVEN SET OF TESTS. SNERTSOFT AND THE AUTHOR DO NOT ACCEPT ANY RESPONSIBLITY FOR MAIL REJECTED OR POSSIBLE LOSS OF BUSINESSS THROUGH THE USE OF THIS SOFTWARE. BY INSTALLING THIS SOFTWARE THE CLIENT UNDERSTANDS AND ACCEPTS THE RISKS INVOLVED.

Description

«Gris» is french for grey and this is a variation of the grey-listing concept as originally outlined in "The Next Step in the Spam Control War: Greylisting".

Basically, grey listing keeps track of tuples consisting of the connecting IP, sender's envelope, and recipient's envelope. If a tuple, does not exist in the cache, then a new entry is added and kept until it expires and the message is temporarily rejected.

A legitimate server, when temporarily rejected, is expected to queue the message and retry sending it sometime in the near future. The temporary reject policy remains in force until the temporary block period has elapsed, at which point the message will be allowed to be delivered until the cache entry expires.

There is also support for auto white listing of expected replies. If a connection, sender, or recipient is white listed in the Sendmail access.db, then any mail sent generates an auto white list entry for each recipient that might reply and also each recipient's domain for DSN messages. Normally a site will white list their local network and/or local users to send without grey-listing and with auto white listing, replies or DSN responses to those messages will by-pass grey-listing too.

milter-gris allows for fine grained control over how SMTP authenticated messages are treated. They can be globally and/or selectively white, black, or grey listed. See the milter-gris-auth: tag below.

Additional information can be found at http://greylisting.org/.

Usage

milter-gris [options ...][arguments ...]

Options can be expressed in four different ways. Boolean options are expressed as +option or -option to turn the option on or off respectively. Numeric, string, and list options are expressed as option=value to set the option or option+=value to append to a list. Note that the +option and -option syntax are equivalent to option=1 and option=0 respectively. String values containing white space must be quoted using single (') or double (") quotes. Option names are case insensitive.

Some options, like +help or -help, are treated as immediate actions or commands. Unknown options are ignored and not reported. The first command-line argument is that which does not adhere to the above option syntax. The special command-line argument -- can be used to explicitly signal an end to the list of options.

The default options, as shown below, can be altered by specifying them on the command-line or within an option file, which simply contains command-line options one or more per line and/or on multiple lines. Comments are allowed and are denoted by a line starting with a hash (#) character. If the file option is defined and not empty, then it is parsed first, followed by the command line options.

Note that there may be additional options that are listed in the option summary given by +help or -help that are not described here.

Options

+accept-null-sender
Do not grey-list the null address used for DSN and MDN messages. Normally bounce messages are grey listed like any other mail. However, call-back schemes, like milter-sender, that correctly use the null address (<>) to avoid mail loops and to validate a sender address will fail.
access-db=/etc/mail/access.db
The type and location of the read-only access key-value map. It provides a centralised means to black and white list hosts, domains, mail addresses, etc. The following methods are supported:
text!/path/map.txtR/O text file, memory hash
/path/map.dbBerkeley DB hash format
db!/path/map.dbBerkeley DB hash format
db!btree!/path/map.dbBerkeley DB btree format
sql!/path/databaseAn SQLite3 database
socketmap!host:portSendmail style socket-map
socketmap!/path/local/socketSendmail style socket-map
socketmap!123.45.67.89:portSendmail style socket-map
socketmap![2001:0DB8::1234]:portSendmail style socket-map

If :port is omitted, the default is 7953.

The access-db contains key-value pairs. Lookups are performed from most to least specific, stopping on the first entry found. Keys are case-insensitive.

An IPv4 lookup is repeated several times reducing the IP address by one octet from right to left until a match is found.

tag:192.0.2.9
tag:192.0.2
tag:192.0
tag:192

An IPv6 lookup is repeated several times reducing the IP address by one 16-bit word from right to left until a match is found.

tag:2001:0DB8:0:0:0:0:1234:5678
tag:2001:0DB8:0:0:0:0:1234
tag:2001:0DB8:0:0:0:0
tag:2001:0DB8:0:0:0
tag:2001:0DB8:0:0
tag:2001:0DB8:0:0
tag:2001:0DB8:0
tag:2001:0DB8
tag:2001

A domain lookup is repeated several times reducing the domain by one label from left to right until a match is found.

tag:[ipv6:2001:0DB8::1234:5678]
tag:[192.0.2.9]
tag:sub.domain.tld
tag:domain.tld
tag:tld
tag:

An email lookup is similar to a domain lookup, the exact address is first tried, then the address's domain, and finally the local part of the address.

tag:account@sub.domain.tld
tag:sub.domain.tld
tag:domain.tld
tag:tld
tag:account@
tag:

If a key is found and is a milter specific tag (ie. milter-gris-Connect, milter-gris-From, milter-gris-Auth, milter-gris-To), then the value is processed as a pattern list and the result returned. The Sendmail variants cannot have a pattern list. A pattern list is a whitespace separated list of pattern-action pairs followed by an optional default action. The supported patterns are:

[network/cidr]actionClassless Inter-Domain Routing
!pattern!actionSimple fast text matching.
/regex/actionPOSIX Extended Regular Expressions

The CIDR will only ever match for IP address related lookups.

A !pattern! uses an astrisk (*) for a wildcard, scanning over zero or more characters; a question-mark (?) matches any single character; a backslash followed by any character treats it as a literal (it loses any special meaning).

!abc!exact match for 'abc'
!abc*!match 'abc' at start of string
!*abc!match 'abc' at the end of string
!abc*def!match 'abc' at the start and match 'def' at the end, maybe with stuff in between.
!*abc*def*!find 'abc', then find 'def'

For black-white lookups, the following actions are recognised: OK or RELAY (white list), REJECT or ERROR (black list), DISCARD (accept & discard), SKIP or DUNNO (stop lookup, no result), and NEXT (opposite of SKIP, resume lookup). Its possible to specify an empty action after a pattern, which is treated like SKIP returning an undefined result. Other options may specify other actions.

Below is a list of supported tags. Other options may specify additional tags.

  
milter-gris-Connect:client-ip  value   § Can be a pattern list.
Connect:client-ip  value
 
milter-gris-Connect:[client-ip]  value   § Can be a pattern list.
milter-gris-Connect:client-domain  value   § Can be a pattern list.
milter-gris-Connect:  value   § Can be a pattern list.
Connect:[client-ip] value
Connect:client-domain value
 
All mail sent by a connecting client-ip, unresolved client-ip address or IP addresses that resolve to a client-domain are black or white-listed. These allows you to white-list your network for mail sent internally and off-site, or connections from outside networks. Note that Sendmail also has special semantics for Connect: and untagged forms.
 
milter-gris-From:sender-address  value   § Can be a pattern list.
milter-gris-From:sender-domain  value   § Can be a pattern list.
milter-gris-From:sender@  value   § Can be a pattern list.
milter-gris-From:  value   § Can be a pattern list.
From:sender-address value
From:sender-domain value
From:sender@ value
 
All mail from the sender-address, sender-domain, or that begins with sender is black or white-listed. In the case of a +detailed email address, the left hand side of the +detail is used for the sender@ lookup. Note that Sendmail also has special semantics for From: and untagged forms.
 
milter-gris-Auth:auth_authenvalue   § Can be a pattern list.
milter-gris-Auth:value   § Can be a pattern list.
 
All mail from the authenticated sender, as given by sendmail's {auth_authen} macro, is black or white-listed. The string searched by the pattern list will be the sender-address. The empty form of milter-gris-Auth: allows for a milter specific default only when {auth_authen} is defined.
 
milter-gris-To:recipient-address  value   § Can be a pattern list.
milter-gris-To:recipient-domain  value   § Can be a pattern list.
milter-gris-To:recipient@  value   § Can be a pattern list.
milter-gris-To:  value   § Can be a pattern list.
Spam:recipient-address value   * (FRIEND or HATER are recognised)
Spam:recipient-domain value   * (FRIEND or HATER are recognised)
Spam:recipient@ value   * (FRIEND or HATER are recognised)
To:recipient-address value
To:recipient-domain value
To:recipient@ value
 
All mail to the recipient-address, recipient-domain, or that begins with recipient is black or white-listed. In the case of a +detailed email address, the left hand side of the +detail is used for the recipient@ lookup. Note that Sendmail also has special semantics for Spam:, To:, and untagged forms.
 

The milter-gris-Connect:, milter-gris-From:, and milter-gris-To: tags provide a milter specific means to override the Sendmail variants. For example, you normally white list your local network through any and all milters, but on the odd occasion you might want to actually scan mail from inside going out, without removing the Connect: tag that allows Sendmail to relay for your network or white listing for other milters. So for example if you have Sendmail tags like:

To:mx.example.comRELAY

You might have to add milter specific overrides in order to make sure the mail still gets filtered:

To:mx.example.comRELAY
milter-gris-To:mx.example.comSKIP

Some additional examples:

milter-gris-Connect:80.94 [80.94.96.0/20]OK  REJECT
 
Accept connections from the netblock 80.94.96.0/20 (80.94.96.0 through to 80.94.111.255) and rejecting anything else in 80.94.0.0/16.
 
milter-gris-Connect:192.0.2 /^192\.0\.2\.8[0-9]/OK  REJECT
 
Accept connections from 192.0.2.80 through to 192.0.2.89, reject everything else in 192.0.2.0/24.
 
milter-gris-From:example.com /^john@.+/OK  /^fred\+.*@.*/OK  REJECT
 
Accept mail from <john@example.com> and <fred@example.com> when fred's address contains a plus-detail in the address. Reject everything else from example.com.
 
milter-gris-To:example.net !*+*@*!REJECT  !*.smith@*!REJECT  /^[0-9].*/REJECT
 
Reject mail to example.net using a plus-detail address or to any user who's last name is "smith" or addresses starting with a digit. No default given, so B/W processing would continue.
 

Normally when the access.db lookup matches a milter tag, then the value pattern list is processed and there are no further access.db lookups. The NEXT action allows the access.db lookups to resume and is effectively the opposite of SKIP. Consider the following examples:

milter-gris-From:com
From:com
/@com/REJECT  NEXT
OK
 
Reject mail from places like compaq.com or com.com if the pattern matches, but resume the access.db lookups otherwise.
 
milter-gris-From:aol.com  
From:fred@aol.com  
/^[a-zA-Z0-9!#$&'*+=?^_`{|}~.-]{3,16}@aol.com$/NEXT  REJECT
OK
 
AOL local parts are between 3 and 16 characters long and can contain dots and RFC 2822 atext characters except % and /. The NEXT used above allows one simple regex to validate the format of the address and proceed to lookup white listed and/or black listed addresses.
 
block-time=600
The amount of time in seconds that a message corresponding to the connecting IP, sender, and recipient tuple will be temporarily blocked. This value must be less than the cache-accept-ttl option. A value between 10 to 30 minutes is suggested as reasonable.
block-time-static=-1
If the client connection resolves (ie. has a reverse DNS PTR record) and appears to be from a static IP address, then this value in seconds is used instead of the block-time value. The value can be 0 to pass through immediately without grey listing. The value must be less than equal to the block-time. This option is disabled with -1.
grey-list-key=ip,mail,rcpt
A comma separated list of what items are used for the grey-list key. While many combinations are possible, only some will be of particular interest, like "mail,rcpt" in case you sit behind a mail filtering service like Postini. However, some system administrators might like to experiment with other variations and its recommended that you use at least two items.
all All possible bits.
ip The connection client IP address.
helo The HELO/EHLO argument.
mail The MAIL argument.
rcpt The current RCPT argument.
cache-accept-ttl=ttl
This is the time-to-live in seconds for accepted and auto white list entries stored in the cache.
cache-file=/var/db/milter-limit.db
The file path used for BDB or flatfile cache types.
cache-gc-frequency=250
This option specifies the cache garbage collection frequency, which is based on the number of SMTP connections (not messages) handled by the milter. Every N connections, the cache is traversed to remove expired entries.
cache-temp-fail-ttl=90000
This is the time-to-live in seconds for temporary fail entries stored in the cache.
cache-type=bdb
The cache type can be one of: bdb, flatfile, hash.
+daemon
Start as a background daemon or foreground application.
file=/etc/mail/milter-gris.cf
Read the option file before command line options. This option is set by default. To disable the use of an option file, simply say file=''
-help or +help
Write the option summary to standard output and exit. The output is suitable for use as an option file.
milter-socket=unix:/var/run/milter/milter-gris.socket
A socket specifier used to communicate between Sendmail and milter-gris. Typically a unix named socket or a host:port. This value must match the value specified for the INPUT_MAIL_FILTER() macro in the sendmail.mc file. The accepted syntax is:
{unix|local}:/path/to/file
A named pipe. (default)
inet:port@{hostname|ip-address}
An IPV4 socket.
inet6:port@{hostname|ip-address}
An IPV6 socket.
milter-timeout=7210
The sendmail/milter I/O timeout in seconds.
pid-file=/var/run/milter/milter-gris.pid
The file path of where to save the process-id.
-quit or +quit
Quit an already running instance of the milter and exit. This is equivalent to: kill -QUIT `cat /var/run/milter/milter-gris.pid`
-restart or +restart
Terminate an already running instance of the milter before starting.
run-group=milter
The process runtime group name to be used when started by root.
run-user=milter
The process runtime user name to be used when started by root.
verbose=info
A comma separated list of how much detail to write to the mail log. Those mark with § have meaning for this milter.
§ all All messages
§ 0 Log nothing.
§ info General info messages. (default)
§ trace Trace progress through the milter.
§ parse Details from parsing addresses or special strings.
  debug Lots of debug messages.
  dialog I/O from Communications dialog
  state State transitions of message body scanner.
  dns Trace & debug of DNS operations
§ cache Cache get/put/gc operations.
§ database Sendmail database lookups.
  socket-fd Socket open & close calls
  socket-all All socket operations & I/O
§ libmilter libmilter engine diagnostics
work-dir=/var/tmp
The working directory of the process. Normally serves no purpose unless the kernel option that permits daemon process core dumps is set.

SMTP Responses

This is the list of possible SMTP responses generated by milter-gris.

553 5.1.0 imbalanced angle brackets in path
The path given for a MAIL or RCPT command is missing a closing angle bracket
553 5.1.0 address does not conform to RFC 2821 syntax
The address is missing the angle brackets, < and >, as required by the RFC grammar.
553 5.1.0 local-part too long
The stuff before the @ is too long.
553 5.1.[37] invalid local part
The stuff before the @ sign contains unacceptable characters.
553 5.1.0 domain name too long
The stuff after the @ is too long.
553 5.1.7 address incomplete
Expecting a domain.tld after the @ sign and found none.
553 5.1.[37] invalid domain name
The domain after the @ sign contains unacceptable characters.
450 4.7.1 try again later
The response issued during the initial temporary block period.

Installation

  1. Download:

    milter-gris/0.22 md5sum Change Log
    LibSnert md5sum Change Log
    Sendmail 8.14   http://www.sendmail.org/
    Berkeley DB   http://www.sleepycat.com/
  2. In order to support B/W lists milter-gris requires Berkeley DB 3 or better. If you do not require support for Sendmail's access database, skip this step.

    1. You should build and install Berkeley DB library first, if you do not already have it. Please read the Berkeley DB documentation on how to build the library. Briefly, it should be something like this:

      cd (path to)/db-4.3.27/build_unix
      ../dist/configure
      make
      make install
      

      If your system is Linux and you install Berkeley DB in the default, non- standard, location then you must remember to update /etc/ld.so.conf and run ldconfig. You can change the default install location by specifying the ../dist/configure option --prefix=/usr/local for example.

    2. Note that Sendmail will probably have to be rebuilt to use Berkeley DB, especially if the library was never installed and/or Sendmail was built against an older version of Berkeley DB. Please see the Sendmail documentation as to how this is done. The following is a brief outline, however be sure to read devtools/README, devtools/Site/README, and "Using Berkeley DB with Sendmail" for details on how to configure the Sendmail build process. Outline of steps

      cd (path to)/sendmail-8.14.0
      vi devtools/Site/site.config.m4
      sh Build -c
      sh Build install
      
  3. If you have never built a milter for Sendmail, then please make sure that you build and install libmilter, which is not built by default when you build Sendmail. Please read the libmilter documentation. Briefly, it should be something like this:

    cd (path to)/sendmail-8.14.0/libmilter
    sh Build -c
    sh Build install
    
  4. The build process for libsnert and milter-gris is pretty straight forward once you have libmilter installed:

    cd (path to)/com/snert/src/lib
    ./configure
    make build
    cd ../milter-gris
    ./configure
    make build
    make install
    

    Both configuration scripts have some options that allow you to override defaults. Those options are listed with:

    ./configure --help
    
  5. An example ${prefix}/share/examples/milter-gris/milter-gris.mc is supplied. This file should be reviewed and the necessary elements inserted into your Sendmail .mc file and sendmail.cf rebuilt. Please note the comments on the general milter flags.

    
    
  6. Once installed and configured, start milter-gris and then restart Sendmail. An example startup script is provided in ${prefix}/share/examples/milter-gris/milter-gris.sh. The default options can be altered by specifying them on the command-line or within a /etc/mail/milter-gris.cf. The milter-gris.cf is parsed first followed by the command-line options.

Notes

  • Currently tested platforms:

    Cobalt Qube 1 with Linux RH 5.1 (mips 2.0.34 kernel); Linux RH 5.1 (Intel x386 2.2.25 kernel); FreeBSD 4.8, 4.9 (Intel x386); OpenBSD 3.6 (Intel x386)
  • If you use this milter in conjunction with milter-sender its suggested that milter-gris come before milter-sender in the sendmail.mc configuration. Also note that milter-sender uses grey-listing in some cases, which can result in double-length delays.

  • It should work for IPv4 and IPv6 "out of the box", since the {client_addr} macro supplied by Sendmail, is a textual string.

  • When using the access-db option, you should place the local host and your local network in the access database. For example:

    Connect:127.0.0.1		OK
    Connect:192.168.1		OK
    

    You might want to review the following recommended IP white list for servers known to have problems with grey-listing servers. It is updated from time to time.

  • The minimum desired file ownership and permissions are as follows for a typical Linux system. For FreeBSD, NetBSD, and OpenBSD the binary and cache locations may differ, but have the same permissions.

    Process user ``milter'' is primary member of group ``milter'' and secondary member of group ``smmsp''. Note that the milter should be started as root, so that it can create a .pid file and .socket file in /var/run; after which it will switch process ownership to milter:milter before starting the accept socket thread.

    /etc/mail/root:smmsp0750 drwxr-x---
    /etc/mail/access.dbroot:smmsp0640 -rw-r-----
    /etc/mail/sendmail.cfroot:smmsp0640 -rw-r-----
    /etc/mail/milter-gris.cfroot:root0644 -rw-r--r--
    /var/run/milter/milter-gris.pidmilter:milter0644 -rw-r--r--
    /var/run/milter/milter-gris.socketmilter:milter0644 srw-r--r--
    /var/db/milter-grismilter:milter0644 -rw-r--r-- (*BSD)
    /var/cache/milter-grismilter:milter0644 -rw-r--r-- (linux)
    /usr/local/libexec/milter-grisroot:milter0550 -r-xr-x---
  • milter-greylist, written by Emmanuel Dreyfus, is another C based greylist milter, that has a different approach and feature set.

  • I would like to express my thanks to Derek Balling for his support at http://www.milter.org/.

License Agreement 1.4

SNERTSOFT IS WILLING TO LICENSE THE SOFTWARE IDENTIFIED ABOVE TO YOU ONLY UPON THE CONDITION THAT YOU ACCEPT ALL OF THE TERMS CONTAINED IN THIS LICENSE AGREEMENT. PLEASE READ THE AGREEMENT CAREFULLY. BY DOWNLOADING OR INSTALLING THIS SOFTWARE, YOU ACCEPT THE TERMS OF THE AGREEMENT.

  1. Definitions

    1. ``Package'' means the identified above in source and/or binary form, any other machine readable materials provided (including, but not limited to documentation, sample files, data files), any updates or error corrections, and its derivative works.

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The Package may use one or more license control methods including, but not limited to, license key activation, periodic reporting of Package details and IP address of installation to SnertSoft, remote license verification by SnertSoft, or other future technical means. Any information reported to or gathered by SnertSoft shall remain strictly confidential and the private property of SnertSoft. Under no circumstances will SnertSoft resell or release this information to third parties, unless demanded by court order.

Support

Support is only provided for the Author's original Package. Priority support can be purchased. Free support is limited, based on the Author's availability, though enhancements requests and problem reports are welcome. A community mailing list is available; please refer to SnertSoft web site Support area for details.

Gifts

Gifts from the author's Amazon US or Amazon UK wish list (search by mail address <achowe at snert dot com>) are welcomed for the continued encouragement, moral support, and ego pumping needed to work in foreign non-english speaking lands.

candles in the night since 1 April 2004