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  • Out-of-office & spam?

    We currently do not allow out-of-office replies to go outside the organization (using SBS 2003 & Outlook 2003), in an effort to reduce spam and the other usual reasons. I am, however, considering changing that and have a question. When mail arrives to our server, it is first filtered for spam before going to the client. The next level of filtering happens at the client's Outlook and most junk ends up in the client's Junk E-Mail folder. When does the Out-of-Office reply (or Auto-Reply) kick in, at the top of the mailbox level, or at the Inbox level? If only emails that make it to the Inbox receive an auto-reply, I would be less concerned about inviting more spam.
    I hope this (dumb) question is clear enough and someone can answer me. Thanks!

    Teija

  • #2
    Re: Out-of-office & spam?

    Out of the Office does not increase the level of spam that you receive.
    All spam is spoofed, so the OOTO message will fail to go out or at worst go some innocent victim. Spammers don't care about the OOTO message. For the OOTO message to be delivered the spammer needs to run a server. That makes them traceable, and once it is known it will be kicked off the ISP.

    If they want to know if the email address is valid they will do a directory harvest attack. That can be blocked easily within Exchange 2003.

    The more serious problem with OOTO messages is down to valid recipients of them. Getting an OOTO message can mean that you (the sender of the OOT) do not care enough to have the mailbox monitored, or could give away more information than you should. If it says something like "I am on the beach in Florida", then it really says "My house is empty, come rob me".

    Simon.
    --
    Simon Butler
    Exchange MVP

    Blog: http://blog.sembee.co.uk/
    More Exchange Content: http://exchange.sembee.info/
    Exchange Resources List: http://exbpa.com/
    In the UK? Hire me: http://www.sembee.co.uk/

    Sembee is a registered trademark, used here with permission.

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    • #3
      Re: Out-of-office & spam?

      Thanks, Sembee. So, it sounds like in your opinion it's not a good idea to to have the out-of-office replies go outside the organization. I tend to agree and would like to know what others think and what other practices are out there.

      End users occasionally request this and perhaps I should consider it, with specific instructions on what NOT to state in their OOO message.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Out-of-office & spam?

        OOTO to the Internet is fine, as long as the proper safeguards are put in place. There are no technical reasons not to, it is all down to management, which IT cannot help with.

        Simon.
        --
        Simon Butler
        Exchange MVP

        Blog: http://blog.sembee.co.uk/
        More Exchange Content: http://exchange.sembee.info/
        Exchange Resources List: http://exbpa.com/
        In the UK? Hire me: http://www.sembee.co.uk/

        Sembee is a registered trademark, used here with permission.

        Comment

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