North American Network Operators Group

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RE: Why do so few mail providers support Port 587?

  • From: andrew2
  • Date: Fri Feb 25 11:20:33 2005

[email protected] wrote:
> On Thu, Feb 24, 2005 at 04:02:20PM -0700, Smoot Carl-Mitchell wrote:
>> On Thu, 2005-02-24 at 17:14 -0500, Jim Popovitch wrote:
>>> If supporting one port is y hours of time and headache, then two
>>> ports is closer to y*2 than y (some might argue y-squared).  587 has
>>> some validity for providers of roaming services, but who else?  Why
>>> not implement 587 behavior (auth from the outside coming in, and
>>> accept all where destin == this system) on 25 and leave
> the rest alone?
>> I did run into a case where supporting port 587 was useful. I found
>> out the hard way that one Internet service provider for hotels
>> blocked outbound port 25, but not 587. So sending outbound mail to
>> my mail relay would have been impossible without support for port
>> 587. 
> It's so funny. On this list many argued Port 25 outgoing must
> be blocked only to notice, that users actually seem to need
> it to send mail. Now we must configure our mailservers to
> listen on 587 to circumvent these filters, that were stupid
> in the first place.
> Now to my prophecy mode: Spammers will start using 587 to
> spam, which we then also all block outgoing, notice again
> that customers still want to send mail and open another port
> ... 652 maybe. But this in a "while (true)" loop until we run
> out of ports.

That's being a bit disingenuous.  The discussion here hasn't been to
open up port 587 to relay for all comers, but rather to open it up for
authenticated use only.  If spammers start using it, then it's a result
of either poor authentication security or an understaffed abuse
department.  I'll agree with you on one thing, though -- the whole
business of port 587 is a bit silly overall...why can't the same
authentication schemes being bandied about for 587 be applied to 25,
thus negating the need for another port just for mail injection?