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SMTP help ...

By dwdino ·
Some friends and I where tossing the hypothetical ball the other day and began to dream up ways of improving e-mail.

(This is based on limited knowledge of the SMTP protocol.)

One interesting thing we dreamed up was the ability to turn SMTP from a Push to a Pull protocol.

Currently, as I understand it. SMTP server 1 (SMTP1) contacts SMTP server 2 (SMTP2) and annouces "I have mail for you". SMTP2 opens its doors (unless otherwise filtered) and receives the incoming messages. This system is a spammers delight. This also makes it hard for systems admins to manage who can and can't connect.

Therefore, we theorized, what would happen if the protocol was turned around.

SMTP1 has messages for SMTP2. SMTP sends a messages that basically states: "4 Messages for SMTP2 located at SMTP1 access code is 14*hg0". This message is sent using domain names, IP is not allowed.

Upon receipt of the notification, SMTP2 places SMTP in the queued list. When the timer strikes, SMTP2 contacts SMTP1 and says please send me messages with access code 14*hg0. SMTP2 then pulls the messages from SMTP1.

The benefits we thought:
1) Harder to spoof as SMTP2 has to do a DNS lookup and request messages from SMTP1.

2) Queueing to normalize workload.

3) Secured by single instance id/password.

The negatives:
1) SMTP could not be used as client side protocol. Users would be forced to use imap or other protocol.

2) Possible overload of first line servers as messages would not be request if spoofed.

3) Home users would no longer be able to send with different from addresses. I.E., user joe on netzero sending messages as if he is at work joe@work.net.

Your thoughts...

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Good Ideas, But

by BFilmFan In reply to SMTP help ...

Too many programs use SMTP as currently designed.

Perhaps a new protocol can be developed. That would only take 4 or 5 years to get into production.

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DNS

by Roger99a In reply to SMTP help ...

If we could get a plug-in for all the mail servers that would run a MX record lookup against the incoming email's domain and reject messages that don't match the origin IP address a lot of spam would disappear. The rest could be easily stopped by DNSBL or domain name. I think secure connections between mail servers would be a good add-in, too.

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