O'Reilly logo

Sendmail, 3rd Edition by Bryan Costales

Stay ahead with the world's most comprehensive technology and business learning platform.

With Safari, you learn the way you learn best. Get unlimited access to videos, live online training, learning paths, books, tutorials, and more.

Start Free Trial

No credit card required

SMTP Probes

Although SMTP probes can be legitimate uses of the network, they can also pose potential risks. They are sometimes used to see whether a bug remains unfixed. Sometimes they are used to try to gather user login names or to feed a program unexpected input in such a way that it breaks and gives away root privilege.

SMTP Debug

An “unfixed bug” probe can use the SMTP debug and showq commands. The SMTP debug command allows the local sendmail to be placed into debugging mode (as with the -d command-line switch, Section 16.1) from any other machine anywhere on the network. The SMTP showq command allows outsiders to view the contents of the mail queue.

If SMTPDEBUG (SMTPDEBUG) is defined when sendmail is compiled, the SMTP debug and showq commands are allowed to work; otherwise, they are disabled. SMTPDEBUG should be defined only when modifying the sendmail code and testing a new version. It should never be defined in an official release of sendmail. To see whether it has been defined at your site, run the following command:

% telnet localhost 25
Trying 123.45.6.7 ...
Connected to localhost.
Escape character is '^]'.
220 localhost sendmail 8.12 ready at Fri, 13 Dec 2002 06:36:12 -0800
debug
500 Command unrecognized
quit
221 localhost.us.edu closing connection
Connection closed by foreign host.
%

When connected, enter the command debug. If you get the answer 500 Command unrecognized, you know that SMTPDEBUG is not enabled. If, on the other hand, you get the answer 200 Debug set ...

With Safari, you learn the way you learn best. Get unlimited access to videos, live online training, learning paths, books, interactive tutorials, and more.

Start Free Trial

No credit card required