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AW: special characters in mail address

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  • Dentzer, Daniel
    I receive emails at the moment over this domain, only with a ! the email is not relayed. So the error messages looks wrong. ... Von:
    Message 1 of 17 , Jul 3, 2012
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      I receive emails at the moment over this domain, only with a "!" the email is not relayed. So the error messages looks wrong.




      -----Ursprüngliche Nachricht-----
      Von: owner-postfix-users@... [mailto:owner-postfix-users@...] Im Auftrag von Benny Pedersen
      Gesendet: Dienstag, 3. Juli 2012 12:04
      An: postfix-users@...
      Betreff: Re: special characters in mail address

      Den 2012-07-03 11:46, Dentzer, Daniel skrev:
      > Hello list,
      >
      > I have a strange problem, when I send a mail to a mail address with an
      > "!" in the localpart, I got a "relay access denied", but the character
      > is allowed in the RFC:
      >
      > Jul 3 09:46:28 mta postfix/smtpd[6229]: NOQUEUE: reject: RCPT from
      > fmmailgate03.web.de[217.72.192.234]: 554 5.7.1 <abc!de@...>: Relay
      > access denied; from=<abc@...> to=<abc!de@...> proto=ESMTP
      > helo=<fmmailgate03.web.de>
      >
      > Jul 3 09:46:28 mta postfix/smtpd[6229]: disconnect from
      > fmmailgate03.web.de[217.72.192.234]
      >
      > The server is a spamfilter only forwarding to internal servers and
      > other special characters like "|" work fine.
      >
      > Does the exclamation mark have a special meaning? If there is a
      > problem with the character I would expect something like "Bad
      > recipient address syntax".
      >
      > Is there anything I could do to receive these mails?

      check that abc.de is in mydestination ?

      relay denied does not say user :)

      > Thank you,

      if it works

      > Daniel
    • Benny Pedersen
      ... post postconf -n so
      Message 2 of 17 , Jul 3, 2012
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        Den 2012-07-03 12:06, Dentzer, Daniel skrev:
        > I receive emails at the moment over this domain, only with a "!" the
        > email is not relayed. So the error messages looks wrong.

        post postconf -n so
      • Dentzer, Daniel
        Here it is, but I have shortend/anonymized a few names. alias_maps = hash:/etc/aliases biff = no bounce_queue_lifetime = 0 broken_sasl_auth_clients = yes
        Message 3 of 17 , Jul 3, 2012
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          Here it is, but I have shortend/anonymized a few names.

          alias_maps = hash:/etc/aliases
          biff = no
          bounce_queue_lifetime = 0
          broken_sasl_auth_clients = yes
          canonical_maps = hash:/etc/postfix/canonical
          command_directory = /usr/sbin
          config_directory = /etc/postfix
          content_filter = smtp-amavis:[127.0.0.1]:10024
          daemon_directory = /usr/lib/postfix
          debug_peer_level = 2
          defer_transports =
          disable_dns_lookups = no
          disable_mime_output_conversion = no
          html_directory = /usr/share/doc/packages/postfix/html
          inet_interfaces = all
          inet_protocols = all
          mail_owner = postfix
          mail_spool_directory = /var/mail
          mailbox_command =
          mailbox_size_limit = 0
          mailbox_transport = cyrus
          mailq_path = /usr/bin/mailq
          manpage_directory = /usr/share/man
          masquerade_classes = envelope_sender, header_sender, header_recipient
          masquerade_domains =
          masquerade_exceptions = root
          maximal_queue_lifetime = 7d
          message_size_limit = 40960000
          mydestination = $myhostname, localhost.$mydomain
          myhostname = spamfilter.it.de
          mynetworks = 192.168.8.0/22, 127.0.0.0/8, hash:/etc/postfix/local_ips
          mynetworks_style = subnet
          newaliases_path = /usr/bin/newaliases
          queue_directory = /var/spool/postfix
          readme_directory = /usr/share/doc/packages/postfix/README_FILES
          relay_domains = $mydestination, hash:/etc/postfix/local_domains
          relayhost =
          relocated_maps = hash:/etc/postfix/relocated
          sample_directory = /usr/share/doc/packages/postfix/samples
          sender_canonical_maps = hash:/etc/postfix/sender_canonical
          sendmail_path = /usr/sbin/sendmail
          setgid_group = maildrop
          smtp_sasl_auth_enable = yes
          smtp_sasl_password_maps = hash:/etc/postfix/sasl_passwd
          smtp_use_tls = no
          smtpd_client_restrictions =
          smtpd_helo_required = yes
          smtpd_helo_restrictions =
          smtpd_recipient_restrictions = permit_mynetworks, permit_sasl_authenticated reject_unauth_destination, check_sender_access hash:/etc/postfix/permit_sender check_recipient_access hash:/etc/postfix/permit_recipient reject_invalid_hostname, reject_unknown_client, reject_non_fqdn_sender, reject_unknown_sender_domain, reject_non_fqdn_recipient, reject_invalid_helo_hostname, reject_unknown_recipient_domain, reject_unknown_client_hostname, reject_rbl_client dul.dnsbl.sorbs.net, reject_rbl_client cbl.abuseat.org
          smtpd_restriction_classes = go_only
          smtpd_sasl_auth_enable = yes
          smtpd_sasl_local_domain =
          smtpd_sender_restrictions = hash:/etc/postfix/access
          smtpd_tls_CAfile = /etc/ssl/cacert.pem
          smtpd_tls_cert_file = /etc/postfix/cert/s.it.de.pem
          smtpd_tls_key_file = /etc/postfix/private/s.it.de.key
          smtpd_use_tls = no
          strict_8bitmime = no
          strict_rfc821_envelopes = no
          transport_maps = hash:/etc/postfix/transport
          unknown_address_reject_code = 550
          unknown_client_reject_code = 550
          unknown_hostname_reject_code = 550
          virtual_alias_domains = hash:/etc/postfix/virtual
          virtual_alias_maps = hash:/etc/postfix/virtual



          -----Ursprüngliche Nachricht-----
          Von: owner-postfix-users@... [mailto:owner-postfix-users@...] Im Auftrag von Benny Pedersen
          Gesendet: Dienstag, 3. Juli 2012 12:14
          An: postfix-users@...
          Betreff: Re: AW: special characters in mail address

          Den 2012-07-03 12:06, Dentzer, Daniel skrev:
          > I receive emails at the moment over this domain, only with a "!" the
          > email is not relayed. So the error messages looks wrong.

          post postconf -n so
        • Benny Pedersen
          ... dont list mydestination here
          Message 4 of 17 , Jul 3, 2012
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            Den 2012-07-03 12:24, Dentzer, Daniel skrev:
            > Here it is, but I have shortend/anonymized a few names.

            > relay_domains = $mydestination, hash:/etc/postfix/local_domains

            dont list mydestination here
          • Dentzer, Daniel
            Thank you, but after the change, the behavior is the same. We don t use the local mail (mydestination) on this server. ... Von: owner-postfix-users@postfix.org
            Message 5 of 17 , Jul 3, 2012
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              Thank you, but after the change, the behavior is the same.

              We don't use the local mail (mydestination) on this server.

              -----Ursprüngliche Nachricht-----
              Von: owner-postfix-users@... [mailto:owner-postfix-users@...] Im Auftrag von Benny Pedersen
              Gesendet: Dienstag, 3. Juli 2012 12:37
              An: postfix-users@...
              Betreff: Re: AW: AW: special characters in mail address

              Den 2012-07-03 12:24, Dentzer, Daniel skrev:
              > Here it is, but I have shortend/anonymized a few names.

              > relay_domains = $mydestination, hash:/etc/postfix/local_domains

              dont list mydestination here
            • Benny Pedersen
              ... sure but it an failure to let postfix see mydestination in relay_domains mydestination is local, while relay_domains is remote hosted relay access denied
              Message 6 of 17 , Jul 3, 2012
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                Den 2012-07-03 12:40, Dentzer, Daniel skrev:
                > Thank you, but after the change, the behavior is the same.

                sure but it an failure to let postfix see mydestination in
                relay_domains

                mydestination is local, while relay_domains is remote hosted

                relay access denied means recipient domain is not in mydestination or
                sender is outside of mynetworks

                check where abc.de is in your hashes, or if its just that you use hash
                table for mynetworks
              • Dentzer, Daniel
                The server is running for years now, the only thing is that with an exclamation mark in the local part of the mail address the email is not forwarded, hundreds
                Message 7 of 17 , Jul 3, 2012
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                  The server is running for years now, the only thing is that with an exclamation mark in the local part of the mail address the email is not forwarded, hundreds of user mail addresses work.

                  I think the configuration is (mostly) correct and working, but when I use special characters (until now only "!") the server has problems with the domain name and didn't relay.

                  -----Ursprüngliche Nachricht-----
                  Von: owner-postfix-users@... [mailto:owner-postfix-users@...] Im Auftrag von Benny Pedersen
                  Gesendet: Dienstag, 3. Juli 2012 13:01
                  An: postfix-users@...
                  Betreff: Re: AW: AW: AW: special characters in mail address

                  Den 2012-07-03 12:40, Dentzer, Daniel skrev:
                  > Thank you, but after the change, the behavior is the same.

                  sure but it an failure to let postfix see mydestination in relay_domains

                  mydestination is local, while relay_domains is remote hosted

                  relay access denied means recipient domain is not in mydestination or sender is outside of mynetworks

                  check where abc.de is in your hashes, or if its just that you use hash table for mynetworks
                • Erwan David
                  Le Tue 3/07/2012, Dentzer, Daniel disait ... Beware that ! is a site separator in UUCP addresses. -- Erwan
                  Message 8 of 17 , Jul 3, 2012
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                    Le Tue 3/07/2012, Dentzer, Daniel disait
                    > The server is running for years now, the only thing is that with an exclamation mark in the local part of the mail address the email is not forwarded, hundreds of user mail addresses work.
                    >
                    > I think the configuration is (mostly) correct and working, but when I use special characters (until now only "!") the server has problems with the domain name and didn't relay.
                    >

                    Beware that ! is a site separator in UUCP addresses.

                    --
                    Erwan
                  • Dentzer, Daniel
                    Good information. Is there a way to turn this off? ... Von: owner-postfix-users@postfix.org [mailto:owner-postfix-users@postfix.org] Im Auftrag von Erwan David
                    Message 9 of 17 , Jul 3, 2012
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                      Good information.

                      Is there a way to turn this off?

                      -----Ursprüngliche Nachricht-----
                      Von: owner-postfix-users@... [mailto:owner-postfix-users@...] Im Auftrag von Erwan David
                      Gesendet: Dienstag, 3. Juli 2012 13:21
                      An: postfix-users@...
                      Betreff: Re: special characters in mail address

                      Le Tue 3/07/2012, Dentzer, Daniel disait
                      > The server is running for years now, the only thing is that with an exclamation mark in the local part of the mail address the email is not forwarded, hundreds of user mail addresses work.
                      >
                      > I think the configuration is (mostly) correct and working, but when I use special characters (until now only "!") the server has problems with the domain name and didn't relay.
                      >

                      Beware that ! is a site separator in UUCP addresses.

                      --
                      Erwan
                    • Reindl Harald
                      do not top-post after get reply at bottom! ... this makes absolutely no sense you have to keep in mind that EVERY mailserver involved for delivering a message
                      Message 10 of 17 , Jul 3, 2012
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                        do not top-post after get reply at bottom!

                        Am 03.07.2012 13:53, schrieb Dentzer:
                        > -----Ursprüngliche Nachricht-----
                        > Von: owner-postfix-users@... [mailto:owner-postfix-users@...] Im Auftrag von Erwan David
                        > Gesendet: Dienstag, 3. Juli 2012 13:21
                        > An: postfix-users@...
                        > Betreff: Re: special characters in mail address
                        >
                        > Le Tue 3/07/2012, Dentzer, Daniel disait
                        >> The server is running for years now, the only thing is that with an exclamation mark in the local part of the mail address the email is not forwarded, hundreds of user mail addresses work.
                        >>
                        >> I think the configuration is (mostly) correct and working, but when I use special characters (until now only "!") the server has problems with the domain name and didn't relay.
                        >>
                        >
                        > Beware that ! is a site separator in UUCP addresses.
                        >
                        > Good information.
                        >
                        > Is there a way to turn this off?

                        this makes absolutely no sense
                        you have to keep in mind that EVERY mailserver involved for
                        delivering a message (and that can be many hops) has to
                        accept a address as valid

                        so usually do not use special chars at all!
                      • Dentzer, Daniel
                        ... Without quotes, local-parts may consist of any combination of alphabetic characters, digits, or any of the special characters ! # $ % & * + - / = ? ^ _
                        Message 11 of 17 , Jul 3, 2012
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                          > -----Original Message-----
                          > From: owner-postfix-users@... [mailto:owner-postfix-users@...]
                          > On Behalf Of Reindl Harald
                          > Sent: Tuesday, July 03, 2012 2:02 PM
                          > To: postfix-users@...
                          > Subject: Re: special characters in mail address
                          >
                          > do not top-post after get reply at bottom!
                          >
                          > Am 03.07.2012 13:53, schrieb Dentzer:
                          > > -----Ursprüngliche Nachricht-----
                          > > Von: owner-postfix-users@...
                          > > [mailto:owner-postfix-users@...] Im Auftrag von Erwan David
                          > > Gesendet: Dienstag, 3. Juli 2012 13:21
                          > > An: postfix-users@...
                          > > Betreff: Re: special characters in mail address
                          > >
                          > > Le Tue 3/07/2012, Dentzer, Daniel disait
                          > >> The server is running for years now, the only thing is that with an
                          > exclamation mark in the local part of the mail address the email is not
                          > forwarded, hundreds of user mail addresses work.
                          > >>
                          > >> I think the configuration is (mostly) correct and working, but when I use
                          > special characters (until now only "!") the server has problems with the
                          > domain name and didn't relay.
                          > >>
                          > >
                          > > Beware that ! is a site separator in UUCP addresses.
                          > >
                          > > Good information.
                          > >
                          > > Is there a way to turn this off?
                          >
                          > this makes absolutely no sense
                          > you have to keep in mind that EVERY mailserver involved for delivering a
                          > message (and that can be many hops) has to accept a address as valid
                          >
                          > so usually do not use special chars at all!


                          Why does it makes no sense, these Characters are valid as written in RFC 3696:
                          ----------
                          Without quotes, local-parts may consist of any combination of
                          alphabetic characters, digits, or any of the special characters

                          ! # $ % & ' * + - / = ? ^ _ ` . { | } ~

                          period (".") may also appear, but may not be used to start or end the
                          local part, nor may two or more consecutive periods appear.
                          ----------

                          After all, my postfix is not working like defined in the RFCs, may be due to this UUCP-Problem, but we don't use UUCP.
                          (and I don't know much about UUCP)

                          Is there any other option, other than stop using special characters?
                        • Reindl Harald
                          ... one thing is RFC and the other one how useable is a address in the real life * register forms with breaking validation * other servers / relays /
                          Message 12 of 17 , Jul 3, 2012
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                            Am 03.07.2012 14:48, schrieb Dentzer:
                            >
                            >
                            >> -----Original Message-----
                            >> From: owner-postfix-users@... [mailto:owner-postfix-users@...]
                            >> On Behalf Of Reindl Harald
                            >> Sent: Tuesday, July 03, 2012 2:02 PM
                            >> To: postfix-users@...
                            >> Subject: Re: special characters in mail address
                            >>
                            >> do not top-post after get reply at bottom!
                            >>
                            >> Am 03.07.2012 13:53, schrieb Dentzer:
                            >>> -----Ursprüngliche Nachricht-----
                            >>> Von: owner-postfix-users@...
                            >>> [mailto:owner-postfix-users@...] Im Auftrag von Erwan David
                            >>> Gesendet: Dienstag, 3. Juli 2012 13:21
                            >>> An: postfix-users@...
                            >>> Betreff: Re: special characters in mail address
                            >>>
                            >>> Le Tue 3/07/2012, Dentzer, Daniel disait
                            >>>> The server is running for years now, the only thing is that with an
                            >> exclamation mark in the local part of the mail address the email is not
                            >> forwarded, hundreds of user mail addresses work.
                            >>>>
                            >>>> I think the configuration is (mostly) correct and working, but when I use
                            >> special characters (until now only "!") the server has problems with the
                            >> domain name and didn't relay.
                            >>>>
                            >>>
                            >>> Beware that ! is a site separator in UUCP addresses.
                            >>>
                            >>> Good information.
                            >>>
                            >>> Is there a way to turn this off?
                            >>
                            >> this makes absolutely no sense
                            >> you have to keep in mind that EVERY mailserver involved for delivering a
                            >> message (and that can be many hops) has to accept a address as valid
                            >>
                            >> so usually do not use special chars at all!
                            >
                            >
                            > Why does it makes no sense, these Characters are valid as written in RFC 3696:
                            > ----------
                            > Without quotes, local-parts may consist of any combination of
                            > alphabetic characters, digits, or any of the special characters
                            >
                            > ! # $ % & ' * + - / = ? ^ _ ` . { | } ~
                            >
                            > period (".") may also appear, but may not be used to start or end the
                            > local part, nor may two or more consecutive periods appear

                            one thing is RFC and the other one how useable is a address
                            in the real life

                            * register forms with breaking validation
                            * other servers / relays / mail-filters

                            yes, in case of problems you can say XYZ is violating the RFC
                            but this does not help the user much

                            that is why we are restricting e-mail to a-z,0-9 and -
                          • Viktor Dukhovni
                            ... The RFC only defines SMTP, not the whole email ecosystem. Sure mimsy!chris@umd.edu is a local address at umd.edu from the perspective of SMTP, but
                            Message 13 of 17 , Jul 3, 2012
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                              On Tue, Jul 03, 2012 at 12:48:58PM +0000, Dentzer, Daniel wrote:

                              > > > Beware that ! is a site separator in UUCP addresses.
                              > > >
                              > > > Good information.
                              > > >
                              > > > Is there a way to turn this off?
                              > >
                              > > this makes absolutely no sense
                              > > you have to keep in mind that EVERY mailserver involved for delivering a
                              > > message (and that can be many hops) has to accept a address as valid
                              > >
                              > > so usually do not use special chars at all!
                              >
                              > Why does it makes no sense, these Characters are valid as written in RFC 3696:

                              The RFC only defines SMTP, not the whole email ecosystem. Sure

                              mimsy!chris@...

                              is a local address at "umd.edu" from the perspective of SMTP, but (still!) the
                              majority of non-border Sendmail and Postfix systems will treat these as UUCP
                              addresses and become multi-hop open relays if the border MTA does not refuse
                              to forward these. Hence Postfix correctly treats these as source routes by
                              default.

                              If your system consists of just your server and is not a border
                              relay and either refuses incoming mail or delivers it locally, then:

                              swap_bangpath = no

                              will disable UUCP support and allow incoming "abc!de" local parts,
                              but these will be treated with prejudice everywhere else, so RFC
                              or no RFC this address is not useful. There are de-facto standards
                              that should or must not be ignored.

                              --
                              Viktor.
                            • Dentzer, Daniel
                              ... After a bit searching, and the great comments of you all, it looks like -see text above- a general problem of Postfix (and other mailsystems). But on the
                              Message 14 of 17 , Jul 3, 2012
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                                > -----Original Message-----
                                > From: owner-postfix-users@... [mailto:owner-postfix-users@...]
                                > On Behalf Of Viktor Dukhovni
                                > Sent: Tuesday, July 03, 2012 3:21 PM
                                > To: postfix-users@...
                                > Subject: Re: special characters in mail address
                                >
                                > On Tue, Jul 03, 2012 at 12:48:58PM +0000, Dentzer, Daniel wrote:
                                >
                                > > > > Beware that ! is a site separator in UUCP addresses.
                                > > > >
                                > > > > Good information.
                                > > > >
                                > > > > Is there a way to turn this off?
                                > > >
                                > > > this makes absolutely no sense
                                > > > you have to keep in mind that EVERY mailserver involved for
                                > > > delivering a message (and that can be many hops) has to accept a
                                > > > address as valid
                                > > >
                                > > > so usually do not use special chars at all!
                                > >
                                > > Why does it makes no sense, these Characters are valid as written in RFC
                                > 3696:
                                >
                                > The RFC only defines SMTP, not the whole email ecosystem. Sure
                                >
                                > mimsy!chris@...
                                >
                                > is a local address at "umd.edu" from the perspective of SMTP, but (still!) the
                                > majority of non-border Sendmail and Postfix systems will treat these as UUCP
                                > addresses and become multi-hop open relays if the border MTA does not refuse
                                > to forward these. Hence Postfix correctly treats these as source routes by
                                > default.
                                >
                                > If your system consists of just your server and is not a border relay and
                                > either refuses incoming mail or delivers it locally, then:
                                >
                                > swap_bangpath = no
                                >
                                > will disable UUCP support and allow incoming "abc!de" local parts, but these
                                > will be treated with prejudice everywhere else, so RFC or no RFC this address
                                > is not useful. There are de-facto standards that should or must not be
                                > ignored.
                                >
                                > --
                                > Viktor.


                                After a bit searching, and the great comments of you all, it looks like -see text above- a general problem of Postfix (and other mailsystems). But on the other side, it is well known, that nobody should use unusual special characters.

                                E.g. in http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Email_address#Specification are some more explanations:

                                "Systems that send mail must be capable of handling outgoing mail for all valid addresses. Contrary to the relevant standards, some defective systems treat certain legitimate addresses as invalid and fail to handle mail to these addresses. Hotmail, for example, refuses to send mail to any address containing any of the following standards-permissible characters: !#$%*/?^`{|}~"

                                But under Valid email addresses:
                                !#$%&'*+-/=?^_`{}|~@...

                                The result for me is, that I will persuade my company not to use most of the characters.


                                Thank you all for the very fast and competent help.

                                Daniel
                              • Viktor Dukhovni
                                ... The above text is unjustifiably pejorative. Systems that deal with the real world outside the standards group are not necessarily defective . Postfix is
                                Message 15 of 17 , Jul 3, 2012
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                                  On Tue, Jul 03, 2012 at 01:26:37PM +0000, Dentzer, Daniel wrote:

                                  > E.g. in http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Email_address#Specification are some more explanations:
                                  >
                                  > "Systems that send mail must be capable of handling outgoing mail
                                  > for all valid addresses. Contrary to the relevant standards, some
                                  > defective systems treat certain legitimate addresses as invalid
                                  > and fail to handle mail to these addresses.

                                  The above text is unjustifiably pejorative. Systems that deal with the
                                  real world outside the standards group are not necessarily "defective".

                                  Postfix is quite capable of handling all the allowed RFC 2821/2822
                                  non-special characters in address localparts. By default, sensible
                                  security precautions and backwards compatibility settings are in
                                  place:

                                  - swap_bangpath = yes

                                  This protects internal systems (Sendmail, Postfix or other)
                                  from becoming multi-hop open relays if they support "host!user"
                                  UUCP address rewriting.

                                  - allow_percent_hack = yes

                                  Much the same, but for "user%internal@external" legacy addresses.

                                  - allow_min_user = no

                                  Protects careless administrators and shell script authors from their
                                  own folly. For example in master.cf pipe(8) argv= specs:

                                  SAFE:
                                  argv=myscript -f ${sender} -- ${recipient}
                                  UNSAFE:
                                  argv=myscript -f${sender} ${recipient}
                                  argv= argv=myscript -f ${sender} ${recipient}
                                  null_sender= argv=myscript -f${sender} -- ${recipient}

                                  Disable these measures at your peril. If your installation is simple
                                  and carefully maintained these are not needed. In practice people
                                  are lazy and sloppy and benefit from the extra care that Postfix
                                  takes to save them from themselves.

                                  --
                                  Viktor.
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