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SPF records?

mssystems
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SPF records?

I have a domain name registered with PN as part of my Small Business account entitlement. 

Can anyone tell me what is the current status on creating SPF (txt) records in the DNS zone file?

I would raise a ticket...But...

16 REPLIES 16
MrSilver
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Re: SPF records?

When I searched for SPF on the help system is came back with 

We don't support SPF records on customer domains. For information about which records we do support take a look at our page on Managing DNS Records.

https://www.plus.net/help/archive/broadband/managing-dns-records/ 

So probably not unless any plusnet staff can manually do, but that is likely to cause more problems when you want to change it if that staff person is not around.

 

bobpullen
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Re: SPF records?

Our Domain Control System doesn't support the addition of TXT records I'm afraid and there's no manual workaround 🙁

Bob Pullen
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Townman
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Re: SPF records?

@bobpullen,

So in that case as more and more ISPs are implementing SPF checking (verifying that PlusNET MTAs are authorised to send on behalf of a domain) as part of their attempts to reduce SPAM volumes, how will PlusNET address the reduce viability of the email service?

I am helping to support an email service elsewhere which has not implemented SPF for its hosted domain names and it is encountering extream problems in getting its emails out to many ISPs, notably Yahoo, AOL, BTanything (but not PlusNet).  Is the inability to configure SPF records on PlusNET domains likely to result in similar issues arising from MTA black listing?

Does PlusNET perform SPF on inbound email?  If not it would seem like a sensible measure to stop spam hitting the PlusNET servers ... which might deliver a marked performance improvement.

Superusers are not staff, but they do have a direct line of communication into the business in order to raise issues, concerns and feedback from the community.

MisterW
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Re: SPF records?

Does PlusNET perform SPF on inbound email?

I believe they do. There was a big fracas earlier in the year when they made the checks more restrictive and started to bounce emails with invalid SPF credentials. It affected some forwarded emails quite badly. AFAIK they are still checking SPF but have eased the checked to mark as suspect rather than bouncing.

Superusers are not staff, but they do have a direct line of communication into the business in order to raise issues, concerns and feedback from the community.

bobpullen
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Re: SPF records?


@Townman wrote:
Is the inability to configure SPF records on PlusNET domains likely to result in similar issues arising from MTA black listing?


No postmaster should be blacklisting based simply on the fact that a domain doesn't have an SPF record. Doing so would be very silly indeed (although admittedly, having an SPF record may help prevent spammers from spoofing your email address which does increase the likelihood of your mail being seen as spam).

SPF is optional not mandatory. If you have an SPF record and it's valid then it helps (particularly against spoofing as mentioned above). If you have an SPF record and it's misconfigured/not adhered to then that's bad. If you don't have an SPF record at all though, then in reality it will probably just be seen as neutral.

Does PlusNET perform SPF on inbound email?  If not it would seem like a sensible measure to stop spam hitting the PlusNET servers ... which might deliver a marked performance improvement.


Not strictly speaking, although a failed SPF check is likely to increase the spam weight of an inbound message. We enabled strict checking a while back and look how that turned out Wink


Bob Pullen
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Townman
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Re: SPF records?

@bobpullen,

Thanks for the reply.  In the case of the other email service I mentioned, it's blacklisting arises from sizeable volumes of spoofed spam which is difficult to profile in the absence of spf records.  Also that service does a lot of email forwarding and the absence of SRS there is also unhelpful.

on the subject of spam mitigation has PlusNET implemented SRS for forwarding emails?

Superusers are not staff, but they do have a direct line of communication into the business in order to raise issues, concerns and feedback from the community.

bobpullen
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Re: SPF records?


@Townman wrote:

on the subject of spam mitigation has PlusNET implemented SRS for forwarding emails?


I don't believe we have, no.


 

Bob Pullen
Plusnet Product Team
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Townman
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Re: SPF records?

@bobpullen,

Having read the other thread I find the negative comments towards PlusNET doing the RIGHT things to mitigate the distribuition of spam via email address spoofing rather crass just because other intermediate parties users have chosen to use to bounce their emails through to PlusNET have failed to implement the appropriate standards.

I'm astonished that no one in those threads suggested picking up email directly in the services which are failing to implement the standards.  The bottom line is we all bitch about spam ... but seem to bitch even louder when measures are taken to help detect and reject spam.  There seems to be no point whatsoever implementing SPF checking but then deciding to pass on the email regardless.  EVERYONE in the industry needs to get their fingers out and implement the current standards.

However, I had better not shout too loud here as PlusNET do not actually facilitate any of the desirables - specification of SPF permitted sender for PN hosted domains, SRS for emails forwarded, to say nothing of SSL/TLS. Shocked

Superusers are not staff, but they do have a direct line of communication into the business in order to raise issues, concerns and feedback from the community.

mssystems
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Re: SPF records?


@Townman wrote:

Having read the other thread I find the negative comments towards PlusNET doing the RIGHT things to mitigate the distribuition of spam via email address spoofing rather crass just because other intermediate parties users have chosen to use to bounce their emails through to PlusNET have failed to implement the appropriate standards.

You have hijaked my thread here a little, however... I am not entirely sure of your point. I have not read those other threads but I would have thought the only people able to 'relay' mail through PN servers are PN Users - An authentication issue. SPF is quite specifically a deliverablilty issue - That is to say, those things the sending agent must do to satisfy the recipient agent.

 

I'm astonished that no one in those threads suggested picking up email directly in the services which are failing to implement the standards.

SPF has nothing to do with where email is read. SPF has everything to do with where email is sent from.

 

The bottom line is we all bitch about spam

The bottom line is PN provide domain registration, web site and DNS hosting facilties as part of their business accounts but these services are rendered 'hobbyist' by the lack of .txt record support. It is yet another example of business accounts becoming unfit for purpose for want of product development.

 

There seems to be no point whatsoever implementing SPF checking but then deciding to pass on the email regardless.

You misunderstand. SPF checking is used to 'weight' a spam score carried in the message header. It is then up to the recipient agent to decide what to do with the score. Bulk carriers generally end up prioritising deliverability over rejection, otherwise the Pareto Principle bites them on the behind. On the other hand, mailbox delivery agents are generally less tolerant, as storing messages consumes significantly more resources than relaying them.

 

EVERYONE in the industry needs to get their fingers out and implement the current standards.

 

EVERYONE who remains in the industry comes to realise, you may as well bark at the Moon. There is no standards body policing the internet. What standards there are, are entirely de-facto - Adoption depends on leverage and traction. PN do not have the leverage to impose a delivery 'standard.' Hotmail, GMail, and in the UK BT/Yahoo, probably do. As far as I can tell, GMail and Hotmail recently started rejecting messages from domains without an SPF record. BT/Yahoo appear to have significantly increased the weight of the SPF record.

 

mssystems
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Re: SPF records?


@bobpullen wrote:
Our Domain Control System doesn't support the addition of TXT records I'm afraid and there's no manual workaround
Thanks for the catagorical reply Bob but....Seriously....It's a line in a text (zone) file for Heaven's sake.
MrSilver
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Re: SPF records?

It is a line of text, but, you want the support wrap with it.

If bob count put he one line of text in, no service wrap and then goes on holiday, just when you need to change the setting and no one knows what he did etc

Would be great if plusnet built a simple admin interface so we could edit ourselves definitely, but getting it working for all who need it is t just a single line In a file.

Shame plusnet sent don't publish a strategy of where they see things like domains going to know if it's just best to pay the £1.99/yr for your own domain.
mssystems
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Re: SPF records?


@MrSilver wrote:
It is a line of text, but, you want the support wrap with it.

Not exactly, no.  Ultimately what I want is for my e-mail messages to have the best chance of reaching recipients, whether a message is sent from my web server, app server, on premises server or roaming with my laptop.  Is that a reasonable expectation for a small business proprietor in the 21st century, do you think?

I am (personally) content to update zone files directly with vi and be damned by the consequences of my own mistakes but yes, I take your point.  My point is that adding TXT records to a zone file is so technically simple, I am astonished PN are still trying to excuse the lack of a facility.

 


Would be great if plusnet built a simple admin interface so we could edit ourselves definitely, but getting it working for all who need it is t just a single line In a file.

Please don't try to imply there is anything challenging about this - There is not.  PN already have an admin interface  capable of adding, editing and parsing the lines in a zone file.  Extending the functionality to include TXT records is a trivial piece of PHP development work.  SPF was introduced 10 years ago and I have to wonder how much more time will be wasted debating the need for the facility, above what is needed to implement it.

 

Shame plusnet sent don't publish a strategy of where they see things like domains going to know if it's just best to pay the £1.99/yr for your own domain.

Apparently the strategy is the same one BT has used since the 1990s.  Invest as little as possible into the platform and then milk it as long as possible.  The effort goes into marketing, advertising, reskinning and attempting to placate disgruntled customers - Customer service over customer services, you might say.

The cost of an alternate provider is not only the £1.99 registration fee.  Apart from hosting the zone files, there is the time, inconvenience and risk of changing the SOA.

 

Simon
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Re: SPF records?

I think PlusNet's DNS offering in a business environment is poor.

If you want to do anything beyond A and CNAME (e.g. for Office 365) you have to move the domain (we had to).

silentmonkey
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Re: SPF records?

You forgot the MX records. But I'm with you. I've been complaining about the lack of functionality in DNS management for years and nothing is happening.

Along with the need for SPF/TXT records we also need support for SVR as well.

The world is moving on and PlusNet are stuck in the noughties. Form a business perspective the continued lack of support in the PlusNet business product for services such as Office365 is appalling.

 

I have been a long standing business user of PlusNet and it seems whenever a feature offered in the package becomes an issue they just drop it.

First the TURN/ETRN support. Then the website builder,  then FAX to EMAIL service. I'm sure there were others too.

If PlusNet are serious about supporting business customers they really do need to invest in the platform.