Paul Makepeace ;-)

Why catch-all addresses are a bad thing

I'm often asked, "can you please set all mail for this domain to go to [this other mailbox]?"

The short answer is "Yes, but it would pose an unacceptable risk, so in fact, no, sorry." Why a risk? Because of a spam mail phenomenon called "dictionary attacks." What happens during one of these is that spammers attempt to hit upwards of thousands of commonly seen mailbox names under a domain, e.g. becky@domain. When a domain is offering a catch-all the system has to run spam checking on each of these messages rather than reject them outright. This has a crippling effect and can prevent mail service from operating for everyone, and thus is the unacceptable risk.

However I am of course happy to set up any number of mailbox forwards, just let me know. It would help considerably if you used the following format. Let's say we have POP boxes, paulm@domain.example and louise@domain.example,

info: paulm@domain.example
sales: louise@domain.example
staff: paulm@domain.example, louise@domain.example

Note that the whole domain is needed on the right-hand side, and only the forward name on the left.