Possible problem with SpamAssassin and DCCifd

Vernon Schryver vjs@calcite.rhyolite.com
Fri Oct 15 20:06:13 UTC 2004

> From: "Kevin W. Gagel" <gagel@cnc.bc.ca>
> Cc: spamassassin-devel@lists.sourceforge.net, dcc@rhyolite.com

(since I'm not a subscriber to spamassassin-devel@lists.sourceforge.net,
I'm sending this only to the DCC mailing list)

> DCCIFD is reporting a “missing message body” when in fact it seems that
> it’s the header that is missing. I believe that the “missing message
> body” error is erroneous and should state “missing headers” instead.

As far as dccifd is concerned and as I understand RFC 2822, the headers
of an SMTP message consist of all lines starting with the first and
continuing until the first blank line or <CR><LF><CR><LF> sequence.
Given a message with no blank lines, what can you say except "body
missing"?  You would not want to parse all of the the lines that you
think are headers and count total errors vs. total good headers to try
to distinguish missing body and missing headers.  It is best to declare
the first block of lines "headers" by virtue of their position and
despite syntax errors.  Given that declaration, what you say about
a message without headers other than "missing body"?

As long as the human system operator knows that something is wrong,
it is better to the human figure it out than to risk being too smart
by half.

> SpamAssassin is reporting a “Permission denied” error when in fact it’s
> trying to read the headers in a message that is missing them. So I believe
> that the “Permission denied” error is erroneous and should state
> “missing headers” instead.

I don't know much about SpamAssassin, but that sounds similar.  It
sounds as if SpamAssassin is not distinguishing between headers missing
and permission problems that prevent reading the headers.  If that is
the situation, then it sounds like another case of it being better to
alert a human to figure out the real issue than writing a bunch of code
that would often guess wrong.

Vernon Schryver    vjs@rhyolite.com

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