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ONLamp: Postfix: A Secure and Easy-to-Use MTA

Aug 26, 2003, 09:00 (13 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Glenn Graham)

"On March 3rd, 2003, Internet Security Systems, in cooperation with the Department of Homeland Security, issued a warning regarding a hole found in Sendmail. Sendmail, of course, is responsible for handling over half of the world's e-mail traffic. The warning, echoed by CERT, warned system admins that any version lower than 8.12.8 was vulnerable to a serious root exploit. I heard the warning loud and clear, so I wasted little time upgrading each system on our network.

"Sendmail has a long history of security holes, most of which have been thoroughly documented on security sites around the world. Why do people continue to run Sendmail? The majority of my systems used to run Sendmail compared to the minority that ran other MTAs such as Postfix or Qmail. Sendmail isn't easy to configure. It lacks a user-friendly front end. It certainly doesn't come ready to use or with easy-to-understand documentation. Is Sendmail still used because it ships as the default mailer with almost every flavor of Unix? Whatever the reason, many would agree its time to adopt a more user friendly mail transport agent..."

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