Out of office loops

Folks,

I posted a week or two ago about this and got no reply.

We’re still having problems with RT interacting poorly with
out-of-office/vacation messages- they clobber headers, and RT thinks
each reply is a new ticket, fires off a new email, and so we get loops.
We cannot disable reply-on-new-ticket, and we have no control over
the parties sending vacation/out of office mesages.

Has anyone found a way to prevent the loops? If not, any suggestions on
where to begin?

Thanks!

Brett

Has anyone found a way to prevent the loops? If not, any suggestions on
where to begin?

What about using procmail to filter the messages ?

,eM""=.            a"-.                         Michael van Elst

dWWMWM" - :GM==; mlelstv@dev.de.cw.net
:WWMWMw=–. "W=’ cable & wireless
9WWMm==-.
“-Wmw-” CABLE & WIRELESS

“BD” == Brett Dikeman bdikeman@bitpipe.com writes:

BD> Has anyone found a way to prevent the loops? If not, any suggestions on
BD> where to begin?

If the remote side is not sending along any indication that it is a
reply, then there is technically no loop :wink:

Seriously, other than a rate limiter with an associated database,
there it really nothing you can do about this. I don’t believe RT has
such a capability. Perhaps you can ask the remote side to update
their software?

Vivek Khera <khera@kcilink.com> wrote:

> Seriously, other than a rate limiter with an associated database,

> there it really nothing you can do about this. I don’t believe RT has

> such a capability.

Have a look at Bruce Campbell's AutoReplySquelch ScripAction from RT2. It's available at http://www.fsck.com/pub/rt/contrib/2.0/AutoReplySquelch.tgz IIRC, it uses the user comment field to store a message count.

Michael

--

Michael S. Liebman

Viacom Networks N.O.C. ENGINEERING

Email: michael.liebman@mtvstaff.com

Phone: 631-435-4900 x3304

Fax: 631-231-8051

Brett Dikeman wrote:

Folks,

I posted a week or two ago about this and got no reply.

We’re still having problems with RT interacting poorly with
out-of-office/vacation messages- they clobber headers, and RT thinks
each reply is a new ticket, fires off a new email, and so we get loops.
We cannot disable reply-on-new-ticket, and we have no control over
the parties sending vacation/out of office mesages.

Has anyone found a way to prevent the loops? If not, any suggestions on
where to begin?

what about hacking rt-mailgate to drop Out of Office messages?

“SP” == Sean Perry sean.perry@intransa.com writes:

SP> what about hacking rt-mailgate to drop Out of Office messages?

Care to share a fool-proof method of detecting what is an OoO message
and what is not? I’m sure you’d make a lot of friends by doing so.

I use procmail myself. That way I can filter out dupes, spam (via
SpamAssassin), and other emails that I don’t want showing up in RT.
Added advantage is that you don’t need to worry about merging your
rt-mailgate changes when you upgrade.

Aaron Turner aturner@netscreen.com work: 408-543-4025
Sr. Security Engineer fax: 408-543-4078
NetScreen Technologies, Inc
All emails by me are PGP signed; a bad signature indicates a forgery.On Tue, Aug 12, 2003 at 08:04:58AM -0700, Sean Perry wrote:

Brett Dikeman wrote:

Folks,

I posted a week or two ago about this and got no reply.

We’re still having problems with RT interacting poorly with
out-of-office/vacation messages- they clobber headers, and RT thinks
each reply is a new ticket, fires off a new email, and so we get loops.
We cannot disable reply-on-new-ticket, and we have no control over
the parties sending vacation/out of office mesages.

Has anyone found a way to prevent the loops? If not, any suggestions on
where to begin?

what about hacking rt-mailgate to drop Out of Office messages?

Vivek Khera wrote:

“SP” == Sean Perry sean.perry@intransa.com writes:

SP> what about hacking rt-mailgate to drop Out of Office messages?

Care to share a fool-proof method of detecting what is an OoO message
and what is not? I’m sure you’d make a lot of friends by doing so.

well the lame way of “does subject begin with ‘Out of (the )?Office
((auto)?reply)’” would work unless you expect to receive tickets
reporting problems with the Out of Office system. Another possibility
is parsing the message body for the reply template. Most systems send
the same message with the dates adjusted.

Otherwise, perhaps the headers have a field in them the original poster
can use. Maybe Out of Office messages come from a different host or
X-Mailer. Perhaps he can add a custom header to the messages to make
them easier to filter.

“SP” == Sean Perry sean.perry@intransa.com writes:

SP> well the lame way of “does subject begin with ‘Out of (the )?Office
SP> ((auto)?reply)’” would work unless you expect to receive tickets
SP> reporting problems with the Out of Office system. Another possibility
[ … ]

I see you’ve never actually thought about this, or tried to detect
them from the wide collection of crap software out there… It is a
non-trivial problem. Hopefully, the “Auto-Generated” proposed header
will catch on quickly, and make life easier… but alas, people still
run ancient cc:Mail gateways that don’t even do proper SMTP let alone
follow any new standards.

“SP” == Sean Perry sean.perry@intransa.com writes:

SP> what about hacking rt-mailgate to drop Out of Office messages?

Care to share a fool-proof method of detecting what is an OoO message
and what is not? I’m sure you’d make a lot of friends by doing so.

How about a configurable limit on auto-responses to new tickets from
any address over some time interval?

Les Mikesell
les@futuresource.com

“SP” == Sean Perry sean.perry@intransa.com writes:
SP> what about hacking rt-mailgate to drop Out of Office messages?
Care to share a fool-proof method of detecting what is an OoO message
and what is not? I’m sure you’d make a lot of friends by doing so.

well the lame way of “does subject begin with ‘Out of (the )?Office
((auto)?reply)’” would work unless you expect to receive tickets
reporting problems with the Out of Office system. Another possibility
is parsing the message body for the reply template. Most systems send
the same message with the dates adjusted.

snort.

That will remove a goodly number of loops, but Murphy’s Law dictates that
you’ll then have a rush on people seeking help with how to set up their
vacation autoresponder… which you’ll drop on the floor.

Unfortunately, I’ve seen too many autoresponders which didn’t quote a
decent (parseable) amount of your text, which makes detecting loops a bit
harder.

Otherwise, perhaps the headers have a field in them the original poster
can use. Maybe Out of Office messages come from a different host or
X-Mailer. Perhaps he can add a custom header to the messages to make
them easier to filter.

Maybe, people will use autoresponders that conform to (proposed)
standards. Maybe, someone on the other end will change their (mailer)
behaviour in order to make your life (at least, your RT instance) simpler.

This is doubtful. The solution to the problem is checking previous
messages to detect loop-like activities. You won’t be able to stop loops
from starting, but you will be able to stop them from continuing in most
cases.

                         Bruce Campbell                            RIPE
               Systems/Network Engineer                             NCC
             www.ripe.net - PGP562C8B1B             Operations/Security

( Who needs an autoresponder anyway? Managed quite well with a month’s
holiday without one. )

Vivek Khera wrote:

“SP” == Sean Perry sean.perry@intransa.com writes:

SP> well the lame way of “does subject begin with ‘Out of (the )?Office
SP> ((auto)?reply)’” would work unless you expect to receive tickets
SP> reporting problems with the Out of Office system. Another possibility
[ … ]

I see you’ve never actually thought about this, or tried to detect
them from the wide collection of crap software out there… It is a
non-trivial problem. Hopefully, the “Auto-Generated” proposed header
will catch on quickly, and make life easier… but alas, people still
run ancient cc:Mail gateways that don’t even do proper SMTP let alone
follow any new standards.

I have had good success with some regex work and template checking.
However, I do not routinely have to deal with horribly broken or stupid
mailers.

Bruce Campbell wrote:

“SP” == Sean Perry sean.perry@intransa.com writes:

SP> what about hacking rt-mailgate to drop Out of Office messages?
Care to share a fool-proof method of detecting what is an OoO message
and what is not? I’m sure you’d make a lot of friends by doing so.

well the lame way of “does subject begin with ‘Out of (the )?Office
((auto)?reply)’” would work unless you expect to receive tickets
reporting problems with the Out of Office system. Another possibility
is parsing the message body for the reply template. Most systems send
the same message with the dates adjusted.

snort.

That will remove a goodly number of loops, but Murphy’s Law dictates that
you’ll then have a rush on people seeking help with how to set up their
vacation autoresponder… which you’ll drop on the floor.

yeah, it does depend on what tickets you deal with. For some people
just dropping the out of office messages will work. For an IT
department servicing a sales staff it will not.

Unfortunately, I’ve seen too many autoresponders which didn’t quote a
decent (parseable) amount of your text, which makes detecting loops a bit
harder.

Vacation messages not including any of the original text was the
inspiration for checking the message body against known autoresponse
templates.

I have not implemented this in RT, but I have done work in the past of
writing software to scan mailboxes for useless messages in order to save
disk space or help the person who went on vacation deal with their inbox
when they return.