Wednesday, 11 September, 2002

Filtering Mail Attachments Shouldn't Cause a Bounce

I got the following message from my company's email server today when I tried to send a message to a client.  I've removed the client's name and company:

Subject: FW: Inquisite 360
Sent: 9/10/2002 2:59 PM

The following recipient(s) could not be reached:

'name_removed@client.com' on 9/10/2002 3:02 PM
Your mail system could not find a way to successfully
communicate with the destination system. Please notify your
administrator.
<cerberus.catapultsystems.com #5.5.0>

I scratched my head over this one for a couple of hours, trying all kinds of different things to get the message to go through.  Somebody finally suggested that I zip up the Microsoft Word document that I was sending as an attachment.  Presto!  The mail went through.  Apparently the destination server is rejecting .doc attachments by returning a fatal error.

This isn't the first one of these I've gotten.  OnDecember 7 last year, I reported a similar message from another client's mail server.  We've checked those files every which way, and have found no virus.  I think some administrators need to take a better look at their configurations.