SPF Record Change

After careful consideration we have decided to adopt a stricter policy with regards to SPF (Sender Policy Framework) records for our own Runbox domains.

Note: This does not affect domains owned by our customers.

What are SPF records?

SPF records are used as a way to determine if email addresses are being spoofed in sent mail. They allow domain administrators (Runbox in this case) to specify which servers are allowed to send email for the domains they control.

What changes have we made?

We have modified our SPF records to adopt a policy that requires all email messages sent from a Runbox domain (e.g. runbox.com) to be sent through our outgoing SMTP servers in order for them to pass SPF tests applied by receiving email services.

What will happen as a result of this change?

The result of this change is that when mail is received from a Runbox address (e.g. support@nullrunbox.com) servers will know that the mail should have originated from Runbox servers. This means mail that passes SPF tests will have an increased reputation because it is more likely that it is from the sender it is claiming to be from.

Mail that originates from virus and malware infected computers will fail SPF tests and will be more likely to be rejected or treated as spam. What happens to mail at the receiving mail servers that fails SPF tests is entirely governed by the policy of the receiving mail service and is not controlled by Runbox.

Why have we made the change?

Our previous SPF settings did designate Runbox servers as the allowed senders of mail for our domains, but the policy we included allowed “pass” and “soft fail” as the possible outcomes. This means we were saying to other email services that it might be acceptable for non-Runbox servers to send email for our domains.

There are reasons why you might want this sort of policy, but we believe that with the increase in phishing that occurs via email, a stricter policy for Runbox domains is the right step to take. From now on mail will either “pass” or “fail” SPF tests and “soft fail” is no longer an option.

For technical details regarding the changes we have made please see Runbox Sender Policy Framework Settings.

If you are unsure of how these changes might affect you, please contact support@nullrunbox.com or submit a  ticket at Runbox Support.



8 thoughts on “SPF Record Change”

    1. In theory it could affect those customers. However, ISPs generally only do this on port 25, and it has been a very long time since we heard of a customer that couldn’t use port 26 or 587 for sending email through our servers. We will of course monitor the situation.

  1. This explains why a couple of my mails bounced back last night.

    I am surprised that this change does not cause more of an uproar on the ED forums. I, for one, must say that this move borks my meticulously designed email configuration which I use across a number of machines and renders it largely useless. I rely on the ability to send RB emails through other SMTP servers.

    I’d love to see this change reverted.

  2. Hello Greg,

    Could you explain why you need to use external SMTP servers? If you dont want to do that here, then please open a support ticket.

  3. I sometimes need to send mails from computers which I do not trust enough as to enter my RB credentials. Sending mails through third-party SMTP servers is a convenient and so far viable way of circumventing this problem.

    1. Hello Greg. We understand what you are saying. It is probably for similar reasons you don’t trust these computers, that we don’t trust them to send email using our domain.

      I would like to discuss this with you in more detail to see if we can find a way to help you. If you are willing, please open a support ticket with us at https://support.runbox.com and mention it is for my attention. We can then talk more about the details of your particular account and situation.

  4. I am receiving more and more of my e-mails rejected (sent back to me)which I understand may be as a result of your SPF security policy. I have little knowledge of computers but have been using Runbox through Outlook for 15 years without any of these awful problems.I cannot even e-mail my lawyer now or several other friends; it’s getting worse and worse and I would be grateful if you you ease up whatever restriction you have imposed and allow me to work and contact my friend as before. This is serious and is the 3rd time that I have written to you – without reply!
    Please hekp me urgently!
    With thanks in advance,
    Christopher Anderson

    1. Hello Christopher. Sorry to hear you are having problems. I don’t see any other messages from you here about this; sorry if they haven’t got through for some reason.

      What I will do is drop you a message from our support system so that we can discuss the specifics of what is going on here. We don’t have any other customers who experience significant problems with our SPF policy, so maybe we just need to look at your specific use and see what can be done.

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