Spamming: A handbook for admins

Tags: emaileximfrozen mailsphpmailspamming

Published on: October 20, 2014 by Sreejith K R

Spamming: A handbook for admins


We are here discussing different commands which can be used in find spamming in an Exim mail server,

1. Hourly count of sent mail for a domain, by specifying the domain and date.

DOMAIN='<DOMAIN>';DATE='YYYY-MM-DD';o1=`for i in $(grep $DOMAIN /var/log/exim_mainlog|grep $DATE|egrep "A=fixed|A=<LOGIN>"|awk {'print $4'}|sort|uniq);do grep $i /var/log/exim_mainlog;done|grep -v "retry time not reached for any host"`;unset DOMAIN;unset DATE;o2=`echo "$o1"|awk {'print $2'}|cut -d: -f1|sort| uniq -c`;echo " COUNT HOUR";echo "$o2";unset o1;unset o2;

DOMAIN : without www

YYYY-MM-DD : Date like 2011-11-03

LOGIN : dovecot_login / courier_login

Replace all instances of above terms with appropriate values from now on.

2. How many emails have been sent per email address for the specified domain.

grep /var/log/exim_mainlog | grep courier_login | awk -F"courier_login:" '{print $2}' | awk '{print $1}' | sort | uniq -c | sort -n

3. Show how many emails have been sent from ALL domains since the beginning of the log.

cat /var/log/exim_mainlog | grep "A\=<LOGIN>" | awk -F"A=<LOGIN>:" {'print $2'} | cut -f1 -d' ' | sort | uniq -c | sort -n | awk {'print $1, " unique emails sent by " , $2'}

 4. Delete mail in queue from a certain user.

for i in $(exim -bp|grep|grep -|grep @|awk {'print $3'});do exim -Mrm $i;done

 5. Find the source path if from address is being forged.

echo -ne “What cpanel user: “; read p; cat /var/log/exim_mainlog | grep cwd | grep -v /var/spool | awk -F”cwd=” ‘{print $2}’ | awk ‘{print $1}’ | sort | uniq -c | sort -n | grep $p

6. Find the files that sends mail via phpMail.

find ./ -name \*.php -exec grep -l "mail(" {} \;

7. Show user and number of connections to IMAP.

ps -ef |grep imap | awk ‘{print $1}’ | sort | uniq -c | sort -g -k 1 | tail

8. Fix Shadow file permission.

If the user receives mail, but can not send and all settings are correct

find /home/<user>/etc -type f -name shadow -exec chmod 644 {} \;

9. Show the number of failed logins per IP (Check if the user is being brute forced).

grep FAILED /var/log/maillog |awk ‘{print $9}’ |sort -n|uniq -c |sort -n |tail -7

10. Shows number of failed logins, the IP doing the failing, and how many different users were attempted to be logged into:

awk -F”ffff:” ‘/FAILED/ {IP[$NF]++;}END{ for ( host in IP ) print IP[host]” “host}’ /var/log/maillog | awk ‘{ if ( $1 &gt; 99 ) print $0}’ | sort -nk1 | sed ‘s#]##’ > IPS; for IP in `awk ‘{print $2}’ IPS`; do echo -n $(grep $IP IPS); echo -n ” – Failed users: “; grep $IP /var/log/maillog | awk -F”user=” ‘/FAILED/ {print $2}’ | cut -d, -f1 | sort | uniq | wc -l; done

Will show something like:

135 – Failed users: 3

11. Show all the emails in queue by domain.

exim -bp | /usr/sbin/exiqsumm

12. Show you all the emails in queue by email account

exim -bp|awk 'NF>1{print $4}' | sort | uniq -c |sort -nk1

13. Force delivery of one message

exim -M <messageID>

14. View the log for the message.

exim -Mvl <messageID>

15. View the header of the message

exim -Mvh <messageID>

16. View the body of the message

exim -Mvb <messageID>

17. Remove message without sending any error message.

exim -Mrm <messageID>

18. Number of frozen mails in the queue

exim -bpr | grep frozen | wc -l

19. Deleting frozen Messages

exim -bpr | grep frozen | awk {'print $3'} | xargs exim -Mrm


exiqgrep -z -i | xargs exim -Mrm

20. Check to see how many emails are in queue for, run the following:

exim -bp | grep ‘>’

Make sure the ‘>‘ is in there because that character appears in the sending field. If you don’t, then it will show you the to and from results.

21. Top 50 domains using mail server sorted by different criteria.

eximstats -ne -nr /var/log/exim_mainlog

22. Show the IPs which are connected to server through port number 25.

netstat -plan | grep :25 | awk {‘print $5′} | cut -d: -f 1 | sort | uniq -c | sort -nk 1

23. Find “nobody” spamming (Only works when the spamming is going on).

ps -C exim -fH ewww | awk ‘{for(i=1;i&lt;=40;i++){print $i}}’ | sort | uniq -c | grep PWD | sort -n

It will give some result like:
Example :
6 PWD=/
347 PWD=/home/sample/public_html/test
Count the PWD and if it is a large value check the files in the directory listed in PWD
(Ignore if it is / or /var/spool/mail /var/spool/exim)

24. Remove all mails from ‘<>’

exim -bp | grep “<>” | awk ‘{print $3}’ | xargs exim -Mrm

Get 24/7 expert server management

Category : cPanel, Howtos, Linux, Troubleshooting

Sreejith K R

Sreejith K R

Sreejith is an early adopter of upcoming technologies and has got immense interest on exploring its features for improving productivity. He is quite proficient in various scripting languages and loves to enhance work flow through development of various automation scripts. He is video game junkie and is a perfect choice for the position of a game tester :-)

You may also read:


Add new commentSIGN IN

Let's Connect


Your Cart

Cart is empty.

Send this to a friend