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IPv6 and authentication

I just saw a post over on the mailop mailing list where someone had been bitten by some of the IPv6 email issues I discussed a couple of months ago.
They have dual-stack smarthosts – meaning that their smarthosts have both IPv4 and IPv6 addresses, and will choose one or the other to send mail over. Some domains they send to use Office 365 and opted-in to receiving mail over IPv6, so their smarthosts decided to send that mail preferentially over IPv6.
The mail wasn’t authenticated, so it started bouncing. This is probably going to happen more and more over the next year or so as domain owners increasingly accept mail over IPv6.
If your smarthosts are dual stack, make sure that your workflow authenticates all the mail you send to avoid this sort of delivery issue.
One mistake I’ve seen several companies make is to have solid SPF authentication for all the domains they send – but not for their IPv6 address space. Check that all your SPF records include your IPv6 ranges. While you’re doing that keep in mind that having too many DNS records for SPF can cause problems, and try not too bloat the SPF records you have your customers include.

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