Access Keys:
Skip to content (Access Key - 0)

How do I prevent messages from Request Tracker to specific users?

  • How do I prevent messages from Request Tracker to specific users?
  • How do I block spammers from sending mail to RT?
  • How do I filter replies to a particular address in Request Tracker?

Context

Answer

Request Tracker (RT) has several mechanisms for preventing email to certain addresses ("squelching") depending on the desired outcome. This can be useful in several scenarios:

  1. Disabling specific users
    To prevent new tickets from being created by certain senders, especially originators of spam
  2. User-level squelching
    To prevent auto-replies from being generated to certain addresses, especially to prevent mail loops or "conversations" between auto-responders
  3. Ticket-level squelching
    To prevent email to certain watchers or other human parties associated with a ticket for all correspondence related to a ticket
  4. Transaction-level squelching
    To prevent email to certain watchers or other human parties associated with a ticket for a specific reply or comment
  5. Creating a content filter on the Brightmail appliances
    To block mail from specific senders before it ever reaches RT

We will describe each scenario and the necessary steps in RT in turn below. In addition to blocking inside RT, we also have some limited ability to block entire domains at the Brightmail spam appliance level, which front-ends RT for all incoming mail. This feature is used sparingly, as it applies to all of RT and can easily lead to unintentionally blocking legitimate mail.

1. Disabling specific users

The following steps need to be done by a central RT administrator. Steps are shown for documentation purposes. If you are not a central RT administrator, please send mail to tooltime@mit.edu.

Request Tracker creates a user record for every email address it received mail from. It is therefore possible to disable such a generated user in RT, preventing that email address from accessing RT. This means any email received from that address will be ignored, and no tickets will be generated based on mail sent from that account.

  1. Go to Tools > Configuration > Users
  2. In the Go to user box at the top of the page, enter the email address in question and hit return; you'll be taken to that user record's basic configuration page
  3. In the Access control section un-check the checkbox labeled Let this user access RT
  4. Click Save Changes at the bottom of the page
  • Result: This will result in an error message being returned to the sender on incoming mail from that address. This error will indicate that they do not have permission to access RT.
Do not use this for blocking automated high-volume senders
This is generally fine for spammers and other malicious senders. However, if the messages come from a fake domain or a domain that rejects email these errors will accumulate in RT's outgoing mail queue because they can't be delivered. Instead, see Creating a content filter on the Brightmail appliances.

2. User-level squelching

Technically there is no user-level squelching functionality in RT. By this we mean that there is no specific feature that tells RT to allow incoming mail from a user, but to never reply to that user. However, there's a kludge that can be used to achieve this behavior.

  1. Go to Tools and select Configuration, then Users
  2. In the Go to user box at the top of the page, enter the email address in question and hit return; you'll be taken to that user record's basic configuration page
  3. In the Email field, completely blank out the email address listed there (but leave the email address in the Username field)
  4. Click Save Changes at the bottom of the page

This will basically set a blank email address for that user, but still allow RT to identify the user record on incoming mail via the Username field, and accept messages. It is smart enough to not send outgoing mail to blank addresses, though, and will therefore not send messages to this user.

3. Ticket-level squelching

Not yet documented.

4. Transaction-level squelching

Not yet implemented.

5. Creating a content filter on the Brightmail appliances

All mail coming into RT passes through a Brightmail spam appliance for spam and virus filtering. It is possible to set up a content filter on Brightmail to screen and quarantine messages from specific senders. Because these filters must be manually and individually maintained this should be used sparingly, but it can be a valuable tool in the case of spam floods and automated senders flooding RT with messages that need to be stopped before they ever reach the RT server. Note that you need to have admin access to the RT Brightmail appliances to create such a filter.

  1. Log into the RT Brightmail controller at help-mailsec-cc.mit.edu as an administrator
  2. Navigate to the Content tab
  3. In the list of Email Content Filtering Policies find the one called Quarantine inbound and outbound messages related to specific disabled users that can't accept mail and click on it
  4. In the Conditions section, click Add
  5. On the Content Filtering Policy Condition screen define your condition; for quarantining mail from a specific sender:
  • Check the radio button next to Text in this specific part of the message:
  • Select From: address from the popup menu
  • Check the radio button next to contains, enter "1" in the occurrences box, and type the email address into the text field next to it
  1. Click on the Add Condition button at the bottom of the screen
  2. Back on the Edit Email Content Filtering Policy screen click the Save button at the bottom

Everything else, such as attaching the resultant quarantining and activating the policy for mail to help.mit.edu should already be set.

IS&T Contributions

Documentation and information provided by IS&T staff members


Last Modified:

November 27, 2016

Get Help

Request help
from the Help Desk
Report a security incident
to the Security Team
Labels:
mail_loops mail_loops Delete
c-request-tracker c-request-tracker Delete
spammers spammers Delete
request_tracker request_tracker Delete
r-content r-content Delete
c-rt-queue-admin c-rt-queue-admin Delete
c-rt-admin c-rt-admin Delete
Enter labels to add to this page:
Please wait 
Looking for a label? Just start typing.
Feedback
This product/service is:
Easy to use
Average
Difficult to use

This article is:
Helpful
Inaccurate
Obsolete
Adaptavist Theme Builder (4.2.3) Powered by Atlassian Confluence 3.5.13, the Enterprise Wiki