I received a “forward to a friend” message today from where the website used my wife’s Hotmail address as the from as the sender, instead of their own domain. Can you tell what is wrong with this picture?

A little background. I use Thunderbird with the Sender Verification Extension (SVE) for some of my email. This extension allows mail sent to me to review and verifies the messages I receive with the following techniques; Sender Policy Framework (SPF) and DomainKeys (DK) to verify the sending domain, and SURBL, Spamhaus, DNSWL, and SenderScoreCertified for reputation information on the domain.

What is happening here?
Hotmail has stated that hotmail.com email will only originate from their system networks via their published SPF records. SVE is noting that this message has failed the SPF tests as it was sent from a mail server outside published hotmail network, in this case about.com’s email network. This may cause a number of different issues, such as; bulk mail delivery, blocking of messages or spam reports by the intended recipient.

How do you rectify this?
Use your own static from address and have the proper authentication records configured and use the forwarders name in the subject of the message (ex: #FirstName# #LastName#, wants to tell you about…). Or for a more advanced configuration use a Resent-From address that allows you to configure authentication records for your mailing domain and have a visible from of the forwarded. Talk to your mail administrator to identify your best options and how to proceed.

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