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Messages to unkown users?

I’‘ve got Wildfire installed and working nicely with LDAP but one thing that we’‘ve noticed - messages to users that don’‘t exist or are offline aren’'t generating errors even if I set the config option to disallow offline messages.

So question one:

  1. If I change the offline message option do I need to restart? Or should that automatically reject a message to any LDAP user that isn’'t logged in?

  2. What about messages to users that don’‘t exist? Shouldn’'t that generate an error instead of being quietly dropped?

Hi John,

I wonder whether this is a client or a server issue, one should look up the specs.

If you try to chat with a user which does not exist the client usually fails to retrieve the vCard - Spark could display a warning.

I know that there were problems when Spark did ignore error messages form the server but currently no error message is generated for messages which can not be delivered.


Hey John,

For security reasons the server will not return any error to the sender of a message when the message was sent to a non-existent user. That could be a security breach that SPIM could very easily exploit. AFAIK, that is the main reason why no error message is returned.


– Gato

Hi Gato,

so the Q with offline messages is still open - I’'m sure that this did work in former releases.

As the vCard query produces an error I see little benefit in accepting a message to an unknown user.


Hey LG,

Messages are not stored offline for users that doesn’‘t exist. IQ packets sent to full JIDs that were not available (either because the user was offline, not connected from that resource or doesn’'t exist) will get a service-unavailable error. However, messages sent to bare JIDs are handled by the server and each service is responsible for returning whatever reply is appropriate based on each service.


– Gato

Hi Gato,

right, I did select “Drop - Never store offline messages and drop messages so the sender is not notified.” instead of “Bounce - Never store offline messages and bounce messages back to the sender.” while testing offline messages. And Smack did also change, not all packets will be displayed in the debugger as received, this makes client side debugging a little bit harder.


I’'m not quite sure I follow this.

So if I send a message to foo@company.com and foo exists then saying bounce works. But sending to bar@company.com or just bar (and bar doesn’‘t exist) doesn’'t cause something to bounce. I understand the security risks but having messages go off in to the ether has been deemed to be more of an issue. Is there some way I can configure things so that messages to unknown users always bounce?

Also, my boss has asked that messages to offline users generate a message similar to yahoo - letting the user know that the message won’'t be delivered until the recipient signs in. Is that possible?

Actually, it almost sounds like he wants JEP-0079, which most folks don’'t have yet correct?