Sendmail on Ubuntu sending multiple blank emails without me triggering them

Posted December 6, 2017 1.9k views

My goal was to create a simple text–> email mechaism using twilio. I installed a LEMP stack including sendmail onto an Ubuntu server.

I got the thing working–I can text my twilio number and get it in my inbox!–but, unfortunately, I also get tons of blank emails from my own site (it has no content–literally used just for the purposes of this text to email configuration).

These emails aren’t being triggered via twilio, per my twilio dashboard, so I assume there’s something weird happening with sendmail.

Any ideas what could be triggering these emails to fire out of the blue? I have like zero security–could that be it? What should I install to fix it?

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1 answer

Probably a cronjob is doing it. Post the full body of such a mail (including headers).

  • Thanks for your reply. This project was put on hold but I’m back at it.

    I think everytime a person/crawler visits my page, a blank email is being sent.

    I think I could probably write some kind of “if” statement to ensure that emails get set only when twilio/SMS triggers a visit.

    I’m just not sure what won’t break it or what to write? if you have suggestions that would be awesome.

    The php snippet I’m using (from twilio) is:

    header(‘Content-type: text/xml’);
    echo ’<?xml version=“1.0” encoding=“UTF-8”?>’;
    echo ’<Response></Response>’;

    $to = “”;
    $subject = “Message from {$REQUEST['From’]} at {$REQUEST['To’]}”;
    $message = “You have received a message from {$REQUEST['From’]}. Body: {$REQUEST['Body’]}”;
    $headers = “From:”;

    mail($to, $subject, $message, $headers);