What does SPF error mean?

What is SPF?

SPF stands for Sender Policy Framework. SPF defines that it is an email authentication system designed to prevent email spoofing. It generally works by configuring and verifying that an email message is sent form an authorized IP address. SPF is commonly used along with DKM, which is another email verification technology, but they both are not dependent on each other.

In order for SPF verification to take place, this sender policy framework should be configured on the outgoing mail server, it also involves turning on SPF and creating SPF record. It includes one or more IP addresses which are authorized to send mail for a specific domain name. A website admin tool loke cPanel will automatically generate an SPF record when these services are enabled in Email Authentication Control panel. These records can also be created manually.

Common types of SPF Error:

DMARC (Domain based Message Authentication Reporting and Conformance) basically identifies and categorizes the possible SPF errors. Some of the common non-pass errors are

  • None- This indicates the unable to resolve domain name and to find SPF records in the domain.
  • Neutral- The domain doesn’t explicitly state that the IP address is authorized.
  • Fail (Hard Fail)- The client is not allowed to use the domain.
  • Fail (Soft Fail)- The host is not probably not authorized
  • Temperror (Temporary error)- SPF encountered a transient error like DNS timeout
  • Permerror (Permanent error)- Gives the inability to correctly interpret the domains published records

What is SPF Permerror?

SPF Permerror or ‘SPF Permanent Error’ is one of the basic SPF errors that call for sure fire goal for messages to have higher deliverability. It implies that DMARC couldn’t effectively decipher the space’s distributed records, and signals a mistake condition that requires quick DNS intercession to be settled. SPF Permerror can happen in light of any of the accompanying reasons.

  • On the off chance that there are various SPF records on one space
  • On the off chance that the SPF record has a punctuation blunder
  • On the off chance that a SPF looking at measure records in excess of 10 DNS queries

The most widely recognized SPF Permerror is identified with the third boundary, i.e., ‘an excessive number of DNS queries.’

What is SPF Permerror? Too many DNS lookups?

Limiting the number of DNS lookups is one of the most important interest which has been put in place with SPF to avoid timeout issues. As per rules, SPF evaluates a maximum of 10 DNS mechanisms lookups in a SPF record. These mechanisms include a mx, ptr, exists, include and redirect, if this DNS lookups exceed 10, then it raises an SPF Permerror. If you encounter an SPF Permerror, you would have to remove all of the current working mechanisms/lookups.

What is Temperror?

Temperror means a temporary error which can be occurred during the SPF verification process, it often results into some technical issues which happen during the process of verification. Temperror doesn’t really mean that the SPF record is invalid.

  • If you receive this result, then you don’t have to take action because result is temporary. However, if you keep seeing this error from many mailbox providers, then you must ensure that there are no DNS configuration problems with your domain.
  • If you only see this error form one mailbox provider, then it is likely to be their technical issue and will be resolved by them shortly.
the authorABHIYAN
Abhiyan Chhetri is a cybersecurity journalist with a passion for covering latest happenings in cyber security and tech world. In addition to being the founder of this website, Abhiyan is also into gaming, reading and investigative journalism.