How do I contact the owner of a remote server?

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Answer

There are a number of methods that can be tried to contact the administrator of a remote server.

  1. RFC2822 which governs the transmission of SMTP mail states that all mail servers must have a postmaster account which will always accept mail. This account is to be used to contact the administraor of the server in case of difficulty with the transmission of email messages. Howeve not all sites honour this requirement.
  2. Run a DNS Lookup on the domain in question, the SOA DNS record should contain the technical contact for that domain. Take the following SOA lookup on gordano.com as an example
    gordano.com
    origin = ns0.gordano.com
    mail addr = hostmaster.gordano.com
    serial = 2003082900
    refresh = 10800 (3 hours)
    retry   = 7200 (2 hours)
    expire  = 604800 (7 days)
    minimum ttl = 86400 (1 day)
    gordano.com     nameserver = ns0.gordano.com
    gordano.com     nameserver = ns1.gordano.com
    ns0.gordano.com internet address = 62.172.232.97
    ns1.gordano.com internet address = 62.172.232.100

    In this example the line containing "hostmaster.gordano.com" indicates the contact, simply replace the first dot with an @ sign, i.e. the contact for gordano.com is "hostmaster@gordano.com"

  3. If you are still unable to find a contact address the third option is to run a whois lookup on the domain against the domain registrars database. This will normally give you both a technical contact and an administrative contact including their contact information. A typical whois lookup may return
    Registrant:
    Gordano Ltd (GORDANO-DOM)
    PO Box 79
    Clevedon, NORTH SOMERSET BS21 7TQ
    ENGLAND
    
    Domain Name: GORDANO.COM
    
    Administrative Contact, Technical Contact:
    Stanners, John	john.stanners@gordano.com
    PO Box 79 Clevedon North Somerset
    Clevedon NS BS21 7EF
    UK
    +44 1275 340333 fax: +44 1275 340056
    
    Record expires on 10-Dec-2005.
    Record created on 08-Oct-2002.
    Database last updated on 9-Sep-2003 18:53:22 EDT.
    
    Domain servers in listed order:
    
    NS1.GORDANO.COM              62.172.232.100
    NS0.GORDANO.COM              62.172.232.97
    NS2.GORDANO.COM              204.50.82.201 

    In the above example both the administrative and technical contacts are the same but they may be, and frequently are, different.

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