actually, a greeting line consisting entirely of asterisks isn't legal -
the greeting line is supposed to contain the hostname of the SMTP server.
but that's not what I was complaining about.
True, but is this lack of hostname causing interop problems (worthy of
being shot, as you mentioned)?
basically I've noticed that such firewalls, for some reason, tend to
confuse SMTP servers to the extent that they don't always respond to
commands in a timely fashion.
"timely" meaning greater than 2-10 minutes mandated by RFC2821, or
"timely" meaning less than a second like a normal SMTP server?