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)?
as far as I know, that's not causing interop problems.
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?
closer to the former.