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Spam Cop

Community Veteran
Posts: 1,627
Thanks: 65
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Registered: 17-06-2007

Spam Cop

Does anyone else here use spamcop to report spam to using the email reporting method?
I do and for the past few days I've noticed that email I forward gets passed on to the Plusnet email servers but they never arrive at the far end.
I've not changed my settings so I'm wondering if there is something going wrong between Plusnet and Spamcop and I wanted to see if it was just me before I raised a ticket.
27 REPLIES
Community Veteran
Posts: 19,100
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Registered: 31-08-2007

Re: Spam Cop

I wonder if this is related to the changeover to IronPort on outgoing mail, I do Hope not. See this little lot.
http://portal.plus.net/supportpages.html?a=2&support_action=messages&ispservice_id=email
Community Veteran
Posts: 18,613
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Registered: 12-08-2007

Re: Spam Cop

I had an email returned from AOL today with a message saying delivery had been attempted 29 times and was being returned to me.  Not come across this before.
Community Veteran
Posts: 26,678
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Registered: 10-04-2007

Re: Spam Cop

Headers? Was there a reason?
jelv (a.k.a Spoon Whittler)
   Why I have left Plusnet (warning: long post!)   
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mikeb
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Posts: 367
Registered: 10-06-2007

Re: Spam Cop

Quote from: SteveA
I've noticed that email I forward gets passed on to the Plusnet email servers but they never arrive at the far end.

All outgoing mail is now being filtered by ironport and any mail that ironport doesn't consider 'acceptable' (with no definition of exactly what is considered "acceptable" of course) is being quietly deleted despite being initially accepted for onward delivery by the relay servers. You will not get a bounce, non-delivery advice or any other form of notification if this is the case, your message will simply be deleted.. PN, needless to say, claim that the level of filtering is very lenient so wont cause problems etc. and they have never seen any genuine mail being caught, blah, blah, blah, but I most certainly have. I don't use Spamcop myself but I would suggest that spam reports to the likes of them or indeed similar style/content messages to any other form of spam or message filtering/handling system are perhaps a prime candidate for being deleted. The PN address spamtraining@plus.net or whatever it's called, if it's still in operation, is pretty likely to be receiving absolutely nothing from PN customers using PN servers to send their reports in ... unless PN have programmed in an exception because they already know that ironport has big problems with certain types of 100% genuine mail but aren't mentioning it.
Try CCing a typical message to yourself and see what happens.  This will at least confirm whether any attempt is being made to deliver the message or whether there is just some problem at the receiving end.  My money would be on the message being deleted by PN (particularly if it contains a sample spam message attachment) as I am having essentially the same problems with similar messages as well as apparently with some far more innocent looking messages to a few other recipients. In all cases, I've found that messages NOT being sent via ironport are being delivered satisfactorily (even if they happen to be subsequently being received via ironport !) but the same messages sent out via ironport are always silently deleted Sad
EDIT: 
Quote from: artmo
I had an email returned from AOL today with a message saying delivery had been attempted 29 times and was being returned to me.  Not come across this before.

Sorry, forgot to add that also in my experience, no mail sent via PN servers has actually been received by AOL customers since sometime very suspiciously around the time ironport was introduced into the equation.  I thinks there's now a service status to that effect TBH, I'm sure I've seen something somewhere anyway so have a quicky look on the portal as it should show up on there if that's the case.
pierre_pierre
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Re: Spam Cop

Community Veteran
Posts: 1,627
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Registered: 17-06-2007

Re: Spam Cop

So I'm trying to forward email to help Spamcop which is IronPort and Plusnet are trashing them.
Is there any way to turn outgoing spam filtering off or can they at least configure their spam filters to allow emails to spamcop to go through!
Community Veteran
Posts: 26,678
Thanks: 900
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Registered: 10-04-2007

Re: Spam Cop

Could you try using webmail? I don't think that goes through Ironport on the way out.
jelv (a.k.a Spoon Whittler)
   Why I have left Plusnet (warning: long post!)   
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Community Veteran
Posts: 1,627
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Registered: 17-06-2007

Re: Spam Cop

The thing is that I use SMTP Forwarding to my own server so I don't have webmail.  Email coming in that way never seems to go through any spam filters and I run my own copy of DSpam which is set to forward trapped spam to Spamcop  and any that gets through I use the Okopipi plugin with Thunderbird.
I notice that Plusnet are staying very quiet on this. Are they really silently trashing outgoing mail that they think is spam?
mikeb
Grafter
Posts: 367
Registered: 10-06-2007

Re: Spam Cop

I'm pretty much 100% confident that they indeed are in exactly the same way as they have been silently deleting some/most/all (whichever actually happens to be appropriate as I'm not certain) incoming mail that ironport doesn't like. However, I too would like to see a definitive statement to that effect or a justified denial if I am wrong and this is not the way things are actually being done.
I think it's reasonably fair to say, based on various comments that I've received since reporting and trying to discuss this issue recently, that PN are not overly concerned about it and do not foresee doing anything much about it either.  Similarly, various other users do not consider silent deletion with absolutely no feedback to the originator of the message as a particular problem either and much prefer to see absolutely no chance of backscatter or a flood of error messages should there be some problem with what ironport is actually doing rather than keeping genuine senders informed about problems that are quite erroneously limiting their service.
I fully accept that I may well be completely wrong here (and have a very large slice of humble pie all ready and awaiting consumption just in case) but I get the distinct impression that the 'real' problem (and perhaps the reason why it's going to be difficult to address even if there is a will to do so) is because of the way that the ironport system has been implemented. By having ironport such that it is apparently reviewing incoming data off-line, there are no particularly easy options to deal sensibly with any messages that are not considered 'acceptable' for whatever reason. This can only really be achieved when reviewing a message in near real-time and certainly whilst the SMTP session is still active. I think that this is the way postini et al generally work for that very reason.  Although this still wouldn't allow genuine messages that ironport somehow considers 'unacceptable' to pass through, it would (or at least should !) notify the sender accordingly so that alternative arrangements can be made for the false positives that will inevitably occur with just about any spam filtering system.
For outgoing messages, unless relay.plus.net is (or can act as) a transparent SMTP proxy for instance or there is some other way to keep the SMTP session live whilst ironport does it's stuff and decides what it wants to do, silent deletion is perhaps the only easy option. It's a similar story for incoming messages of course, if no decision on whether to accept the message or not is available whilst the SMTP session is still active then there is no ability to reject a message and silent deletion is once again the only easy option.
My understanding of the PN setup from what very limited information I've been given (and please note once again that I may well be wrong here due to my lack of understanding of the subject in general or the lack of definitive and detailed information I've been given) is that ironport is effectively running like a posh version of "Mailwasher" !  Most if not all processing is being done after a message has already been accepted and the SMTP session closed so this severely limits what actions can be taken. I do very much hope that I'm wrong here or PN can at least sensibly do something other than silent deletion as/when appropriate but I don't have a particularly good feeling about it happening TBH based on discussions so far Sad
I also await official comment from PN, hopefully together with their proposal explaining in detail how they are going to deal effectively with problems like this ... rather than some response more along the lines of "nothing we can do, it's a 3rd party system and all that so it's going to be a sad fact of life from now on."
pierre_pierre
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Posts: 19,757
Registered: 30-07-2007

Re: Spam Cop

What I find annoying is that Iron Port has been presented as a fait accomply and"fully" working, but it is still under the Development banner of  User Group discussions.  Right at the start I complained about undelivered e-mails to me, but how could I prove it?  I got stupid comments - dont use catchall and then you wont get spam!  But  most of my e-mails are to pseudo address I have set up so that I can Identify who sent them or leaked my address to someone else, If I didnt use catchall I would loose all those.
How do you know that an e-mail hasnt been dropped, if they come from commercial companies at irregular times, They are not going to let you know any other way that they have sent them.
How about the other 200 000 plus PN members who dont read the forums, or look at the members centre, how do they get informed about the devious methods now being employed?
Sorry Bob et al  But I dont think that IronPorts installation has yet been fully tested and is definitely not an application to be foisted on gullible users
Community Veteran
Posts: 1,627
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Registered: 17-06-2007

Re: Spam Cop

OK if I send a "duff" email to spamcop, i.e. one that contains no parseable information then spamcop responds saying errors occurred.
if I forward a spam email (with the original email as an attachment) it vanishes into the void.
So Plusnet are silently filtering and dumping outgoing email.
So if they can trash my spam reports then what else are they trashing without telling me?
I have raised a ticket because frankly this is taking things just one step to far
198kHz
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Re: Spam Cop

@ pierre_pierre
Quote from: pierre_pierre
But  most of my e-mails are to pseudo address I have set up so that I can Identify who sent them or leaked my address to someone else, If I didnt use catchall I would loose all those.

When you say 'pseudo addresses' do you mean aliases? If so, you're doing the same as me, for the purpose of tracking leaks etc, but I don't have catchall enabled. AIUI that's only needed to receive mail with anything before the '@', whether you've set it up or not.
Remember you are unique - just like everyone else
pierre_pierre
Grafter
Posts: 19,757
Registered: 30-07-2007

Re: Spam Cop

no not aliases as such, every time I  contact a new company, I give then a new front name i.e. QVC the shopping channel comes to QVC@ and the electric co to eon@, I have rather a lot, If I put them all into manage my mail I would have a very long page. and my method also gets those who make a spelling mistake
Community Veteran
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Registered: 12-08-2007

Re: Spam Cop

QVC Pierre??  How do you find time to shop on line with all the time you spend on the forums Wink Wink