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More email problems

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More email problems

I have just received a telephone call from my colleague asking why I haven't answered his emails. Over the last week he has sent 6 to me which have never been received, neither has he received a "bounce" message. Where exactly do these messages go? He uses NTL TV for his email, could that be the problem? i.e. Have F9 blocked all messages from NTL as part of the MyDoom problem?

Mark
43 REPLIES
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I am also getting alot of emails sent to me that dont arrive.

This is starting to be a very serious problem.

:twisted:
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Force9 are being very quiet on this subject!

Using a blocking list is a good thing BUT the messages MUST be bounced with a useful explanation so that the sender can take appropriate action. Just sending the things into a black hole is not good enough.

When will f9 change this?

Also, why did F9 not tell us they were doing this?

Answers please.

Soon.
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I've had a reply from F9 regarding recently bounced mail from colleagues.

Quote
Any message without a valid ID will be bounced due to recently introduced anti-spam measures.


I have contacted the person in question who reports the only change made at his end was to upgrade to Outlook 2003. This is most disconcerting, especially when using a Microsoft product to generate the email
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But the problem is, my colleague is not receiving bounces Evil, as far as he is concerned they are being delivered. We cannot examine the message headers because they disappear off somewhere into cyberspace. Hence the original question, which F9 CS should really know the answer to.

Having said that, I have received email from a dial up customer, so is this problem

Mark only related to NTL TV email?
sjkirky
Grafter
Posts: 47
Registered: 31-07-2007

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The introduction of the "no ID = blackhole" measure is a bit daft, I have to say. For example, messages sent from phpBB (i.e. here) to subscribed threads, etc, um, don't have a message ID.

Mass mail messages from other auto-generated messages very seldom have a message ID. This is overkill, in my opinion.

I understand e-mail on the Internet has virtually ground to a halt thanks to MyDoom and so on, but there's little point in knee-jerking. I personally think the network problems F9 are having at the minute are a big enough issue on their own without making things harder for themselves.
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Another snippet after some research....

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Outlook 2003 messages suspected as spam

Long-time EMO reader Mark Smith writes from Washington, DC, about an interesting potential issue with Outlook 2003: The latest version of Outlook, when sending via a non-Exchange account, adds a "bad" SMTP header that trips many spam filters.

According to Mark, Microsoft apparently had a few complaints from people using Outlook that their machine name was "leaked" in the Message-ID header. Instead of ignoring the complaint or making the host name used in the Message-ID header configurable, Microsoft chose to remove the Message-ID header.

Technically, Outlook 2003 is still RFC-compliant, if Microsoft accepts the fact that messages sent from Outlook 2003 may be marked as spam. Most spam filters that look at Message-ID use that as only one of many factors weighted to determine if a particular message is likely to be spam. Administrators may want to check the weighting for that particular factor and lower it to avoid having too many incoming Outlook 2003 messages marked as spam by mistake.

Mark says that, as he understands it, Microsoft's position that they expect all mail servers to whitelist outgoing mail from Outlook 2003 users and add a Message-ID header to fill in the one that Outlook omits. To me, that seems a bit much to ask. Why couldn't Outlook itself add its own Message-ID header that doesn't reveal personal or computer information?
piersg
Dabbler
Posts: 12
Registered: 01-10-2007

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Would this by why I haven't been getting any emails from my web form?

I notice that it's completely broken at the moment (http://homepages.force9.net/cgi-bin/form gives "cannot find server"/"Page cannot be found") Sad

Piers
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Still no response from F9?

Are they still breafhing?
Plusnet Staff
Plusnet Staff
Posts: 12,169
Thanks: 18
Fixes: 1
Registered: 04-04-2007

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Hi,

It is possible that the NTL mailserver has been blacklisted for spam, without the IP address of that mailserver we wouldn't be able to check.
Even if it has been blocked you should still get a bounceback email.
I posted this example in another thread.

-------- Snip ---------------------------------------------------------

This is the SMTP Server program at host me.freeserve.com.

I'm sorry to have to inform you that the message returned
below could not be delivered to one or more destinations.

For further assistance, please send mail to <postmaster>

If you do so, please include this problem report. You can
delete your own text from the message returned below.

The SMTP Server program
<mail@mydomain.com>: host mx.core.plus.net[212.159.11.36] said:
550-rejected because 193.252.22.158 is in a black list at
550-sblmirror.relaycheck.plus.net 550
http://www.spamhaus.org/SBL/sbl.lasso?query=SBL12077

---------------------------------- end snip -------------------------------------------

This was the bounceback sent when one of Freeserve's mail servers got blocked.
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Might be a daft question, but here goes anyway Cheesy

What happens if say, in the above example, Freeserve have F9 on their blacklist ?
jberry
Grafter
Posts: 1,886
Registered: 08-06-2007

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Hi there,

If that was the case, then if you were using our mail servers and tried to send to a freeserve e-mail address then you would receive a bounced message. If you then let us know we would contact spamhaus and get ourselves removed as this is the responsibility if the blacklisted ISP.

Regards,
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Also, from what I can gather from elsewhere, there is monitoring scripts running for the core email servers (and now the CGI servers) which should alert networks staff when they are blacklisted across a host of blacklists.
sjkirky
Grafter
Posts: 47
Registered: 31-07-2007

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This is all very well and good folks, but we have another thread about spam lists and spamhaus. Could I politely request a view point on the blackholing of messages without a message ID? Is this really a necessary step? Is there anything can be done about it?

As an aside, do you have any stats on the number of messages you're stopping at a server level before they get to our mailboxes. To be honest, I do appreciate the efforts of F9 to cut down the amount of spam I receive, and have shouted for a long time that ISPs should be doing more.

So don't let me put you off, but just don't go too far over-board.
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F9 can use as many blocklists it likes for me. The more the merrier but the MUST NOT simplt black hole the messages, they MUST be bounced to the sender.

Still waiting for an answer to my question "Why did F9 not tell us they were doing this?"