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Wannabe Geek


Topic # 7880 18-May-2006 09:07
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It defies logic really but you read correctly. Until I made the call to the aol.com postmaster last night ALL email sent through smtp.xtra.co.nz was basically being blocked, with very few (and irrelevant) bounces. And it's been like that for at least a week.

As I understand it, that's mail from NZ's largest ISP being blocked by America's largest ISP with no real explanation.

I know there is precedent for this, but if you work with or have sent mail to aol users recently you might want to check for delivery or resend. Oh, they did say it might take 24 hours to take effect so it should be ok by 7pm tonight, 18/05/06, NZDT.


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BDFL - Memuneh
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Reply # 36017 18-May-2006 09:26
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Have you complained to Xtra about this, and if so, what was their response?

Is this just the Xtra SMTP server, or the whole Xtra IP address range?

If this is the whole IP address range it could be the reason why Xtra decided to move to block smtp servers on their network? So many of their users running trojans or bots causing a wave of spam from their network that AOL decided to act?

The problem with Xtra is that they are not upfront with their problems - see what happened with this week's outage, so we will never know.









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Wannabe Geek


Reply # 36022 18-May-2006 10:42
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>Have you complained to Xtra about this, and if so, what was their response?

I did call them a couple days ago and I told them that it appeared they we're blacklisted by aol (at this stage I didn't know for sure). I requested to speak to someone who administrates their mail but they didn't know where to transfer me. I ended speaking to someone who pretty much said their servers are fine and it's not a problem on their end (which wasn't the point). When I was convinced they were blacklisted I called them again but was put on hold for too long. So I emailed the postmasters of of xtra and aol with all the details I had (no response yet). Later I called aol and after half an hour on hold (which isn't bad for them) I spoke to someone who confirmed the blacklisting and provisioned it to be undone.


>Is this just the Xtra SMTP server, or the whole Xtra IP address range?

I'm pretty sure it was just smtp.xtra.co.nz as that was the address the aol postmaster acknowledged was blocked. However since I didn't have access to any other smtp servers on the xtra network I didn't test it.


>So many of their users running trojans or bots causing a wave of spam from their network that AOL decided to act?

Yes, I believe that aol have a system in place that if enough spam or complaints are generated which originate from a particular mail server they simply block it. I can understand that. But you have to wonder why they don't discriminate or have some sort of control list that would prevent denial of email from certain mail servers. Or why they don't notify users/ISP's. Or why they don't bounce email with an explanation. Afterall, it's not hard to figure out who owns smtp.xtra.co.nz.


>The problem with Xtra is that they are not upfront with their problems - see what happened with this week's outage, so we will never know.

Their entire DNS and RADIUS systems went down. I think even yesterday some users were still having authentication issues although they say there were no known problems at the time. 


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Reply # 36023 18-May-2006 10:49
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sysex: Yes, I believe that aol have a system in place ... Or why they don't notify users/ISP's. Or why they don't bounce email with an explanation. Afterall, it's not hard to figure out who owns smtp.xtra.co.nz
You see, if Xtra won't reply to users calling their own help desk, do you think Xtra will on an email claiming to be from the AOL Postmater?

Seriously, I don't even think there's a Postmaster on Xtra...

I think there is (was) a Code of Conduct for New Zealand ISPs, but I am not sure this kind of problem is covered, or even which ISPs adhere to the code.





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Ultimate Geek


Reply # 36062 18-May-2006 22:51

I wasn't going to post re this matter until someone else did, but it's true.
They have been added to the RBL (realtime blocking list)




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Ultimate Geek

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Reply # 36071 19-May-2006 07:40
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paradise.net get put on spamcop's blacklist all the time

pli

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Wannabe Geek


Reply # 36118 19-May-2006 16:47
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I resorted to my vodafone data card connection at work during xtras down times.

After a client complained he had not recieved an email from me I checked logs and found mailwatch had identified that my email from 202.73.206.140 - gprs.vodafone.net.nz was in cbl and spamcop lists.

At least the person whom I spoke to vodafone seemed to know what I was talking about and promised action

P


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Master Geek


Reply # 36146 19-May-2006 21:15
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Going a bit further off topic, but I find it ironic AOL is all sanctimonious about spam - I made the mistake of complaining through spamcop about some spam and because it wasn't completely blind found one of my domain names being used in the "reply to" address of subsequent mailing from said spammer. 

Since then I have been receiving regular spam from MAILER-DAEMON@aol.com (perhaps 10 a day) telling me my email messages have been bounced for a variety of reasons. Despite a gentle complaint or two about the inadequacies of their mail handling and suggesting they get more sophisticated software to deal with this situation I've heard nothing back. Have automated the response to postmaster@aol.com abuse@aol.com  and tosemail1@aol.com so at least i can't be accused of not returning mail that doesn't belong to me .....

As I say - one of the world's biggest provider and they generate spam themselves on an ongoing basis.  How do I get them listed in SORBS Smile


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Reply # 36147 19-May-2006 22:10
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I understand spam to be unsolicited commercial e-mail. In this case it seems AOL is simply sending you messages about non-delivery, which is required by some RFCs, so it can't be qualified as spam.





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Master Geek


Reply # 36162 20-May-2006 09:48
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It all seems a bit academic to limit spam to commercial activities - if a religion started sending out bulk mailing to you you'd be concerned.  All AOL needs to do is configure its mail server software so it either rejects email or accepts it permanently. I wouldn't have thought that was too hard.

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Reply # 36169 20-May-2006 11:20
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The bounced messages (Non-Delivery Notifications or Delivery Status Notifications) are not spam. They are a requirement of the SMTP protocol, as specified by some RFCs (1, 2). A protocol or service must follow RFCs.

Like it or not, someone is using your e-mail address as a reply path, and AOL or any other ISP can do nothing about it. They are required to follow the RFC and send a non-delivery notification back to the sender.





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Reply # 36175 20-May-2006 12:15
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I think the issue has been resolved now - test messages from my Xtra account are making it through to AOL. Took seven to eight hours though...




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