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bkoopers

Spamcop blocking emails to my new email address

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A few weeks ago, I created a new email address using a domain that I have owned for 9 years (irbl.net) . I having been notifying hundreds of contacts and mailing lists of my new email address and have been receiving emails sent to the new address except from two friends who are both located in Italy (I am located in the USA). Both friends are using fastwebnet.it as an outgoing mail server service. When they send me an email to my new email address, they get a bounce response saying the following (substituting “xxxxxx†for the front part of my actual email address):

These recipients of your message have been processed by the mail server:

xxxxxx[at]irbl.net; Failed; 5.1.1 (bad destination mailbox address)

Remote MTA www.irbl.net: SMTP diagnostic: 550 5.7.1 <xxxxxx[at]irbl.net>... Rejected - see http://spamcop.net/

Both friends had to forward me the bounce message using a different outgoing mail service. Apparently, fastwebnet.it is using spamcop to prevent emails to be sent to certain email accounts.

Why is spamcop blocking emails from being sent to my new email address? Is there something that my email service provider needs to change in the server settings that is non-standard that needs to be changed?

Thanks to anybody who can help me resolve this problem.

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Hi, bkoopers!

...Sorry to hear of your problem. Unfortunately, I don't believe that I will be able to do too much to help you. But here's what little I have to offer:

...First: SpamCop is not normally used to block outgoing mail but, rather, incoming mail. Therefore, I would suspect that rather than your friends' mail to you being blocked by their service (fastwebnet.it), it is your provider that is blocking their mail, suspecting their outgoing e-mail server of being a source of spam. If you know the IP address of that outgoing server, you can look it up here: http://www.spamcop.net/bl.shtml; if you care to share the IP address, we here may be able to help you find more information.

...Second, please know that SpamCop can't block your e-mail unless it's going to a SpamCop e-mail account (and, even then, SpamCop blocks very little mail, most suspected spam goes to a special type of inbox). What SpamCop does is to make available a dynamic list (sometime called a BL or blacklist) of hosts from which spam has been reported as having come. SpamCop itself recommends that e-mail providers do not use it to *block* suspected spam. However, e-mail providers own their resources and so they are free to do whatever they wish.

...Third, please be aware that e-mail servers are sometimes programmed to indicate that SpamCop (meaning the SpamCop BL) was used to make the decision to block when in fact the source host in question was not on the list.

...If you have further questions after reading this reply, please do not hesitate to post them by using the "Reply" button below and to the right of this reply.

...Good luck!

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Thanks for the reply but you misunderstood my problem. I do not have the problem sending emails to them. They have the problem sending email to me. Their outgoing mail server provider (fastwebnet.it) appears to be passing outgoing mail through spamcop and then if spamcop rejects the recipient, the email is not sent to the recipient and the sender gets the bounce message referencing spamcop.

If I lookup the IP address of my irbl.net domain in the spamcop blocked list, it reports that it is not blocked.

I then looked further at the bounce response my friend forwarded to me and I see this line indicating who is sending my friend the bounce message:

From: Mail Delivery Service <postmaster[at]aa011msr.fastwebnet.it>

If I ping aa011msr.fastwebnet.it, I get 85.18.95.71. If I lookup that IP address here:

http://www.spamcop.net/bl.shtml

it reports:

85.18.95.71 listed in bl.spamcop.net (127.0.0.2)

Does that mean that my friends mail server provider is using spamcop to block sending emails to spamcop listed domains but their outgoing mail server itself is listed as blocked by spamcop? If fastwebnet.it is the bad domain then why is it reporting that my domain is the bad one?

This is all confusing to me. I would greatly appreciate some further insight into what is taking place here and who to contact to get this fixed. Thanks.

Edited by bkoopers

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One other point of information: I discussed this situation with my incoming mail server provider and they say that they do not block any incoming mails using spamcop.

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Is it possible the person you spoke to is not aware of the filtering activities? Someone is apparently rejecting mail delivery in the routing to your address. It must be your provider - I suppose a relay between fastwebnet.it and your provider could do it but that is not their job and the rejection mentions your specific address which the relay would not know about nor need to know about.

It may be coincidental that the server is on the SCbl - as Steve T said, "SpamCop" is sometimes used generically to indicate blocking from other lists. That server is quite heavily listed - see http://multirbl.valli.org/dnsbl-lookup/85.18.95.71.html. But fastwebnet.it is certainly having spam problems and it probably really is the SCbl being used to prevent delivery - see http://spamcop.net/w3m?action=checkblock&ip=85.18.95.71. As well as 85.18.95.71 another 5 servers there have recent entries in the SCBL and there have been many member reports.

It is not likely any provider would use a blocklist on outwards mail. They have far more effective controls available to limit or prevent the issue of spam from their networks. It really looks like your provider is filtering, whether he knows or admits this or not.

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Thanks for the reply but you misunderstood my problem. I do not have the problem sending emails to them. They have the problem sending email to me.

Hi bkoopers!

I think you've misunderstood the way the SpamCop Blocklist (SCBL) is being used.

As you noted mail from fastwebnet.it is being passed through the SCBL. But it is your ISP that it using the SCBL not your friends/contacts. So the messages appear to be rejected at the receiving end because

85.18.95.71 (a011msr.fastwebnet.it) has been reported for sending spam.

So your ISP is sending messages back to your friends because they are using an ISP known to be the source of spam.

You have several options (most of which are not going to be easy):

1. Ask your isp to implement the SCBL on your mail in such a way that messages are not blocked but flagged as possible spam. This is the recommended way of using the SCBL but, as Steve said is often not what ISPs do.

2. Persuade your contacts to abandon fastwebnet.it - a known source of spam.

3. You switch your domain to a different ISP which will handle your mail without rejecting everything (but with the risk of opening up to loads more junk as a result if you chose the wrong ISP).

4. You accept the collateral damage of losing a few Emails when they originate from a known source of spam.

In my opinion only 3 and 4 are likely to be achievable. 4 requires no action on your part. 3 would be my recommendation.

In summary it looks like your incoming mail server at your ISP is using the SCBL to reject mail from known sources of spam. Note: it is not the Email address but the IP address of the sending mail server that is checked.

Andrew

p.s. I see Farelf has added a note while I've been typing so apologise for any overlap.

Edited by agsteele

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Am I correct that the consensus is that emails from these 2 email accounts are not reaching me because of these two coinciding issues?

1) a number of email accounts (not necessarily my friends specific accounts) that use fastwebnet.it to send out mail have been reported as spam in the spamcop database

and

2) my incoming mail server provider is blocking incoming emails from servers listed in the spamcop database (even though my provider claims not to be using spamcop to block incoming messages)

I guess my friends will have to use a different outgoing email service if they want to contact me (they are not going to get fastwebnet.it to stop spam and my provider is not going to stop blocking with spamcop if they deny using it).

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Am I correct that the consensus is that emails from these 2 email accounts are not reaching me because of these two coinciding issues?

1) a number of email accounts (not necessarily my friends specific accounts) that use fastwebnet.it to send out mail have been reported as spam in the spamcop database

and

2) my incoming mail server provider is blocking incoming emails from servers listed in the spamcop database (even though my provider claims not to be using spamcop to block incoming messages)

I guess my friends will have to use a different outgoing email service if they want to contact me (they are not going to get fastwebnet.it to stop spam and my provider is not going to stop blocking with spamcop if they deny using it).

Yes you have the right 'picture' of what is happening.

There are other solutions possible:

Change your mail service provider to one that does have a clue, the person you spoke to clearly does not.

OR

Investigate your mail settings to see if you can whitelist your two friends. If not see my first suggestion :)

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I don't want to change my mail service provider who is also my web hosting provider who I have been using for 9 years and who gives me unlimited website storage for a low fixed price.

My two friends from Italy agreed to use a different outgoing mail service provider so unless I find out about other people being bounced from my email account, my problem is resolved for now.

My email service provider uses SpamAssassin for incoming email filtering but I have complete control over it. I can set the filter strength from 1 to 100 (the lower the number the stronger it is but increases the likelihood of flagging non-spam) but I have the option of just adding the word "spam" to the subject and passing it through or deleting it. I have it set to "100" and pass it through. I can also exempt specific sender addresses from being marked as "spam" (but I have no need to since I pass everything through). Unless my mail service provider is using spamcop (without admitting it) in addition to SpamAssassin (is that likely?) then they may be telling the truth that they are not using spamcop.

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...Unless my mail service provider is using spamcop (without admitting it) in addition to SpamAssassin (is that likely?) then they may be telling the truth that they are not using spamcop.
They are almost certainly using SC. SpamAssassin INCLUDES the facility to use DNS blocklists (it is the default configuration) - see http://wiki.apache.org/spamassassin/DnsBlocklists. SpamAssassin also has the ability to whitelist, which you might like to investigate.

But, you are happy - and at least your service provider informs senders when their messages are rejected (so they know and, accordingly, you have a chance to know). Many don't do that, they just "silently drop".

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Thanks to anybody who can help me resolve this problem.

Most importantly if you have a windows operating system go through my signature.

The major reason SpamCop lists IP addresses is because of security problems that happen when a computer is hacked.

(meaning whatever is done on a infected computer is watched by MANY criminals, who know when you are home and when your not, as well as everything on it, not only used for spamming)

It also means your provider is not reacting to abuse reports and helping criminals

Never use a ISP (a providers) email "service"

I suggest Google as a superior spam free email

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I suggest Google as a superior spam free email

That isn't too good. I receive spam from it so I don't know how good their filters are if their mail servers aren't.

And at the top if you run a business the last thing you want is to send emails to your clients using a third party service.

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And at the top if you run a business the last thing you want is to send emails to your clients using a third party service.

I think that's a bit of old school thinking. Google (and many others) will host your MX Record for free. With your domain. But I doubt that's what you meant.

A lot of people are justifying having and using a gmail address daily for the reason of virtual elimination of spam alone. I deal with a lot of real folks working for really big companies using gmail addys because often IT administrators are either idiots or on another continent. It's simply not the same as having an aol.com addy was in the 90s.

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For the addons, are you talking about the googleapps? IMO it's more than that. I setup and whatever else, helpdesks on sites where admins can send and receive email from within the site and have or do whatever they want which directly relates with the site's content.

And they already pay hosting which includes mail and other significant resources. So why not using it? spam filters are pretty much the same via databases like SC. I understand your point though about reducing admin requirements but in the end what you pay is what you get.

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but in the end what you pay is what you get.

Google offer as good as can be got in email hosting

I'm using "thebat.net" (hosted by Google for my email client I run off a USB drive) allows sending and receiving 25 meg emails (something SpamCop email needs to do to "keep up" with the times).

No spam has so far got through and a secure as well as reliable

That's more than most ISP's can claim who don't always/mostly give what you pay for!

They are only good at milking bank accounts in my experience, why I NEVER allow them to handle my email

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They are only good at milking bank accounts in my experience, why I NEVER allow them to handle my email

Sorry I don't follow, you will get hosting and with it comes the email service. So who's your host google? So you are already paying for the mail service is just you utilize it by other means like a third party app. I don't find that too useful. And if you use it directly it like sending to your customers from the example[at]gmail.com it looks very unprofessional. For B2B relationships I don't even read emails coming form popular hosts like gmail because 99% is spam.

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