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Blocklist an internal email provider?

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MeowBox.com owns and operates its own email service (like Yahoo!, Hotmail, etc), and sends emails only to its subscribers at their "username[at]meowbox.com" email address.

Our registration form requires users to input an existing email address, solely for the purpose of "confirming" registration. Other than the "please confirm" email, we do not send emails to any addresses outside of "users[at]meowbox.com".

Our free email service does not allow users to "redirect" their incoming MeowBox.com emails to another email address. We do this so we won't have to worry about people redirecting their email to someone else's email address.

Since we send emails only to our members at their MeowBox.com email address (which we provide), we do not understand why MeowBox.com is on the block list.

Maybe MeowBox.com is on the blocklist because some people are attempting to register email addresses which do not belong to them, and the rightful owners are complaining about getting our "please confirm" requests?

Regards,

MeowBox.com

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Not sure why you think it is blocked?

Resolved MeowBox.com to 65.109.240.231

[MeowBox.com has 1 MX record mail.MeowBox.com.(10)]

Resolved mail.MeowBox.com to 65.109.240.231

host meowbox.com (checking ip) = 65.109.240.231

host 65.109.240.231 (getting name) = meowbox.com.

No recent reports, no history available

It is not listed.

You should post the reject message if you want assistance.

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On the other hand, checking your SMTP Port I get:

SMTP - 25 220 host.cheapwebsitedesignhosting.com ESMTP Sendmail 8.12.10/8.12.10; Sat, 14 May 2005 13:26:25 -0400

host.cheapwebsitedesignhosting.com = 65.109.239.242

65.109.239.242 listed in bl.spamcop.net (127.0.0.2)

If there are no reports of ongoing objectionable email from this system it will be delisted automatically in approximately 3 hours.

Causes of listing

SpamCop users have reported system as a source of spam less than 10 times in the past week

Additional potential problems

(these factors do not directly result in spamcop listing)

DNS error: 65.109.239.242 is unassigned.alabanza.com but unassigned.alabanza.com has no DNS information

Other hosts in this "neighborhood" with spam reports

65.109.239.7 65.109.239.25 65.109.239.54 65.109.239.74 65.109.239.114 65.109.239.116 65.109.239.129 65.109.239.137

Also listed in:

DNSBLAUT1 Reynolds Technology Type 1: t1.dnsbl.net.au -> 127.0.0.2

see http://dnsbl.net.au/rmst/ and http://dnsbl.net.au/lookup/?65.109.239.242

DNSBLAURMST dnsbl.net.au Multiple spam Traps: rmst.dnsbl.net.au -> 127.0.0.2

see http://dnsbl.net.au/rmst/ and http://dnsbl.net.au/lookup/?65.109.239.242

Checking our server we have received spam from a couple of these IP addresses recently. (They are now in our private blocklist)

Not good! You should have your host remove their spammers!

Edited by Merlyn

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This is the email I received when a user tried to register for our free email service:

----- The following addresses had permanent fatal errors -----

<email address>

(reason: 553 5.3.0 Message from 65.109.239.242 rejected based on external blacklist - See also http://www.spamcop.net/bl.shtml)

Thanks for the feedback. We recently relocated MeowBox.com to a new server, so maybe that is the origin of our problem.

Regards,

MeowBox.com

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This is the email I received when a user tried to register for our free email service:

----- The following addresses had permanent fatal errors -----

<email address>

    (reason: 553 5.3.0 Message from 65.109.239.242 rejected based on external blacklist - See also http://www.spamcop.net/bl.shtml)

28037[/snapback]

Senderbase showing a 50-fold incrrease in traffic from that server - probably a trojanned machine on that network somewhere

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This is the email I received when a user tried to register for our free email service:

----- The following addresses had permanent fatal errors -----

<email address>

    (reason: 553 5.3.0 Message from 65.109.239.242 rejected based on external blacklist - See also http://www.spamcop.net/bl.shtml)

28037[/snapback]

Well, that IP is not currently listed: http://www.spamcop.net/w3m?action=blcheck&ip=65.109.239.242 however, there have been reports against that IP address in the last few days:

Report History:

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Submitted: Friday, May 13, 2005 5:15:39 PM -0400:

A Vacation is yours with Program Participation

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Submitted: Friday, May 13, 2005 4:28:55 PM -0400:

A Vacation is yours with Program Participation

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Submitted: Thursday, May 12, 2005 6:12:09 PM -0400:

Email account & 8 grand

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

All of these reports are referencing http://safememos.com. Could it be that you are sharing an IP address with another company that is spamming? Check with your provider.

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Hi Steve, thanks for your research into this matter.

We also own SafeMemos.com, but it shouldn't have any spam complaints because it requires double opt-in in order for people to be added to the mailing list. Every newsletter sent out contains an immediate, single opt-out link in case members no longer desire their membership.

We understand that people "forget" they had subscribed, or they used an email address which they share with their family and neglected to tell their other family members that they had registered the address. For that reason, we now require new members to join through MeowBox.com, whereby WE provide the email account. It's our hope that doing so will stop any and all spam complaints, since we provide the email account.

We have a no spam policy, because we know spam is not only unethical, it's also just bad business. For this reason, we launched MeowBox.com so we wouldn't have to worry any longer about subscribers forgetting they had subscribed, and we could send our newsletters only to our MeowBox.com members.

Do you have any suggestions on how we can convey our no spam policy? Providing a free email account seemed to us to be the best solution, but apparently our IP has been blocklisted unfairly, even though SafeMemos.com required a double opt-in.

Again, I thank you for your help and your research.

Regards,

David Hurlbert

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We also own SafeMemos.com, but it shouldn't have any spam complaints because it requires double opt-in in order for people to be added to the mailing list. Every newsletter sent out contains an immediate, single opt-out link in case members no longer desire their membership.

28047[/snapback]

Giving you and your business the benefit of the doubt, a word of warning, the phrase "double opt-in" is usually considered to be spammer speak. The better phrase would be confirmed opt-in where you send one (and only one) confirmation message to potential subscriber and they reply in some fashion, usually with a unique token that you can then use as proof the the person requested such messages. Have you contested the spam reports sent to: abuse<at>alabanza.com? Double opt-in has been used to even describe the act of requiring a person to enter an email address twice on the same web form which of course does not confirm that the person signing up actually controls or even uses the address in question.

Also, if those messages were valid messages sent from your server, you may want to rethink the subject lines you use. If I were to scan a set of messages, those 2 ("A Vacation is yours with Program Participation" and "Email account & 8 grand") would stand out as very spammy, and perhaps some filters are picking up on them.

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I found some of the "Terms of Service" a bit disturbing for the MeowBox e-mail agreement (noting I found the sound effects with no "turn it off button" to be even more disturbing) ... Having not a clue as to just what the "agree to accept the future merchandising e-mails" actually relates to, how those "future" e-mails are constructed, what companies may be involved with the data-sharing and future merchandising, the "agree to not send spam complaints against that e-mail" has a bit of a funny smell to it. Just some observations from one very much jaded 'net' user, having been the recipient of too much of some other user's use of a "great free tool/service" ......

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Hi Steve, thanks for your research into this matter.

Do you have any suggestions on how we can convey our no spam policy? Providing a free email account seemed to us to be the best solution, but apparently our IP has been blocklisted unfairly, even though SafeMemos.com required a double opt-in.

28047[/snapback]

Probably find help on many sites Abuse Net has a very7 good one

If you go to spamcops website you can also get copies of SpamCop abuse reports by clicking HERE.

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It's probably not his/her fault. meowbox is using a shared email server. There are many acounts on that IP. There are many spewing spam in that range. When you share a server you must take the consequences.

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Other hosts in this "neighborhood" with spam reports

65.109.239.7 65.109.239.25 65.109.239.54 65.109.239.74 65.109.239.114 65.109.239.116 65.109.239.129 65.109.239.137

Checking our server we have received spam from a couple of these IP addresses recently. (They are now in our private blocklist)

Not good!  You should have your host remove their spammers!

In this particular case, that's a bit like telling someone in New York City that they've got problems because there are some criminals in the city, and so they should tell their police department to do something about it. In other words, their "neighborhood" is HUGE, and so they need a little more specificity in how to proceed.

Let me clarify....they are a customer of a customer of Alabanza.com, a VERY large server farm that hosts many hosts that host other hosts, that eventually host individual domains. Unless the OP has their own dedicated server (and I don't think they do), they will indeed be affected by the behavior of all the other domains hosted on their server, perhaps up to 400 other clients. I've had a dedicated server with Alabanza before, and am still involved with several domains hosted by one of their hosts.

However, in this case, the recent complaints/reports filed with spamcop do indeed involve the OP's activities from SafeMemos.com, so if they want to do something about preventing futher reports and blocking, they have several options.

First, they probably can't contact Alabanza directly, in that they're a customer of a customer, so they need to contact their host, which appears to be "Visual Presence" of Ohio. Visual Presence can then contact the Alabanza Abuse Desk and ask about these specific reports...but if the identifying info has been "munged" (altered to hide their identity), they probably won't be able to identify specific subscribers.

So, a better option might be to work with the SpamCop Deputies, who can probably contact the individual SpamCop user(s) who is/are filing the reports regarding email broadcasts from SafeMemos.com and mediate a removal of their addresses from your lists. The reports might very well be in error, and so you should send all of this information to "deputies <at> spamcop <dot> net" to see if they can help resolve this. If you don't take some action, the SpamCop user(s) who filed the three reports already cited in this thread will probably keep filing reports and getting your server blocked over and over again.

DT

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Senderbase showing a 50-fold incrrease in traffic from that server - probably a trojanned machine on that network somewhere

No, not likely, Derek. Here's what's wrong with your assumption...those boxes are Linux/Apache web hosts in a huge, fully monitored server farm, and they don't tend to get "trojanned." Sometimes they have problems with CGI scri_pt hijacking, but not trojans.

Second, did you take a look at the "Date of first message seen from this address"? It was only 4 days ago, so the stats are pretty meaningless. It takes months of stats for the Senderbase info to stabilze and become meaningful.

DT

Edited by DavidT

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