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jongrose

Mails disappear into the abyss

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Occasionally, there will be times when people are sending me email messages and they are not showing up at all. They don't go into the held mail folder, inbox or anywhere. They just never arrive.

I have had to turn off all filtering blacklists and Spamassassin to prevent this from happening. It is very annoying, I thought all mails designated as "spam" would end up in the Held mail folder. What accounts for this problem?

Thanks.

Jonathan Grose

jongrose[at]spamcop.net

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I'd swear I read this somewhere else ... although your "turn off filters and such" makes the assumption that there's a direct cause / relationship, I believe the first offered question was ... is this e-mail coming direct to your SpamCop account or is it being forwarded/POP'd from somewhere else, which would bring another ISP's actions into the mix.

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Occasionally, there will be times when people are sending me email messages and they are not showing up at all.  They don't go into the held mail folder, inbox or anywhere.  They just never arrive.

I have had to turn off all filtering blacklists and Spamassassin to prevent this from happening.  It is very annoying, I thought all mails designated as "spam" would end up in the Held mail folder.  What accounts for this problem?

Thanks.

Jonathan Grose

jongrose[at]spamcop.net

Please post or email me with the date and time (needs to be pretty accurate) this happened along with the sender and recipient of the email.

JT

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I'd swear I read this somewhere else ... although your "turn off filters and such" makes the assumption that there's a direct cause / relationship, I believe the first offered question was ... is this e-mail coming direct to your SpamCop account or is it being forwarded/POP'd from somewhere else, which would bring another ISP's actions into the mix.

It's going directly to my spamcop address.

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Occasionally, there will be times when people are sending me email messages and they are not showing up at all.  They don't go into the held mail folder, inbox or anywhere.  They just never arrive.

I have had to turn off all filtering blacklists and Spamassassin to prevent this from happening.  It is very annoying, I thought all mails designated as "spam" would end up in the Held mail folder.  What accounts for this problem?

Thanks.

Jonathan Grose

jongrose[at]spamcop.net

Please post or email me with the date and time (needs to be pretty accurate) this happened along with the sender and recipient of the email.

JT

Well, it happened this morning (although this isn't the first time it's happened).

At 7:20AM CST 2/23/04 and a few minutes before, an email was sent from shoppekeeper[at]vitaminshoppe.com to jongrose+vitaminshoppe[at]spamcop.net

I believe I requested this email to be sent about 3 times, before I finally turned off all my filters, requested it again, and it showed up in my inbox.

The lost emails never showed up in held or inbox. After that was done, I turned back on the SC blocklist and another email sent from them never arrived (although I believe the address might of been different). This was after I changed my email address in their service to point directly to jongrose[at]spamcop.net to make sure it wasn't the +tagline in the email address that was causing problems.

This problem seems to happen frequently. I have sat down at peoples computers and watched them type an email to me and send it multiple times, never to show up. Their emails were functioning properly, so I know it's a problem on my end.

Thanks for the help. If you need any other information let me know.

Edited by jongrose

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2004-02-23 08:20:19.025233500 info msg 186710: bytes 3077 from <shoppekeeper[at]vitaminshoppe.com> qp 17772 uid 1002
2004-02-23 08:20:19.025333500 starting delivery 4577267: msg 186710 to local spamcop-net-jongrose+vitaminshoppe[at]spamcop.net
2004-02-23 08:20:19.120650500 delivery 4577267: success: 1077542429.0887017802.blade6/did_0+0+1/

That's the delivery of that message. It wasn't blocked and was delivered directly into your inbox. The code after "success" on the last line is the filename on our system.

Now, here's the POP server:

Feb 23 08:19:26 gamma2 pop3d: LOGIN, user=jongrose[at]spamcop.net, ip=[::ffff:xxxx]
Feb 23 08:19:27 gamma2 pop3d: LOGOUT, user=jongrose[at]spamcop.net, ip=[::ffff:xxxx], top=0, retr=0
Feb 23 08:20:28 gamma2 pop3d: LOGIN, user=jongrose[at]spamcop.net, ip=[::ffff:xxxx]
Feb 23 08:20:30 gamma2 pop3d: LOGOUT, user=jongrose[at]spamcop.net, ip=[::ffff:xxxx], top=0, retr=3258

Note that at 8:19:29 (EST) you popped your mail and didn't retrieve any. At 8:20:30, you popped your mail and retrieved 3258 bytes worth. The original message before delivery of the email that you say is missing was 3077 bytes. I believe that this email, with the addition of another couple of headers, is the 3258-byte email that you POPped 9 seconds after it was delivered into your inbox. I've looked at the logs of all of the delivery machines. Nothing else was delivered into your inbox in between the two POP times above. That's the only new message, and so I have to believe that your mail client POPped it at 8:20 this morning.

Incidentally, I looked at the hour or two previous to this on the main inbound mail server and there's no log of vitaminshoppe.com sending mail to you or anybody else for a couple hours before 8:20 a.m. EST.

JT

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2004-02-23 08:20:19.025233500 info msg 186710: bytes 3077 from <shoppekeeper[at]vitaminshoppe.com> qp 17772 uid 1002
2004-02-23 08:20:19.025333500 starting delivery 4577267: msg 186710 to local spamcop-net-jongrose+vitaminshoppe[at]spamcop.net
2004-02-23 08:20:19.120650500 delivery 4577267: success: 1077542429.0887017802.blade6/did_0+0+1/

That's the delivery of that message. It wasn't blocked and was delivered directly into your inbox. The code after "success" on the last line is the filename on our system.

Now, here's the POP server:

Feb 23 08:19:26 gamma2 pop3d: LOGIN, user=jongrose[at]spamcop.net, ip=[::ffff:xxxx]
Feb 23 08:19:27 gamma2 pop3d: LOGOUT, user=jongrose[at]spamcop.net, ip=[::ffff:xxxx], top=0, retr=0
Feb 23 08:20:28 gamma2 pop3d: LOGIN, user=jongrose[at]spamcop.net, ip=[::ffff:xxxx]
Feb 23 08:20:30 gamma2 pop3d: LOGOUT, user=jongrose[at]spamcop.net, ip=[::ffff:xxxx], top=0, retr=3258

Note that at 8:19:29 (EST) you popped your mail and didn't retrieve any. At 8:20:30, you popped your mail and retrieved 3258 bytes worth. The original message before delivery of the email that you say is missing was 3077 bytes. I believe that this email, with the addition of another couple of headers, is the 3258-byte email that you POPped 9 seconds after it was delivered into your inbox. I've looked at the logs of all of the delivery machines. Nothing else was delivered into your inbox in between the two POP times above. That's the only new message, and so I have to believe that your mail client POPped it at 8:20 this morning.

Incidentally, I looked at the hour or two previous to this on the main inbound mail server and there's no log of vitaminshoppe.com sending mail to you or anybody else for a couple hours before 8:20 a.m. EST.

JT

The email was an automated password retrieval request. I requested it several times and POP'd into my inbox several times and received nothing. I logged into my webmail, checked for it several times in both my inbox and held mail.

Once I disabled all my filters, I rerequested the email to be sent, hit Send/Recv in Outlook and it showed up.

All the other emails I requested to be sent never showed up. Only one of them showed up, after I completely disabled my filters.

That is the only emails that were sent to my account (that I am aware of) since about 12 midnight CST, besides any spam that might of showed up in my held mail folder.

Is there any other troubleshooting to try?

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Is there any other troubleshooting to try?

see if you can get the other involved ISP's to go to the same level of effort that JT did for you ... see if they can demonstrate that the in-question e-mail successfully left their servers and delivered to where they say it went ...

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Is there any other troubleshooting to try?

see if you can get the other involved ISP's to go to the same level of effort that JT did for you ... see if they can demonstrate that the in-question e-mail successfully left their servers and delivered to where they say it went ...

This isn't an isolated incidient with a single provider. I have seen this happen with Hotmail, Yahoo, and numerous other commercial and business emails that were sent to my address and never received.

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Do you possibly have some filtering or sorting enabled on your client end. JT has demonstrated, the massage arrived and was picked up from the spamcop servers.

If you have a local filter set to delete or trash on certain conditions, perhaps those conditions are being met. Does your local mail client have a log of what it has done?

Do you have some other system setup to pop mail from that account, perhaps automatically? You may need to contact jefft out of the groups (PM should work) to confirm that the IP address he munged [::ffff:xxxx] is the machine you are using? I am only mentioning this because jefft did not spacify whether he confirmed this is your current IP or not.

Hope this helps.

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Is there any other troubleshooting to try?

see if you can get the other involved ISP's to go to the same level of effort that JT did for you ... see if they can demonstrate that the in-question e-mail successfully left their servers and delivered to where they say it went ...

This isn't an isolated incidient with a single provider. I have seen this happen with Hotmail, Yahoo, and numerous other commercial and business emails that were sent to my address and never received.

Then your POP program is broken or you have some sort of filters on in there that is deleting or filing your email. It's simply not the case that you didn't retrieve anything. I've got the logs there that show that your POP program did indeed retrieve that message.

Put another way, other people aren't having this same problem. Yet you say that lots and lots of email all just disappears. From a debugging standpoint, I have to believe that the problem lies in your system, since that is what is unique. The rest of us don't have lots of email that just disappears.

JT

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Do you possibly have some filtering or sorting enabled on your client end.  JT has demonstrated, the massage arrived and was picked up from the spamcop servers.

If you have a local filter set to delete or trash on certain conditions, perhaps those conditions are being met.  Does your local mail client have a log of what it has done? 

Do you have some other system setup to pop mail from that account, perhaps automatically?  You may need to contact jefft out of the groups (PM should work) to confirm that the IP address he munged [::ffff:xxxx] is the machine you are using?  I am only mentioning this because jefft did not spacify whether he confirmed this is your current IP or not.

Hope this helps.

I'm just using the basic Outlook Express client. I have no rules installed, junkmail filters are anything.

I can configure it to keep a log, but I don't believe that is what the problem is. However, I have turned on the logging in my email program and keep track of it looking for anamolies.

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Is there any other troubleshooting to try?

see if you can get the other involved ISP's to go to the same level of effort that JT did for you ... see if they can demonstrate that the in-question e-mail successfully left their servers and delivered to where they say it went ...

This isn't an isolated incidient with a single provider. I have seen this happen with Hotmail, Yahoo, and numerous other commercial and business emails that were sent to my address and never received.

Then your POP program is broken or you have some sort of filters on in there that is deleting or filing your email. It's simply not the case that you didn't retrieve anything. I've got the logs there that show that your POP program did indeed retrieve that message.

Put another way, other people aren't having this same problem. Yet you say that lots and lots of email all just disappears. From a debugging standpoint, I have to believe that the problem lies in your system, since that is what is unique. The rest of us don't have lots of email that just disappears.

JT

That is a possibility, but I am doubtful that is the problem.

I did receive a single message that I POP'd from my account. What I am saying is that 3-4 emails were sent that did not show up in my inbox or held mail. Once I turned off all my filters, I recieved the mail through POP.

I suppose the problem could lie in my email client, but I am using the basic Outlook Express client with no rules, junkmail blocking senders, addons, etc. It's just the barebones client set to send/recv from Spamcop.

Essentially, what I'm trying to find out is the following:

1) All email that is sent to my account will either go into the inbox, or be marked as spam and moved to held mail, correct? No mail should be deleted by the server, unless there is a bounce. I am right in this assumption, or is there situations where the mailserver will delete mail being sent to my account, under certain specifications?

2) Do enabling external blacklists such as Spews, Spamhause or SpamAssasin cause blocked mail to be deleted under any circumstances, or should all the mail filtered by external blacklists go directly to the held mail folder?

3) Could there be a configuration problem within the settings of my account (blacklists, whitelists, filters, etc) that is causing this issue?

I really do appreciate everyones help. It is just frustrating for me to have emails being sent to me, and I cannot locate them, while the sender on the other end is not getting a bounce.

Any other thoughts or suggestions are welcome. Thanks again.

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1) All email that is sent to my account will either go into the inbox, or be marked as spam and moved to held mail, correct? No mail should be deleted by the server, unless there is a bounce. I am right in this assumption, or is there situations where the mailserver will delete mail being sent to my account, under certain specifications?

The only situation I have found where messages are deleted automatically is when I tried to forward messages that had been forwarded through the spamcop filtering system to another host back to spamcop. It was explained that the filter recognizes that it has already been filtered and sees that as an indication of a bounce.

In that case, JT was able to see in the logs that the message was being removed and figured out what was happening. In this case, the logs are indicating the message was picked up by a POP client somewhere.

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Occasionally, there will be times when people are sending me email messages and they are not showing up at all.  They don't go into the held mail folder, inbox or anywhere.  They just never arrive.

I've read this thread, and didn't see this initial issue addressed properly, so here's some info:

I suspected that some messages headed for my SpamCop mailbox weren't getting there, in that I had some proof the the SC mail server was rejecting the incoming messages during the SMTP session. I posted this transcript as proof:

... while talking to mx.cesmail.net.:

>>> DATA

<<< 554 sorry, your envelope sender is in my badmailfrom list (#5.7.1)

554 5.0.0 Service unavailable

451 4.4.1 reply: read error from mx.cesmail.net.

JT responded with this information:

For historical reasons, there are a small number of domain which are rejected outright. These are all old and have been there a couple of years and are, as far as I know, 100% spam.

That means that there are some messages that you'll never see, and I'm surprised he didn't mention it again here....so I did. :)

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For historical reasons, there are a small number of domain which are rejected outright. These are all old and have been there a couple of years and are, as far as I know, 100% spam.

That means that there are some messages that you'll never see, and I'm surprised he didn't mention it again here....so I did. :)

Let's not get off track, though. These are a small number of 100% spam domains. I've never in two years gotten a complaint that a message was missing from one of these two domains.

We know the domains he's talking about and they're not involved. Also, since we reject the email cleanly during the SMTP conversation, you'll see a bounce.

JT

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Essentially, what I'm trying to find out is the following:

1) All email that is sent to my account will either go into the inbox, or be marked as spam and moved to held mail, correct?  No mail should be deleted by the server, unless there is a bounce.  I am right in this assumption, or is there situations where the mailserver will delete mail being sent to my account, under certain specifications?

2) Do enabling external blacklists such as Spews, Spamhause or SpamAssasin cause blocked mail to be deleted under any circumstances, or should all the mail filtered by external blacklists go directly to the held mail folder?

3) Could there be a configuration problem within the settings of my account (blacklists, whitelists, filters, etc) that is causing this issue?

I really do appreciate everyones help.  It is just frustrating for me to have emails being sent to me, and I cannot locate them, while the sender on the other end is not getting a bounce.

Any other thoughts or suggestions are welcome.  Thanks again.

For #1, viruses are deleted silently. We use a commercial virus scanning program and don't delete simply based on file extension. For instance, we accept .scr files if they are not viruses. Everything else goes into your inbox or held mail.

#2 No, it all goes to held mail. There have been requests to allow users to silently delete some known spam. This hasn't been implemented, in part because of issues like this.

#3 No

JT

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