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trevorb

Retired SpamCop Staff
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Everything posted by trevorb

  1. We have just added a new spam-blocking feature called greylisting to our mailgates. When enabled, greylisting delays messages from unseen e-mail addresses for a short time (configured to 30 minutes right now). Messages from addresses that have been seen before are allowed through immediately. "Good" mail relays, like your friendly neighborhood ISP, are set to automatically retry delayed messages periodically, so all of your good e-mail will still get through. Spammers, however, often use relays that don't automatically retry, so a lot of spam will simply never be delivered. This is all transparent to both you and the people e-mailing you, and the only side effect is a short delay the first time someone e-mails you. Our testing over the last few days has shown as much as 75% of spam to a specific e-mail address being rejected by the greylist before it ever hits our spam filters. spam blocked by the greylist is not delivered at all, and will not show up in your Held Mail folder. More information about greylisting is available at greylisting.org. We have done some testing and the results have been very positive, but obviously results are not always the same when escalated from a few accounts to thousands. This feature should be considered "beta" for now. To enable greylisting on your account: 1) Login to webmail 2) Click "Options" on the top menu bar 3) Click "Spamcop Tools" 4) Click "Manage your email forwarding, password, mail report, and greylist settings. " 5) Click the "Enable greylisting" checkbox, and press Submit Please use this forum to discuss your results. We are interested in hearing about how well this feature works for you. If you encounter any problems, send an e-mail to support[at]spamcop.net. ***UPDATE*** We have added management pages so you can view the messages that are pending in your greylist, and the messages that have been permanently blocked in the past 72 hours. Click Options->Spamcop Tools->Manage Greylist - ... to view your greylist entries. From these pages you can manually unblock senders. ~Trevor
  2. We are testing out a new popgate for those of you who are having troubles using POP with Hotmail or Yahoo accounts. Use "popgate2.cesmail.net" as your POP server, and your full e-mail address as your username. This is an *extremely* unstable/untested beta server, and you may get multiple copies of your e-mails or all your e-mails may be deleted or any other bad thing you can think of. Please do not use this server if catastrophic failure isn't an acceptable outcome . If you do encounter problems, you can experiment with your account configuration and see if that affects it. In a previous version of this POP software, Hotmail accounts would download the same mail hundreds of times if you had your account set to the "Light" mode, but worked properly in "Full" mode. Report successes and failures on this forum. -Trevor
  3. trevorb

    webmail and Imap issues

    The server that generates the graphs (alpha) lost power during all the events and failed to reboot. It is stored remotely and is low priority (it provides no mail services), so we didn't go out there immediately. It is back up now. -Trevor
  4. trevorb

    webmail and Imap issues

    Two servers that handle routing of POP, IMAP, and HTTP encountered problems simultaneously, so those services were unreliable for the last 45 minutes. Everything should be back up and running smoothly now. -Trevor
  5. trevorb

    New Beta Popgate server

    The 'popgate' functionality is provided by third-party software that attempts to add features to sites like Yahoo that do not support POP. Unfortunately, since it depends on "screen scraping" it is impossible to reach 100% reliability and even the slightest changes on Yahoo's side can break popgate until an update is released. Since 'popgate' will *always* be an experimental feature, if you depend on mail from an account that does not provide POP we recommend you use a different provider or pay extra for POP access. The current status is that hundreds of users are receiving their Yahoo e-mail perfectly, but some users are only getting partial or no success. The Yahoo! webmail settings seem to be important, and many users have found that switching from the "New" to the "Classic" interface or vice versa solves their popgate problems. I installed a big update to popgate2 this morning and it included changes to the Yahoo code. If you have been having trouble with Yahoo, now is a good time to try again. Make sure you open the POP server configuration page in SpamCop Webmail and click the "modify" button to reset any errors and start checking your accounts again. Please let us know if this fixes any issues or introduces any new ones. EDIT: One more note: 'popgate2' can get hung up on an individual e-mail, so if it was working and suddenly stopped working try deleting or moving the top-most message via Yahoo's webmail interface. -Trevor
  6. Also posted on the news page: The percent sign alternative was originally used because buggy old e-mail clients did not support "[at]" in the username field. Modern clients do not have that problem.
  7. trevorb

    Phasing out '%' in usernames

    Support for '%' notation is actually back now. It isn't supported by our mail server software by default and creating custom patches to support it was making it more difficult for us to do security upgrades. However, we found a way to support it without patching the mail servers so it will keep working for the few users who still need it. -Trevor
  8. Recently spammers have been gaining access to SpamCop e-mail accounts and thousands of messages out through Webmail. These spam runs have caused ISPs to temporarily block and delay messages from us, as many of you have noticed. To limit the influence of these spam runs, yesterday we added a 30 recipient limit to e-mails sent via Webmail -- that is, no one message can be addressed to more than 30 people. If you need to send to more than 30 addresses and cannot break the list into batches of 30, please use a stand-alone e-mail client instead of Webmail. Our inbound (IMAP/POP) server address is 'mail.spamcop.net' and our outbound (SMTP) server address is 'smtp.cesmail.net'. Both servers require authentication. Your username is your full SpamCop e-mail address, including the '[at]spamcop.net' domain. We recommend Thunderbird as a stand-alone client. You will most likely find that it is easier to manage mailing lists offline, and your will have better control over backing up your contact list. Webmail should not be considered a safe storage medium for large contact lists. We are also looking into alternative ways to restrict spammers so we can eventually raise this per-message limit. -Trevor
  9. All of my missing messages eventually showed up in my test Hotmail account, and messages appear to be delivering instantly now. They were apparently just queuing our messages for an unreasonably long time. We are subscribed to their SNDS service, but it clearly doesn't help. We are currently working on changes to the backend that will limit the impact of these spam runs.
  10. JT and I are aware of this problem with Hotmail. Some spammers managed to send a few thousand messages out of a SpamCop account yesterday, and Hotmail over-reacted with how long they put us on their blacklists for. It is a temporary problem that will clear itself up, but we have no input from Hotmail as to how long it will take. Generally it takes 24-48 hours. -Trevor
  11. This looks like a greylisting bug. Do you both have greylisting enabled? The plus-address extension isn't being removed before adding entries to the greylist. Now that one message has come through can you send a message (from the same server) to the same address and get it immediately? We'll try to get this fixed soon. Thanks for reporting it! -Trevor
  12. Javier is right, held messages are automatically deleted when they are more than two weeks old. You are certainly not required to empty your own Held Mail if you don't want to. -Trevor
  13. This post contains a list of frequently encountered problems with the upgraded Webmail system, and potential solutions. Please read through this post before submitting problem reports. If you have a problem report that is not listed on this page, click the "Problem" button on the Webmail menubar, or send an e-mail to webmailbeta[at]spamcop.net. Problems New Options Layout - Global Options [Renamed 08/17/07] Empty Trash - button missing & changed behavior Held Mail empty at login Menubar - width & formatting Language & translations All mail missing Color scheme - new colors & white-on-white problems Release & Whitelist Mobile mail [Updated 08/17/07] Browser Incompatibilities - Safari, Mozilla, IE 5, Mobile browsers [Added 08/17/07] Images Attached to E-mail[Added 08/21/07] Solutions New Options Layout - Global Options The options menu has been split into multiple pages. When changing your options, make sure you also look at the "Global Options" page, which is selected from the drop-down menu in the top right corner of the Options page. Empty Trash - button missing & changed behavior The "Empty Trash" button can be enabled or disabled. Some users have reported that the button disappeared during the Webmail transition. To turn the button on, click "Options," then "Deleting and Moving Messages," and check the box next to "Display the 'Empty Trash' link in the menubar?" option. Clicking "Empty Trash" moves you to the Trash folder after emptying it, instead of leaving you in your current mailbox. This is a known problem and there is currently no way to change its behavior. Clicking the "Empty Trash" button deletes all mail in the current mailbox. Do not change mailboxes between clicking "Empty Trash" and confirming that you wish to empty the mailbox, or your newly selected mailbox will be deleted. Held Mail empty at login If you previously had selected a folder other than the Inbox as your default folder, you may see no messages in that folder when you first login. The default folder option has been reset, and you must change it in your options for it to work properly again. Click "Options," then "Login Tasks," and set the "View or mailbox to display after login" option to your preferred default folder. Menubar - width & formatting The formatting of the top menubar has changed. It now dynamically resizes to the width of your window instead of scrolling off the screen. There is no way to change this behavior. Some browsers do not display the menubar perfectly. Browsers with known problems are: IE 5 on MacOS 9 Safari on MacOS X If the menubar is too wide, one available solution is to change it to "Text Only" or "Icon Only" mode. Click "Options," select "Global Options" from the drop-down menu in the top right corner, click "Display Options," and change the option labeled "Menu mode." Language & translations Your default language settings may have changed during the upgrade. To select a different language for Webmail: click "Options," select "Global Options" from the drop-down menu in the top right corner, click "Locale and Time," and choose your language from the drop-down menu. All mail missing A few users have encountered a problem where malformed filter rules have been deleting their e-mail. If you notice your e-mail is unexpectedly missing, please check your filter rules for errors. We recommend that you set your filters to move unwanted messages to the Held Mail folder instead of deleting them, so you can verify that no e-mails are being deleted unexpectedly. Another known cause for empty mailboxes is setting your options to display too many messages per page. To view and change this setting, click "Options," then "Mailbox and Folder Display Options," and enter a number into the textbox labeled "Messages per page in the mailbox view." This option should be set to no higher than 200 messages, or your mailbox may display as a blank white page. Color scheme - new colors & white-on-white problems The default color scheme has changed, and the option to set it has moved to a new location. To change your color scheme, click "Options," then select "Global Options" from the drop-down menu in the top right corner, click "Display Options," and choose your color scheme from the drop-down menu. Users with their color scheme set to a mode that no longer exists may have color problems, including white text on a white background. Follow the instructions above to set your color scheme to a valid option. We already manually changed the color scheme for some users. Release & Whitelist The "Release" and "Release & Whitelist" buttons were broken for some users until 10pm EDT on August 13, 2007. Mobile mail Webmail can be accessed through mobile devices in two ways: http://webmail.spamcop.net -- Full webmail for graphical phones with java scri_pt and cookies. http://mobile.spamcop.net -- Simplified low-bandwidth webmail for phones with limited functionality. Currently, the simplified mobile version does not have a way to report spam. Additionally, the full-featured version requires a mobile phone with a browser that supports all the standard java scri_pt 1.5 features. This does not work with many mobile browsers, including Blazer Browser on Palm Treos and on BlackBerrys. We are investigating options for those of you who want the ability to report spam from your mobile devices. Browser Incompatibilities - Safari, Mobile browsers Some browsers have known compatibility problems with the webmail system. Safari for Mac (and all WebKit/KHTML browsers) - The menubar does not wrap properly. It can be hard to view, and causes message headers to shift off the screen. There is no permanent fix available yet, but setting your menu to "icon only" mode helps. Click Options->Global Options (drop-down menu in top right)->Display Options and change your "Menu mode" setting. Firefox and Opera for Mac work correctly. Safari for MacOS 9 - This browser is very old and does not display pages properly. We recommend you use the iCab browser, as it is the only currently updated browser for MacOS 9. Internet Explorer 5 for MacOS and Windows - "Select All" does not work. Mozilla Suite - May have display issues. Upgrade to SeaMonkey or Firefox. Mobile browsers - "Select All" function does not work. Blazer Browser (Palm Treo phones) - Delete, Report as spam, etc. links do not work. Images Attached to E-mail Previously, images attached to e-mails were automatically displayed inlined with the message. If an e-mail was received with very large images attached, the server ran out of RAM attempting to inline the images, and resulted in a blank white page. We have disabled automatic inlining of images, so attached images will now be displayed as links in the e-mail.
  14. Webmail is now connecting to new IMAP servers. These new servers should fix a few outstanding bugs with Webmail, and should load large mailboxes much faster. Please report any strange behavior with the Webmail interface to support[at]spamcop.net, or click the "Problem" button on the top menu bar when logged in. Issues that should be fixed: * Message # re-ordering (forum topic 8736) * New messages appearing when "Report as spam" clicked (forum topic 8752) * Some messages not being displayed in mailbox (also forum topic 8752) This upgrade only affects Webmail. If no problems are reported, the external IMAP servers (mail.spamcop.net) will also be upgraded. **** UPDATE **** All IMAP servers have now been updated, including the imap.spamcop.net and mail.spamcop.net servers. Since the old and new servers were not completely compatible, you may notice a few oddities caused by the changeover: * If you get IMAP errors when trying to see the messages in a mailbox, please e-mail support[at]spamcop.net and we will fix it immediately. Your mailbox was open during the swap and needs to be rebuilt. If you want to try to fix it yourself, you can try accessing it from a different program or Webmail and see if that fixes it. * You may have some duplicate messages in your mailboxes. You can just delete them, but if you have an excessive amount you can report it to support[at]spamcop.net. Let us know if you have any other problems with the new servers. **** ANOTHER UPDATE **** I ran a batch rebuild on everyone's account. Most of the IMAP errors and missing folder problems that were reported are fixed now. So, once again, if you have any troubles with IMAP access after now (3:20pm EDT), send another e-mail off to support[at]spamcop.net. Problem reports sent earlier today will not get a response since there were so many. ~Trevor
  15. For every other blacklist we check all IPs. It's only for the PBL that the last IP is skipped. It is *not* skipped if it is the only IP, so direct-to-MX should be caught. I fixed the duplicate IP bug today, so each IP address should only be checked once. There is nothing we can do about the spam that gets by even though the first IP is in the PBL, since the first IP is usually in the PBL whether it is spam or not. -Trevor
  16. DavidT, For the e-mail you linked to that we didn't block even though it had an IP in the PBL, that is actually correct behavior. The Barracuda doesn't reject messages that are in blocklists like we do, it just scores them higher. Since we outright block them, we have to be more careful about what IP addresses we consider. The very first hop of the e-mail chain does not get checked against the PBL list. The first address is usually the IP address of the computer you are sending from, which is very likely to be your own dynamic IP assigned from your ISP. Since the PBL includes IP blocks that ISPs designate as their dynamic IP range, there is a very high chance that the first source IP in an e-mail will be on the PBL list even though the message is valid. We check every IP except the first hop (which is actually the last one listed in the 'Received' headers) against the PBL. -Trevor
  17. Yep, PBL has been turned on and should be working. -Trevor
  18. Actually, we have had a change of plans. We can't mirror "Zen" directly since it is really an aggregation of Spamhaus' three blacklists, so we are just going to add the PBL and you can choose whatever combination of the three you want (SBL+XBL+PBL = Zen). PBL is disabled for now until we get the local mirror up. -Trevor
  19. The Zen blacklist is an available option now, if you want to try it out. We are going to wait a few days before making an announcement on the news page to make sure all the kinks are worked out. For now you can still subscribe to the other two Spamhaus blacklists, but if you enable Zen you should disable the others since they are included. We will remove the older ones and move everyone over to Zen prior to making a formal announcement. Keep us updated on whether or not you are seeing good results. I ran a test on a batch of 1,000 spam messages. With SBL+XBL 174 messages made it to the Inbox, with Zen only 80 made it by. -Trevor
  20. It's been on the list of stuff to do for a long time, but that particular list works differently from all of the others and isn't compatible with our software. Since there has been so much interest in it, though, I started the code modifications today. No exact time frame, but probably a couple of days until it is up. We're going to replace the two existing Spamhaus entries with one Zen entry, and move everyone over to that one. -Trevor
  21. The triplet is saved for 36 days after the last time a message from that triplet was received. Allowing an entry will allow the e-mail to pass through the next time it is sent, but the message will not be immediately available, for the reason explained after the next question: The messages are blocked at the SMTP server. We don't store them at all. That depends on how the spammer treats bounces. It is likely that some spammers will remove you from their list if they get a greylist bounce. -Trevor
  22. We do not limit the size of incoming e-mails, so the limit is just whatever the servers can handle. The message limit listed in Webmail's compose screen relates *only* to sending e-mails from the Webmail interface, and does not affect the rest of the system. E-mail is not designed for large attachments, and you really shouldn't expect an e-mail over 1 meg to get to its destination no matter where you send it from or to. Every system does have a limit, including ours, but it is hard to measure and impossible to guarantee. Additionally, your message passes through different servers and software depending on how you sent it (webmail vs SMTP server vs forwarding), each one of which could have different limits. It can hop through a bunch of different ISPs and mail hosts on its way to its destination, all of which also have their own limits and attachment policies and virus scanners that could mangle or drop your message without warning. -Trevor
  23. trevorb

    Spam count got reset

    What number are you talking about? Do you mean the "#" column in the Webmail mailbox view? That number is how the IMAP server numbers each message internally and the new IMAP servers use the number in a slightly different way than the old ones did. We re-indexed all of the mailboxes a couple of days ago, but the new servers didn't actually go live until today. Because of that, the "newest" # for you rolled back to whatever it was back when we re-indexed, and you had received ~100 messages since then so the number jumped a bit. -Trevor
  24. I ran a batch rebuild on everyone's account. Most of the IMAP errors and missing folder problems that were reported are fixed now. So, once again, if you have any troubles with IMAP access after now (3:20pm EDT), send another e-mail off to support[at]spamcop.net. Problem reports sent earlier today will not get a response since there were so many. -Trevor
  25. For IMAP errors, send an e-mail to support[at]spamcop.net and be sure to specify your username. -Trevor
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