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Koby

[RESOLVED] Mail Server Temporarily Disabled

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I sent out an email about the AotS to those who had opted-in to emails, but apparently that was a bad idea. Due to the amount of email sent in such short time, the server was flagged for spam abuse apparently. So @IkarosBD had to clean out the queue that hadn't been sent and temporary disable the mail server in hopes that this action can be reversed / handled without turning out worse. I'm not sure how bigger sites can send out monthly emails without issue but we can't send out one email without running into problems.

 

Anyways the mail server temporarily being disabled means that any new users registering will not be able to validate their account, nor will any users be getting email notifications for anything they normally should.

 

Guess I've learned my lesson and won't be sending any future email updates in bulk.

 

 

UPDATE TO ALL USERS, PLEASE READ: As part of our efforts to restore mail functionality, we have forcefully unsubscribed all members from receiving admin mails. This does NOT affect your subscribed threads notifications or any other notifications settings - you will still receive emails for those including new PMs and any other options you may have enabled. Only admin-generated mails are disabled now, as it's not used very often if at ALL here.

 

The email system has not YET been enabled as we are waiting to hear back from the server host, though I have no reason to believe we'll have to delay this further than tomorrow afternoon.

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1 minute ago, Koby said:

Guess I've learned my lesson and won't be sending any future email updates in bulk.

Wow that sucks. :(

Sounds like you got a pain in the ass there @Koby

 

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To add to what @Koby said - due to the bulk email he attempted to send out, this triggered a blacklisting of the server's IP address for bulk email being sent too fast. His server host contacted him about this and when I investigated the server's logs, well over 3000+ messages had attempted to be sent within minutes.

 

Due to this I have disabled the mail server for 48 hours. There will be no new emails delivered during that time. This unfortunately means nobody will get their subscribed emails, and account activations will not function - if you register an account between now and sometime Wednesday afternoon, please contact administration directly for assistance.

 

This time is required to allow us to delist the IP properly and report back to the server host that the issue has been remedied. We apologize for the inconvenience.

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1 hour ago, IkarosBD said:

well over 3000+ messages had attempted to be sent within minutes.

woah.

No wonder...

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I thought my emails were looking a bit quiet today...

 

Live and learn I guess, but the intentions were right :). I assume there is no queue/backlog for the notifications? Would probably trigger more flags...

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7 hours ago, Koby said:

Due to the amount of email sent in such short time, the server was flagged for spam abuse apparently. 

I'm not sure how bigger sites can send out monthly emails without issue but we can't send out one email without running into problems.

What do you mean by, "the server was flagged for spam abuse apparently?" Are you using a provider or something to send out emails? Also, what the bigger sites probably do is host their own email server.

Edited by Cat
Removing blank line

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4 hours ago, Moodkiller said:

I thought my emails were looking a bit quiet today...

 

Live and learn I guess, but the intentions were right :). I assume there is no queue/backlog for the notifications? Would probably trigger more flags...

The forum still generates mail, but since the mail server software is disabled right now, it's just getting queued on disk. This queue will be cleared before the mail server is re-enabled, to prevent backlog flooding and possibly triggering another spam listing.

 

3 hours ago, Cat said:

What do you mean by, "the server was flagged for spam abuse apparently?" Are you using a provider or something to send out emails? Also, what the bigger sites probably do is host their own email server.

The server sends mail out directly through its own mail server software. What happened is, when Koby initiated the mass bulk email, it tried to send all of it at once to all members. At first remote mail servers like those at Yahoo and Google handled it no problem...until it exceeded their limit very quickly and continued to run unchecked for some time, before I was made aware of it by Koby. When I did finally manage to investigate and examine the server I had found well over 3,300+ deferred messages because we were being blocked due to the extremely high rate of mail volume being sent. The mail software was immediately killed at that point and the queue emptied + deleted, but it was already too late as the blacklisting had already occurred. Our server host was likely notified by the blacklist's administrator, which flagged us for abuse/spam. That's what he means.

 

I can't say who got us listed because there's no way to tell which of those addresses triggered our spam listing, but I will say that in all likelyhood one of the many email address providers used on the forum, uses one of those blacklists to combat spam it receives (by reporting it through automated means), and thus ended up getting the server IP listed.

 

And before anyone asks, I'll also explain why the 48 hours is necessary. Aside from the process of getting the server host off our back, which can take up to 48 hours in of itself, there's also the matter of the IP being on blacklists for spam.  Often times removal cannot occur for at least 24 to 48 hours after being listed - it depends on the blacklist. That is why we must wait that long.

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@IkarosBD That's what I thought, I was just a bit confused as to what was meant when he said that the server was flagged for spam abuse. Still though, as for the bigger forums out there, they probably inform Yahoo, AOL, GMail, and Hotmail about their situation and get whitelisted. Actually, I have a useful link on mass mailing here, https://thomasbarker.com/how-do-mass-mailing, that sheds some pretty good insight on the matter. Basically Yahoo and AOL have bulk sender lists, while Hotmail and Gmail rely solely on algorithms. Also, there is a thing called "Paid for Whitelists" which offers almost guaranteed delivery to the big four email providers, however at a steep price.

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3 hours ago, Cat said:

@IkarosBD That's what I thought, I was just a bit confused as to what was meant when he said that the server was flagged for spam abuse. Still though, as for the bigger forums out there, they probably inform Yahoo, AOL, GMail, and Hotmail about their situation and get whitelisted. Actually, I have a useful link on mass mailing here, https://thomasbarker.com/how-do-mass-mailing, that sheds some pretty good insight on the matter. Basically Yahoo and AOL have bulk sender lists, while Hotmail and Gmail rely solely on algorithms. Also, there is a thing called "Paid for Whitelists" which offers almost guaranteed delivery to the big four email providers, however at a steep price.

I imagine Koby would probably be working something out to that tune. I'm currently in the process of looking at our mail server software configuration to see if I can throttle it down. We still haven't been able to clear things up with the host company so we're a bit on edge on what may occur tomorrow, but I'm pretty sure I can get things under control on the internals.

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UPDATE TO ALL USERS, PLEASE READ: As part of our efforts to restore mail functionality, we have forcefully unsubscribed all members from receiving admin mails. This does NOT affect your subscribed threads notifications or any other notifications settings - you will still receive emails for those including new PMs and any other options you may have enabled. Only admin-generated mails are disabled now, as it's not used very often if at ALL here.

 

The email system has not YET been enabled as we are waiting to hear back from the server host, though I have no reason to believe we'll have to delay this further than tomorrow afternoon.

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hi guys probably not the right thread but has the live action thread been deleted, I can still access stuff I bookmarked but I cant see the thread anywhere, if i click on it from a bookmarked page I receive this

Sorry, there is a problem

We could not locate the item you are trying to view.

Error code: 2F176/1

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