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Is there a way to disable AOL for forwarders

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by onaweb, Jul 27, 2005.

  1. onaweb

    onaweb Well-Known Member

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    Hello,
    I am now experiencing the AOL blacklist problem. It took a couple of years but I did make it. The problem of forwarders being set up to go to an AOL account, the AOL member receives a spam message to his myname@mydomain.com which is then forwarded to his myname@aol.com, he clicks the Report as Spam button and bingo! My server is reported as sending spam, even though it did not come from one of my servers.

    I have found a topic on another forum that talks about this in more detail along with a possible solution but would require the AOL member to change their settings - this might be difficult to accomplish and enforce. Topic address: http://www.totalchoicehosting.com/forums/lofiversion/index.php/t6133.html

    I am contemplating not allowing my clients to set up forwarders to any aol.com account. I am wondering is there a way to have a script search for forwarders to aol.com accounts and delete them. I think this would be a good script to run every night.

    Any ideas?

    Thanks,
    Andy
     
  2. chirpy

    chirpy Well-Known Member

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    You could certainly write one. You just need it to search through the domain files in /etc/valiases/* for AOL addresses.
     
  3. puzz1ed1

    puzz1ed1 Active Member

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    we were blacklited by AOL a while ago for the same reason, and it took sevreal weeks to persuade AOL to whitelist our server. Although we were running SpamAssassin at the time, it didn't scan emails that were forwarded to other accounts, hence the problem.

    Incorporating SA into MailScanner (thanks Chirpy!) solves this problem also though.
     
  4. Tom Pyles

    Tom Pyles Well-Known Member

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    We recently had the same thing happen and took a bit to figure out. The first thing to do is to contact AOL and have them set up a "Feedback Loop" for you.
    http://postmaster.aol.com/fbl/index.html

    This way, all spam reports will come to you. This is how we tracked down which user was reporting the forwarded spam. I then contacted that client and explained what was taking place. She apologized profusely and said she didn't realize that it was causing the problem.

    You also need to submit a request to AOL to whitelist your IP's and explain what took place. It took a few days to get things back on track, but was rectified. The whitelist URL is
    http://postmaster.aol.com/whitelist/index.html
     
  5. nat

    nat Well-Known Member

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    So far in the past 3 days 2 of my servers that I know of have been blocked due to clients having forwards setup to forward e-mails to their aol addresses. Incoming spam is forwarded and aol is too stupid to recognize this. AOL is just causing problems and wasting my time. They went crazy like this a few years ago and then seemed to relaxed their overboard spam filtering attempts.
     
  6. lloyd_tennison

    lloyd_tennison Well-Known Member

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    Aol is not the only one. Yahoo and Hotmail do the same. At least AOL has that feedback loop. The other problem that you can have - especially with Yahoo is that they block emails differently than my (your) spam rules. If you keep trying to send then as forwards -their server will list you (temporarily) and block you with a 451 error.

    AOL have always ben very responsive to me regarding the mailing lists thazt I manage and I send out hundreds of thousands a week and remain AOL whitelisted.

    I scan the valiases file every day for those domains and then tell the clients that they need to have a pop account as their email may not be delivered if they do not.
     
  7. brianoz

    brianoz Well-Known Member

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    I don't know whether other posters were aware of this, I certainly wasn't until recently.

    It's possible to whitelist your domain with AOL by using SPF records. This allows you to add yourself to their whitelist automatically. I found this solved the blocking problem I had.

    See here for more info: http://postmaster.info.aol.com/
     
  8. lloyd_tennison

    lloyd_tennison Well-Known Member

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    Read the docs a little more closely. They say the will use SPF records in the future. They definitley are NOT using them as a means to whitelist right now - just as k them. They still have an aplliaction process to follow -but that will not prevent problems if you forward garbage to them. That will only cause you to be removed from the whitelist.

    SPF is not a solution to any web host. You have to modify the SPF record every time you add a new domain or tell it that anyone saying they are from that server is o.k. - and neither is realistic. That is part of the reason why it has not been implemented by anyone totally yet.

    Even AOL does not seem to really implementing it -as they have said to use someone else's wizard to create a SPF record and that there own is coming soon -and has said that for well over a year. If it was importatnt to them you had better believe they would have had one of their many programmers write a small script to create the records.
     
    #8 lloyd_tennison, Aug 10, 2005
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2005
  9. brianoz

    brianoz Well-Known Member

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    Read the docs a little more closely yourself, Sherlock!!! :p

    Perhaps I could have been a little clearer. It is a form of whitelisting, but AOL call this particular form of whitelist the "Dynamic Senders List". You apply for it and must have an SPF record then they effectively whitelist you. And I quote:

    "The Sending Domain must have an SPF record to be eligible."

    (from the page after http://postmaster.info.aol.com/tools/dynamic_guidelines.html)

    The rest of what you say about SPF - I'm with you all the way. AOL don't use SPF yet, although I thought I read somewhere in that morass under the postmaster.info area that it counts towards making a piece of mail less likely to be blocked.

    Please don't think I approve of blanket SPF for a microsecond. I think it's likely to cause more trouble than it's worth, and the extensive technical problems with it are one reason why it hasn't succeeded after so long. Great idea, but in the wrong direction. And as far as implementing it in a hosting environment .... ***shudder*** :D It's just if you're desperate to get your emails through AOL's ridiculous filtering system, they do provide one way forward. Unfortunately one of my customers is in close partnership with a firm that is too stupid to stop using AOL email for business purposes.
     
  10. lloyd_tennison

    lloyd_tennison Well-Known Member

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    Even if you were able to get AOL to accept your mail as a dynamic IP - most other ISP's reject email that is from a Dynamic IP - so I do not know if that is a benefit for the rest of your email.

    Also, they will only accept business IP's - not residential.
     
  11. brianoz

    brianoz Well-Known Member

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    "Dynamic Senders List" is just AOL-speak for "AOL Whitelist option 2". It's not actually dynamic by any sense of the word. You still need a static IP (the IP I used it on was static, in a DC). Interesting though that they filter non-business IPs.

    It would be nice if they started using some of the techniques from www.acme.com for reducing spam instead of their current slash and burn approach. (Jef Poskanzer gets millions of junk and spam emails per day and filters them down so only a handful get through per day).
     
  12. lloyd_tennison

    lloyd_tennison Well-Known Member

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    Wrong. it is exactly what it says - for Dynamic IP's. I just called and double-checked with them as that was my understanding when I got whitelisted.

    The only mode for dedicated servers is option one. The second option is only for dynamic IP's that are registered to business.

    Read to me from AOL's manual/info by service tech:

    (Read third-world for low industrialized.)


    I really do not understand what all the problem is about being whitelisted. I have now done or helped to do over ten servers - all with different IP's and the longest it has taken is 16 days. Do the paperwork, and have a responsible server and few complaints and it is simple to get.

    The first step - as previously mentioned here, is to get on the feedback loop. Then you have all the information you need on SPAM compliants made about your server.

    It really is easy to do. Now, Yahoo on the other hand - is a whole different story, but they too have a whitelisting procedure. They can take up to 9 weeks to do it.

    I use a lot of mailman lists and I can actually see when AOL is testing my server as I get all these addresses joining at once - all in two or three minutes. They I see the same addresses all get off in a couple of days -so they do test to see that you are running responsible lists.

    Anyone who needs some real help with AOL and has filled out all the paperwork - can PM me an I can see if I can help them. I may not be a expert on them - but ten servers and sets of IP's makes me at least competent.
     
    #12 lloyd_tennison, Aug 11, 2005
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2005
  13. onaweb

    onaweb Well-Known Member

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    OK, so over a month goes by and I'm finally off the AOL Blocklist. It only took 11 phone calls over a 5 week period to get it straightened out. No wonder AOL sucks! The first guy I talked to entered in the wrong IP and every phone call after that they kept taking off that same wrong IP even though every time I called they asured me they entered in the wrong IP and then when I would call back to see how the status of the ticket was, I asked them to read back the IP and guess what, it was that same wrong IP.

    Any way, now I'm off the blocklist, trying to get on the whitelist. I have filled out the form 3 times now and all I get back is that I am denied because I did not fill out the form correctly. When I ask them what I didn't fill out correctly, guess what, no one knows. They just tell me to fill it out again and it should be approved. But no, they deny it because its not filled out correctly. I have filled in each and every field completely. Any way, that's not why I'm here.

    I did fill out the feedback loop, only now all I get now are e-mails about viagra (like I didn't get enough of those already). I know these are forwarders being sent to my clients, but I can't track these down. I use Outlook 2002 to check my e-mail and there is no way to view the complete header information. Normally I click on options and under the Internet Header section is the header. Unfortunately, AOL attaches it to the e-mail and I can't figure out how to view the header of the attachment. When I click on options, there is no Internet Header section.

    Does anyone know how to retrieve the header information in Outlook? I've searched the Internet but everyone just tells you how to retrieve the header info for the e-mail message not the attached e-mail. I have also set up a policy that doesn't allow forwarders to be set up to go to AOL, cs, or netscape accounts, so this problem hopefully will not arise again.

    Thanks,
    Andy
     
  14. chirpy

    chirpy Well-Known Member

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    Unfortunately, that's one of the worst things about Outlook - it doesn't store the emails in their original format (mumblings about a shit product). One way to can work around the issue is to install an SMTP proxy on your PC which stores the full emails including all attachement headers in their original state. The one I use ('cos even though it's shit I still do use Outlook) is Spamhilator:
    http://www.spamihilator.com/

    It's simple to configure and gives you handy access to full emails as nature intended.
     
  15. lloyd_tennison

    lloyd_tennison Well-Known Member

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    Try this:

    HTML:
    http://email.about.com/od/outlooktips/qt/et010905.htm
    This has worked for other people I have installed on (older versions - but posting says that it works on 2003) - but I do not use Outlook as a client on my machine. It screws up way too much stuff for me to deal with.
     
    #15 lloyd_tennison, Aug 12, 2005
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2005
  16. drumhtd

    drumhtd Well-Known Member

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    Hi guys, I'm a bit confused. I am on the blacklist I assume, every email my server sends to aol members gets bounced back. It is a fairly new server, but none of my clients are sending out spam! I was looking at the white list form to fill out, and it said to maintain whitelist status, you must send at least 100 emails per month from the ip address. My server does not send 100 a month, maybe 3 or 4? So in the end, what can I do so aol does not block my emails, but I assume I cannot join the whitelist considering I dont send out over 100 emails a month. Thanks!
     
  17. electric

    electric Well-Known Member

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    Sorry to cross-post, but this is a feature that would benefit everyone with a cpanel server.. and obviously there are a lot of folks affected by aol blacklisting servers from forwarded emails...

    Add your vote/comment/support to this feature request if you'd like to see this implemented:

    http://bugzilla.cpanel.net/show_bug.cgi?id=1525
     
  18. procam

    procam Well-Known Member

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    Bump~
    PLease vote/comment on this bug we need support on this to get a fix this is a serious problem and this bugs been open 2 years now I just spent the last 16 days battling comcast cause 1 person on a unit had a forwarder sending all his email to his comcast email account and got everyone on the unit blacklisted from sending email to comcast -
    We need to be able to more easily disable these forwarders.:rolleyes:
     
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