Good morning, happy Monday, welcome to another edition of tales from the network crypt!

We are light on entertainment today but very big on caffeine-induced energy because the weekend network infrastructure upgrades were quite uneventful. We have swapped out a good amount of aging hardware and hope that the upgrades to the network can keep up with the growth cycle. Speaking of which, we are officially invading Canada this week with native Exchange 2007, Offsite Backups, Web Hosting, SharePoint and then some. Over the past year we have grown significantly in Canada and the demand for localized services has been great.

Looking Back:

Issues with RBLs – We constantly monitor our outbound mail flow and the RBL submissions and notifications. Because we own our IP address space we are notified whenever an abuse notification is filed against our IP space and we move to quickly deactivate the offending client. In instances when the IP address is blacklisted without our knowledge, or by a list that is not reputable, we follow the usual procedure of requesting delisting and re-routing the mail out through an IP that is not blacklisted.

What should you do? First, if you received a notification that the IP address was blocked you need to contact the recipients email server administrator. ExchangeDefender will make the best effort to contact the postmaster@ of the sites we have issues getting mail through but due to the volume and backlog our action will never be as fast as yours. Second, you should attempt to resend the message. Most of the RBL complaints we field at ExchangeDefender are not legitimate but just random rejections that overloaded servers make. Third, if this is a frequent / important client you should create a direct SMTP connector to their mail server and establish a trust with the organization. Finally, if you participate in any kind of broadcast mail, distribution group, personal mail lists or in any way send identical messages to multiple people we will not be able to assist you. Although you may not think it is SPAM that you are sending you have to understand that most antispam products use what is called Heuristics and bayesian analysis that tracks identical messages being relayed – computers are blind to your relationships with your customers, the double opt-in or even joke messages. Some of the largest service providers even keep a statistical model of messages and senders that have most of their mail moved to the Junk folder. So if you start to see and hear notifications that your mail is suddenly not getting to the recipients please consider outsourcing your mass/bulk mailing services to another email address or preferably any company. Important:  Using ExchangeDefender for any mass mailing activity is a violation of AUP and outbound services can be suspended if the client gets caught. At the end of the day it really just comes down to courtesy: You can’t pay people to protect you from the junk mail you don’t want to read while you are directly contributing to the problem.

Issues with slipping SureSPAM – We have seen a significant pickup in these. Spammers, having been taken down in every imaginable way, are now exploiting the last bit of user stupidity – mirror whitelist. Here is how it works: Spammer will forge a message with your email address and send it to you. Your message will naturally end up in a SPAM bucket but far too many people have gotten used to clicking Trust Sender or WhiteList and have now created what is called a mirror whitelist – from me to me. When future SPAM messages come from this forged sender (you) they will automatically pass on through because no SPAM checks will be executed against a message placed in the whitelist. We often even find email administrators adding their own domains to whitelists on the global settings so please if you see [SURESPAM] or [SPAM] make sure you clean up your whitelist.

Looking Forward: Big launch week, keep an eye on