Forums/bug tracker/other e-mail woes

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Forums/bug tracker/other e-mail woes

Postby Roots » Tue Oct 28, 2008 3:08 pm

Nearly every service of ours that I know of can no longer send out mail. Somehow our webmail and our e-mail accounts can send out mail, but the forums, bug tracker, etc. are all busted. Its not likely that every service just happened to fail on its own. So I filed a support ticket with the guys at Network Redux, who host our site. I got a reply back pretty quickly that said the following:

Hi Tyler,

In response to your inquiry could you get back to us with the exact error output received when attempting to send messages?

I would also like to point out that port 26 (outgoing) is made available in the event port 25 if blocked at the ISP.

Thank you,


I don't know how we can get an error output. I've never seen anything. The mail simply just doesn't arrive at its destination. If anyone knows how to find the error output please let me know, otherwise I'll just tell the support guy that I don't know. Hopefully we'll get this mess fixed quickly. Oh, and I think this e-mail problem might also be why the team application script produces an error.
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Re: Forums/bug tracker/other e-mail woes

Postby Roots » Tue Oct 28, 2008 9:38 pm

I've been bouncing e-mails back and forth with the support guy. I discovered that our site successfully sends e-mail to all @allacrost.org addresses, but fails to send anything to another domain. Here's what the support guy told me was the problem and solution:

Hi Tyler,

My apologies regarding any confusion on my part.

As per your follow up and upon further review what is likely happening is that 'nobody' messages are being discarded from the server due to residing within a shared environment.

For further clarification 'nobody' emails are disabled periodically in order to mitigate spam activity and keep shared mail services off potential spam blacklists.

Moving forward we can merely advise that your PHP Scripts be configured to send messages through SMTP Authentication.

For further clarification on this process you may refer to the following article;

http://email.about.com/od/emailprogramm ... 073006.htm

Sending messages through SMTP Authentication will require a valid email address to be established on the server and will in turn ensure messages to be delivered successfully.

Please keep us informed in the event you have any further issues, questions or concerns as we are glad to be of assistance.



Their answer makes sense, because if you recall a few weeks ago I was getting massive amounts of return-to-sender e-mail (thousands) because something was sending spam messages out and making it look like it was being sent from my account. This triggered something on our server to (correctly IMO) disable e-mail and prevent @allacrost.org from being added to spam blacklists.
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Re: Forums/bug tracker/other e-mail woes

Postby gorzuate » Wed Oct 29, 2008 8:11 am

Perhaps you should kindly suggest to them to automatically notify you when things get triggered, saving you the time trying to figure out why things aren't working, and saving them the time to support your help request when it inevitably arrives.
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Re: Forums/bug tracker/other e-mail woes

Postby ElonNarai » Wed Oct 29, 2008 3:40 pm

Moving forward we can merely advise that your PHP Scripts be configured to send messages through SMTP Authentication.
Yeah, thanks! php_mail is perfectly safe and they should go after the people who abuse it.

Anyway. It seems that drupal has a module for that, so I guess we can fix at least something...
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Re: Forums/bug tracker/other e-mail woes

Postby Roots » Wed Oct 29, 2008 4:27 pm

gorzuate: I think this trigger was a one-time event. Our site will (and should be) permanently locked in this state to prevent spammers from abusing our site to their own purposes. We might have gotten an e-mail to the administrator account, but that account also serves as our net for capturing all e-mail sent to invalid allacrost.org e-mail addresses, and thus it was filled with spam. I just deleted over 41,000 new messages that account has received in the past two years and also configured our mail server to now discard all undeliverable mail instead of keeping a copy of it in the admin account.


Anyway, I looked around in the forums admin panel and found something to do the SMTP authentication, so that is easy to fix. I sent out a test mail to rujasu at a non allacrost.org account so if he receives it, then that part is fixed. Mantis (bug tracker) looks like it won't be too difficult to fix either.
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Re: Forums/bug tracker/other e-mail woes

Postby rujasu » Wed Oct 29, 2008 4:55 pm

I got the message. :approve:
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Re: Forums/bug tracker/other e-mail woes

Postby Roots » Wed Oct 29, 2008 5:26 pm

Excellent. Only one problem. The forums can send e-mail fine if I use my account to login (roots@allacrost.org) but not our site's main e-mail account (allacros@allacrost.org). I contacted the help people again to find out why this is.


Which brings me to a somewhat related topic I wanted to make. Currently we have "jobs@allacrost.org" serving as a sort of shared e-mail account with some of the higher-ups in the team. This is where hiring applications get sent and we use it to communicate with our potential hires. But I've found we need a more general-purpose e-mail address. Something that people can use to communicate with the team in general if they have questions, issues, etc. Its a lot better than having a contact person, or having a forwarding address (like webmaster@allacrost.org is) that may forward to someone that has already left the team.

So here's what I want to do. Create a new e-mail account called "team@allacrost.org" and remove the old jobs@allacrost.org account (it mostly gets spam right now and still an occasional third-country 3D modeler thinking they are joining a professional company). All correspondence via the forums, our website, bug tracker, wiki, and anything will show it being sent from team@allacrost.org, and people can reply to that address. I'm going to assume no one will object to this proposal. I'll implement this change when I have time.
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Re: Forums/bug tracker/other e-mail woes

Postby gorzuate » Thu Oct 30, 2008 6:37 am

You didn't specifically state this, but I assume that the intent of this new email account is actually to get everyone on the team reading it and responding to people.

A noble idea, but I have a feeling it will still be mainly you and I, plus maybe one or two other persons.
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Re: Forums/bug tracker/other e-mail woes

Postby Roots » Thu Oct 30, 2008 12:46 pm

No I didn't intend the team account for everyone. Like you said, mostly just you and I. I don't want to give too many people access because it can become a mess if more than 3-4 people have access and are responding to e-mails.
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Re: Forums/bug tracker/other e-mail woes

Postby Roots » Fri Oct 31, 2008 2:34 pm

Wiinis & Verman, check your e-mail. I instructed the bug tracker to reset your password. I haven't fixed the tracker, but I have reason to believe that the "e-mail firewall" is down because I'm getting a bunch of return to user e-mails (someone is using our site to spam again, damnit!). If you get the password reset e-mail this confirms everything.
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