https://www.proz.com/forum/prozcom_hosting/332057-proz_email_server_is_blacklisted_due_to_spam_horrendous_consequences_for_hosted_email.html

ProZ email server is blacklisted due to spam - horrendous consequences for hosted email
Thread poster: Katalin Horváth McClure

Katalin Horváth McClure  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 23:17
Member (2002)
English to Hungarian
+ ...
Jan 23

I was suspicious for a while, but now I got tangible proof so I am bringing it up to caution everyone using ProZ hosting and also to request ProZ to please fix this.
I have my own domain name hosted at ProZ and have had my work email hosted on ProZ as well, pretty much forever (18 years or so). Last year I had trouble a few times communicating with some of my clients, as my emails ended up in their junk folder and they only found them later, or they did not receive my emails at all. A few
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I was suspicious for a while, but now I got tangible proof so I am bringing it up to caution everyone using ProZ hosting and also to request ProZ to please fix this.
I have my own domain name hosted at ProZ and have had my work email hosted on ProZ as well, pretty much forever (18 years or so). Last year I had trouble a few times communicating with some of my clients, as my emails ended up in their junk folder and they only found them later, or they did not receive my emails at all. A few times I received an automatic notification that the recipient's ISP blocked my email due to spam.

Another ongoing thing is that I often receive replies from my clients where [SPAM] has been added to the original subject line of my email that they reply to. This is an indication that their mail server flagged my email as suspicious, and the reason for that is typically the IP address of the sending mail server - i.e, that IP address has been identified as a source of spam.

This past weekend I was working on a project with a tight and firm deadline, so when I sent the delivery email I also BCC-d my other private email (at Verizon), to see if the sending went OK. Since it was in the middle of the might, I received an automatic "out of office" reply from my client, which was good, because it served as a proof that my email reached his email box. However, the BCC-d copy has not arrived to my Verizon account.
Instead, I received an automated reply to my sending (ProZ-hosted) account that I quote here:
The address to which the message has not yet been delivered is:

xxxxxx@verizon.net
Delay reason: SMTP error from remote mail server after MAIL FROM: SIZE=629786:
host mx-aol.mail.gm0.yahoodns.net [67.195.228.87]:
421 4.7.0 [TSS04] Messages from 66.193.29.152 temporarily deferred due to user complaints - 4.16.55.1; see https://help.yahoo.com/kb/postmaster/SLN3434.html

No action is required on your part. Delivery attempts will continue for
some time, and this warning may be repeated at intervals if the message
remains undelivered. Eventually the mail delivery software will give up,
and when that happens, the message will be returned to you.


The IP address 66.193.29.152 is associated with tw telecom holdings as the ISP, and ProZ.com as the organization.

Today, 2 days later, the email finally arrived to my Verizon account.

I really want ProZ to look into this and make sure that the mail server/IP address that is used for the hosted emails is whitelisted on as many registries as possible, and it is not used for bulk mailing that can be seen and categorized as spam by other ISPs.
Otherwise, emails that we send out from our hosted emails may get filtered, blocked and lost, without us even knowing it.
Such problems with communication have direct negative consequences to our business - a lost email can cause a loss of a project or a client.
Katalin
Collapse


 

Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 05:17
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
@Katalin, some guessing Jan 23

Katalin Horváth McClure wrote:
Messages from 66.193.29.152 temporarily deferred due to user complaints...


It can be terribly frustrating when your IP address gets added to universal blacklists that ISPs use to identify spammers. These lists do help combat spam, but they also filter out legitimate e-mails. When an ISP (i.e. your recipient's ISP) decides to use such a list, there is nothing you can do except wait for the blacklist to update itself (by removing your IP address) *and* wait for the ISP to update its local copy of that blacklist.

One possible reason for the problem has to do with the fact that ProZ.com sends out a lot of mails itself, and when users who forgot that they had registered at ProZ.com receive such mails (e.g. special offers, messages from clients via the profile page), and they want to unsubscribe, what do you think modern e-mail users do? Do they click the "unsubscribe" link? No, they don't -- they simply mark the message as spam, hoping that it will go away. And it does go away, because their ISP then blocks the sender's IP address temporarily, and/or adds that IP address to a universal blacklist (which other ISPs use). This is a known problem with many services that send out lots of legitimate e-mails to people who did request it but forgot that they had. It aint easy to get whitelisted -- only the very big services never get added to these lists.

It may be time to spend another $60 per year on e-mail, then, using e.g. Google's GSuite. You'd be using Gmail (30 GB space, or 1 TB space if you pay twice as much), but with your own domain name.

[Edited at 2019-01-23 07:34 GMT]


 

Dan Lucas  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 04:17
Member (2014)
Japanese to English
Time to move to a specialist? Jan 23

Katalin Horváth McClure wrote:
Such problems with communication have direct negative consequences to our business - a lost email can cause a loss of a project or a client.

This is the second conversation about email I am writing this morning. I can only sympathise with you. Perhaps it is worth looking at moving your domain to FastMail, an Aussie outfit that has been very usable and reliable for me over the past four years. They are email specialists: that's all they do. I have set up my domain so that it points to them and it costs about $60 a year.

Regards,
Dan


 

Fiona Grace Peterson  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 05:17
Member
Italian to English
Hardly the point though, is it? Jan 23

Dan Lucas wrote:

Perhaps it is worth looking at moving your domain


Of course there are plenty of other solutions. I use Gmail and am very happy with it. But the cost of Proz membership recently went up, and if hosting is offered as part of the membership package, it should "do what it says on the tin" and offer a reliable service. Of course there may be a legitimate reason, as Samuel points out.


Dan Lucas
Luciana Trevisi
 

Katalin Horváth McClure  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 23:17
Member (2002)
English to Hungarian
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Jan 23

Duplicate, please ignore.

[Edited at 2019-01-23 12:46 GMT]


 

Katalin Horváth McClure  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 23:17
Member (2002)
English to Hungarian
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Yes, Samuel, I know, and I mentioned it Jan 23

Samuel Murray wrote:

One possible reason for the problem has to do with the fact that ProZ.com sends out a lot of mails itself


I wrote:

I really want ProZ to look into this and make sure that the mail server/IP address that is used for the hosted emails is whitelisted on as many registries as possible, and it is not used for bulk mailing that can be seen and categorized as spam by other ISPs.


I am familiar with the feedback mechanism and this is precisely why I asked if ProZ could "compartmentalize" its hosted emails and its own bulk mailing.

[Edited at 2019-01-23 12:47 GMT]


 

Katalin Horváth McClure  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 23:17
Member (2002)
English to Hungarian
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
The point of the post Jan 23

Of course I could move my domain (I have two other domains/websites hosted at two different providers, one at GoDaddy and one at Squarespace), but it is a pain in the neck, and why should I pay elsewhere for a separate service when this is part of the package I have here?
As I wrote:
I am bringing it up to caution everyone using ProZ hosting and also to request ProZ to please fix this.


 

Heinrich Pesch  Identity Verified
Finland
Local time: 06:17
Member (2003)
Finnish to German
+ ...
No spam here Jan 23

The notifications send by Proz.com arrive here without any sign of spam. False spam alarms are quite usual nowadays, for reasons I do no know.

Teresa Borges
 

Dan Lucas  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 04:17
Member (2014)
Japanese to English
Agree in principle but... Jan 23

Katalin Horváth McClure wrote:
Of course I could move my domain (I have two other domains/websites hosted at two different providers, one at GoDaddy and one at Squarespace), but it is a pain in the neck, and why should I pay elsewhere for a separate service when this is part of the package I have here?

Katalin (and Fiona), I totally agree, this should not be happening. My suggestion was based on my perception that, at least in the short term, this may not be something ProZ can fix easily.

For example, you say "I really want ProZ to look into this and make sure that the mail server/IP address that is used for the hosted emails is whitelisted on as many registries as possible, and it is not used for bulk mailing that can be seen and categorized as spam by other ISPs".

That seems fair, but given that this is (presumably!) a production server in active use, I can't imagine they would make any sudden changes. So, how many days or weeks would you be prepared to wait while they compartmentalize? (And that's if they even agree that this is the cause of the problem.) Personally, the answer would be "none". I would move my domain immediately and extend my ProZ package at a lower level when it next came up for renewal.

The cost and effort involved in shifting to a more reliable provider would be so small relative to the monetary damage caused by the loss of even one smallish project (resulting from email to/from a client being delayed), to say nothing of the damage to my reputation as a responsive and reliable service provider, that I wouldn't think twice.

Regards,
Dan


 

Paul Hessels
Local time: 23:17
SITE STAFF
Some hosted email was delayed this past weekend Jan 23

Hi, Katalin. I'm sorry for the trouble you had. I can confirm there was an issue with email sent through the hosting servers being delayed this past weekend. One of the hosting accounts was sending spam. This has been addressed, and email should be deliverable again. If you have any further problems with delivery of hosted email, please submit a support request.

Best regards,
--
Paul Hessels
ProZ.com Staff


 

Dan Lucas  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 04:17
Member (2014)
Japanese to English
So if another hosting account sends spam...? Jan 23

Paul Hessels wrote:
One of the hosting accounts was sending spam.

Thank you for that update Paul. Nevertheless, it does rather raise the question: if another hosting account sends spam, will this happen again?

Regards,
Dan


 

Katalin Horváth McClure  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 23:17
Member (2002)
English to Hungarian
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
How was this addressed? Jan 23

Paul Hessels wrote:

Hi, Katalin. I'm sorry for the trouble you had. I can confirm there was an issue with email sent through the hosting servers being delayed this past weekend. One of the hosting accounts was sending spam. This has been addressed, and email should be deliverable again.


Paul, thanks for the answer. However, it begs the question: how was the problem addressed, exactly?
Did you just shut down the spammer account, or did you put in measures so that outgoing spam is prevented from now on?
There are technical tools to do just that. For example, sending a lot of messages in a short period of time, or sending messages to a large group of people all at once would raise a flag and suspend the transaction. If it is repeated, the account gets suspended for a while (minutes, hours, etc.), so that the shared IP address would not be flagged by spam filters.


 

Paul Hessels
Local time: 23:17
SITE STAFF
Details on how it was addressed. Jan 23

Dear Katalin,

The account was suspended. We have rules in place to detect outgoing spam but this account was sending spam at a rate lower than our threshold.

We are doing our best to be proactive in stopping problems and in reacting to problems as quickly as possible.

Best regards,
--
Paul Hessels
ProZ.com staff


 

Katalin Horváth McClure  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 23:17
Member (2002)
English to Hungarian
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Please adjust, then Jan 23

Paul Hessels wrote:

this account was sending spam at a rate lower than our threshold.

I certainly hope that you adjusted the threshold, because it clearly doesn't help when other ISPs have lower thresholds to penalize sending IP addresses (or entire IP ranges).

Katalin


 


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ProZ email server is blacklisted due to spam - horrendous consequences for hosted email

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