VSE-L Mailing List - Black Listing

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Update 6/22/05-these days there are several TYPES of lists and reasons
why our site might reject mail from your site, not just domain blocks. 
Check to see if you are on a DNSBL or dsbl:
  
  dsbl.org
  njabl.org 
  http://rbls.org/


1. What is a blacklist (black list) or DNSBL?
2. How did I get on a DNS blacklist?
3. Did a black list affect me?  Symptoms.
   How do I know if vse-l is blocking me?  
4. What do I do if I get on a blacklist?
5. How do I test if I can send to vse-l?  
6. Prememptive suggestion 
7. Sample error message

[Many thanks to Allan and Mike for their sample instructions below, 
liberally and heavily edited by myself.  All errors are mine.]

1. What is a domain blacklist or DNSBL?

   "dnsbl" - domain blacklist - actually, there are many blacklists (BL).
   Some mail servers use one BL, but most rely on more than one BL.

   BLs are used by *receiving* mail servers to block spammers that relay their
   junk mail through other unprotected mail servers. Relaying misdirects attention
   from the original scoundrel and puts suspicion on someone else's server -
   they relay system.  NOTE: IP addresses are blacklisted, not domain names

2. How did *I* get on a DNS blacklist?

   Your system, for example an Exchange Server which had relaying turn on, is being
   used by someone else for spamming.  You may have fixed it, but the time taken
   to clean up the relaying may have allowed you to get back on someone's 
   blacklist again. [This can happen to any mail server that permits relaying.]

3. Did a blacklist affect me?  Symptoms.
   How do I know if vse-l is blocking me?  

   A mail response containing 'Delivery Errors' with 'Failure to transfer...' 
   when you attempt to post or reply to VSE-l, may indicate you have been 
   flagged at one or more 'blacklist' (BL) sites.  More symptoms :
     * you receive mail from vse-l, but cannot reply or post
     * your mail/exchange server or ISP has been blacklisted in the past
     * see sample message below - for example "The recipient name is not recognized"

4. What do I do if I get on a blacklist?

   Your mail administrator must remove your site from one or more blacklists. 
   These lists are NOT within my control, nor Lehigh's.  We can perhaps provide
   minimal guidance after you follow the directions at the web site below.
 
   Visit the website listed in the email.  For example if your message mentions 
   relays.osirusoft.com - supply YOUR email server IP address or name there 
   and it will display a list of all blacklist sites and will show any site that has you 'blacklisted'. It will also show who does NOT have you listed.  
   (This website also has the ability to nominate a site to be BLed.)  
   If you jump to the botom, you can check the summary information to see if
   are BLed. "Number of sites listing this IP: 0" indicates you are in the clear.

   Once you know who has you blacklisted, you send them an email from the
   affected server and request a 'retest'.  If you click an appropriate
   link in the results page above, you will frequently find instructions
   on how to get off the list. You may have to CALL them.

   IF your problem has been solved, i.e. you are no longer a 'relay site', 
   they will update their list, and it will propagate to other subscribing sites 
   (the people whose mail servers are using the BL to block your e-mail). This
   process will require patience as you wait for all the sites to be updated, but 
   it will happen IF the original problem has been solved. 

   Other informative sites are 
     e-mail blacklisting FAQ

5. Testing ...

         THERE IS NO NEED, ABSOLUTELY NONE, TO SEND TESTS TO VSE-L!! 
                   PLEASE REFRAIN FROM DOING SO!! 
   One can test connectivity and functionality quite adequately
   by sending a message to listproc@lehigh.edu or myself.  Send
   'query vse-l' to listserv@lehigh.edu (do NOT send to vse-l).  
   If we at the 'other end' are up and operating and IF you have 
   not been blacklisted then you WILL get a mail response,

6. Prememptive suggestion - check your site xxxx.yyy or mail.xxx.yyy to see if it
   is blacklisted by using a website listed at the top of this page.

7. Sample error message, where 'rain' is Lehigh's mail server, and xxx and zzz
   are mail sender address names, of someone who has been blacklisted. 

------------------------- sample error message -------------------------

DELIVERY FAILURE: Error   transferring to rain.CC.LEHIGH.EDU]]]

Your message did not reach some or all of the intended recipients.
      Subject: ... 
The following recipient(s) could not be reached:
  rrrr@Lehigh.EDU on 12/18/01 9:26 AM
      The recipient name is not recognized
  The MTS-ID of the original message is: c=US;a=;p=xxx;l=zzz

(Help me help others, by sending your comments, corrections, additions to the instructions above.)


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