email hassles

So, I arrive in a hotel in forn parts, and read my email.  It’s in several places, for different incoming addresses.  But most of it is being forwarded to my ISP’s mailserver, where I can access it by imap.  So no problem there.

On the other hand, outgoing mail has been going nowhere.  That is to say, replies sent to mailing lists: my (shiny new) email is working just fine relaying outgoing stuff through sun’s mailserver.  I just got around to looking at the logs, and it appears the hotel’s IP address is blacklisted by spamhaus – hence my inability to send.

Now that’s mildly interesting, because my mac mail’s configuration shows this stuff as relaying through my ISP’s outgoing mailserver (with password access).  Evidently this is not happening, and I have to blame MacOS for being bloody confusing.

If anything’s important enough to merit it, I can always ssh in to or and use pine from there.  But as for just attempting to help RandomBodOnnaMailinglist, that’s just not worth it so long as I’m here.

Posted on February 28, 2008, in mac, spam. Bookmark the permalink. 5 Comments.

  1. Niq, are you sure that your fine hotel ISP doesn’t hijack your SMTP and run everything through their own servers? Hotel ISPs frequently do this and that’s probably how they got on Spamhaus’ ****list in the first place. You’ll see a certificate mismatch warning when Mail tries to STARTTLS.

    I have an ssh tunnel with port forwarding I can open up under such circumstances, might be worth for you to set that up if you expect to spend much time on the road.

  2. SPF records and various other anti spam stuff really can make sending mail on the road a pain.

    Sander’s suggestion has always bailed me out of this mess before. I’ll elaborate in case you have not port forwarded with ssh before:

    ssh -l -L25::25

    The known working relay could be webping itself if you run smtp on it.

    Then configure your local mail client to send to localhost:25 and you should be good to go.

    Good luck and give megaspaz a good wack on the noggin for me for when you see him.


  3. bah! It killed my example. Let me try again with a less markup like syntax. 🙂

    ssh -l username -L25:smtp-relay:25

    Where smtp-relay is a know good relay you have used in the past from webping.

  4. folks – if it really mattered, I’d work around it – it’s not a real problem. But so long as it’s just not-too-vital mailinglist stuff, I’ll live with it. As for the message that prompted the blog entry, Joshua posted the same thing just a little later, demonstrating exactly how unnecessary my post was.

  5. this could be solved really really easy if only your ISP who was smart enough to use IMAP rather than the evil POP3 would accept mail on the SMTP submission port 587…

    what does this give you ?
    only Mail User Agents (MUA) should submit on port 587 so you have to authenticate to send and should be secured by SSL (good)

    it means you dont get people randomly sending mail from anywhere… you send through your server that you are a user on that server has a known IP and does not get on blacklist because it has a responsible administrator and known users…

    DKIM and SPF plus any other method will only work if you send through a server… people should just block port 25 out of hotels and prevent the zombie filled laptop’s creating a mess in the UK most ISP’s block port 25 anyway


    John Jones

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