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Sending to list servers with Suspect Email blocking On - 12/02/06

From: Email Guy
Subject:       Sending to list servers with Suspect Email blocking On
Date: December 2, 2006 9:47 AM
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In the "Ask Email Guy" section of this blog user Paul Camp reported a problem about sending messages to list servers. The problem was that when using Suspect Email blocking (spamBlocker on High setting) if he sent messages to a list he belonged to, the copy that came back to him was caught in the Suspect Email folder, even though he had added both his address and the list sender address to his white list (contact list).

We investigated and found out there is in fact a bug preventing these messages from being white-listed and going straight to your Inbox, and they are always being caught in Suspect Email. The specific circumstances are


  1. You have spamBlocker set to High (Suspect Email blocking).
  2. You subscribe to a list service that doesn't come from within EarthLink.
  3. You send messages to the list yourself.
  4. You have correctly added both your own address and the list sender address to your contacts.

In this situation, you will receive all messages from the list in your Inbox except those you send yourself. Those will be caught in Suspect Email no matter what addresses you put in your white list (contact list).

Self-sending is a special case that requires special handling, to prevent any spammer from simply putting your own address on the From line and bypassing spamBlocker, So it has special rules. The problem with sending to list servers is related to these special checks for self-sending. We hope to get this fixed soon. The correct behavior would be that when both the list sender address and your address are in your contact list, the message will bypass spamBlocker and go to your Inbox.

Discussion

Posted by: Beatrice Nava   |   December 4, 2006 2:43 PM    |   (1)

As I wrote in a message to service possibilities for earthlink spamblocking holders, I have been utterly frustrated by the non-appearance of a validly sourced sender to my valid e-mail address. And then repeated requests for i.d. and password after both have been correctly entered. I appreciation blockage of spam BUT can't help but wonder if the supposed remedy is sometimes a road to oblivion (and often one of ultimate satisfaction, but intervening frustration). This complaint falls into the former category: evidently a response I was waiting for has been lost.

Posted by: David   |   December 7, 2006 2:26 PM    |   (2)

In addition to the spamBlocker bug where messages I send to a list being caught in the Suspect E-mail folder, there is another bug where all messages from Listserv-managed lists are caught in the Suspect E-mail folder. I have verified that this happens with another user, even though we have both added the sender domains to our Address Books. Could you please comment on this?

Thank you,

David

Posted by: Email Guy   |   December 7, 2006 8:37 PM    |   (3)

David - have you tried clicking the button "Update SpamBlocker Addresses" yet? Sometimes the white list gets out of sync with the Address Book and this updates it.

Also, for a listserv, you usually have to add the address in the Return-Path header. Use the View All Headers feature to find that, and add it to your Address Book (or just the domain).

If you have done that, this is very strange and I don't know the answer, but would like to get to the bottom of it. I'll send you my email address and we'll investigate it.

Posted by: David   |   December 7, 2006 10:45 PM    |   (4)

Yes, I have clicked "Update SpamBlocker Addresses" many times and have tried entering the From: header in many different ways.

Thank you,

David

Posted by: Email Guy   |   December 8, 2006 7:58 AM    |   (5)

David - I've contacted you directly and we are actively investigating this issue. I'll report back here (and to you) when it is resolved.

Posted by: Ed   |   December 10, 2006 2:27 AM    |   (6)

I have the same problem as David above. I've tried all the suggestions you made to him but without success. The list is rather low volume so I've been adding senders to my address book. This is not a very good solution because my address book is filling up. Any help would be appreciated.

Posted by: Ardie   |   February 28, 2007 12:35 PM    |   (7)

My problem is exactly like Paul's. When will that "correct behavior" take effect? Thankfully all other messages from listservs are getting through except mine. Very annoying and time-consuming.

Posted by: Email Guy   |   February 28, 2007 11:38 PM    |   (8)

Ardie - Those message are present in your Suspect Email folder. I know it is an inconvenience to have to check for them there, but you know when you have sent a message to the list, so you would just look in there shortly after that and your message will be there. I'm sorry don't have a date when this bug will be fixed, but we are working on it. We have to be careful we don't open up a way for spammers to just forge your own address as the sender (which they do already) and render your spamBlocker useless for all messages. That is why messages to yourself are treated differently.

Posted by: Don   |   March 31, 2007 11:58 AM    |   (9)

Spamblocker suspected email.......just got over a hundred last alert. Wouldn't it be nice to have a "check them all" feature and them one could undo the few that should not be submited to "this is Spam"?

Posted by: Carl Finch   |   April 6, 2007 6:05 PM    |   (10)

I've been stung for over TWO years by the problem reported to you last December by "David." (I could get no help at all from your tech support: phone, live chat, or email) When spamBlocker first appeared it worked fine for a year or two, then deteriorated to the point where now about 30% of the 100 or so messages I'm sent daily (from the listserv domain, LSV.CERAMICS.ORG) end up in the "Suspected" folder.

Notice that right next to the "Update spamBlocker Address" button on the Address Book page there is a "What's this?" link. Clicking that brings up (quote):

spamBlocker Catches a Message It Shouldn't

On very rare occasions, if you use spamBlocker, a message from an address that is in your Address Book may accidentally be put in your Suspect Email folder. If this ever happens, click the Update spamBlocker Addresses button at the top of your Address Book, to make spamBlocker recognize email from that address in the future. This problem is extremely rare, and we are working to correct the problem in a future version of Web Mail.

(end quote)

This bug admission has been there for at least TWO years! Clearly, no one is "working" on it.

I find it very frustrating that there is no way to contact Earthlink programming development to report bugs.

List Servers often do strange non-standard things with email headers and make it difficult to validate the message against your Allow List (contacts). The feature hasn't changed on our end. The note you refer to above applies mainly to standard email sent to you from an individual sender, which works correctly in virtually all cases.

Email Guy


Posted by: Carl Finch   |   April 9, 2007 6:54 PM    |   (11)

You wrote: "List Servers often do strange non-standard things with email headers and make it difficult to validate the message against your Allow List (contacts)."

How difficult can it be? After all, SpamBlocker DOES let over half of them through. And every one of the 100 or so messages sent to me daily by this Listserv contains the following two headers:

Sender: Clayart (CLAYART@LSV.CERAMICS.ORG)
To: CLAYART@LSV.CERAMICS.ORG

Since Earthlink provides no real way to communicate with its developers it doesn't seems unlikely that many people are having problems like this, and after a frustrating attempt or two to report it via your script-reading tech supporters, simply give up.

When spamBlocker USED to work correctly, I frequently praised its excellent performance and recommended it to List members (some 3000 people, world-wide). I no longer do.

Posted by: Carl Finch   |   April 25, 2007 12:34 AM    |   (12)

This bug, and the admission that it exists, has been in existence for over TWO YEARS. (And it is by no means "rare," as I stated in my message April 6th.)

So again:

Notice that right next to the "Update spamBlocker Address" button on the Address Book page there is a "What's this?" link. Clicking that brings up (quote):

spamBlocker Catches a Message It Shouldn't

On very rare occasions, if you use spamBlocker, a message from an address that is in your Address Book may accidentally be put in your Suspect Email folder. If this ever happens, click the Update spamBlocker Addresses button at the top of your Address Book, to make spamBlocker recognize email from that address in the future. This problem is extremely rare, and we are working to correct the problem in a future version of Web Mail.

(end quote)

WHEN is it going to be fixed?!

Posted by: Marty D'Arcy   |   December 13, 2007 3:49 PM    |   (13)


***I have contacted earthlink chat reps 5 times in the past several weeks (prior to finding this forum...out of desperation) to get resolution of mail being sent FROM me TO me, going to suspect mail. I use outlook 2003 on both my desktop and my traveling laptop. The chat reps don't seem to know about this bug, kept me in chat sessions of an hour or more each time having me change my outlook settings to no avail and 2 have actually asked me to contact "earthlink abuse" department when I asked how to contact tech support. Why could the chat reps not told me about this site to find existing problems? Would have saved us all a great deal of time.

Posted by: REBECCA RODGERS   |   April 20, 2008 11:40 AM    |   (14)

I regards to this issue: 'Sending to list servers with Suspect Email blocking On" - has it been fixed?

I am having this exact problem. It's very frustrating. This issue was posted back in 2006. It is now 2008.

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