Fog Creek Software
Discussion Board




Any SysAdmins Out There?

I'd like to read any and all ideas you may have as to my problem:

1. I have an e-mail account in the US and another in Israel.
2. I am ABLE to send e-mail from the Israeli e-mail address to the American address.
3. I am NOT ABLE to send from the US address to the Israel address.

I've been in contact with both ISPs:
A. The American ISP says that all is configured well on their side and that the Israeli ISP is probably blocking the US IP address.
B. The Israeli ISP says that they're not blocking anything.

Help!

Thank you most sincerely.

Yoav
Thursday, March 06, 2003

It might help if you provided the actual error message or condition.  Is the message eventually bounced?  Does your client give an error message while trying to send the message?

Anonymous
Thursday, March 06, 2003

We'll need more details. First of all where are you accessing each email address from. I have a Saudi email address and a Sri Lankan one. When I am in Saudi I can send and receive from the Saudi address and receive but not send from the Sri Lankan one, and vice-versa when in Sri Lanka. This is because if a mail server allows you to access it from another ISP it is in effect running an open relay and is likely to be used as a vehicle for spam, as well as being automatically blocked by most other ISP's.

This does apply to sending messages anywhere however, so if you can send from the American address to everywhere except the Israeli address this is not the problem.

Can other people send to the Israeli address and what error message do you get when you try and send.

If you want, click on my name at the bottom and send me an email with both your addresses and I'll test them out from my end.

Stephen Jones
Thursday, March 06, 2003

And there's always seeing what happens when you traceroute (tracert is the micros~1 equivelent, i.e. what you do under windows) and ping from one account to the mail server.

flamebait sr.
Thursday, March 06, 2003

When attempting to send a message from the American ISP to the Israeli ISP it appears as if it goes through OK. About 1/2 hours later I get the error message in return:

__________

From: postmaster@YourAmericanISP.com
Subject:  Undeliverable Mail

Unknown user: you@YourIsraeliISP.com

__________

Other than that I can basically send to anywhere from the USA address to the Israeli address. And I tried sending to other known addresses on the Israel side with no luck.

Yoav
Thursday, March 06, 2003

Are you suspecting that your american ISP has blocked Israel addresses? Can you get to Israeli web sites?

Chris
Thursday, March 06, 2003

yaov,

have you tried emailing yourself from your israeli account?
or tried emailing your israeli account from a hotmail account or something?

-nmr

nate
Friday, March 07, 2003

Here are some of my results:

I cannot send e-mail from the American ISP to addresses that are hosted at Israel's 2 biggest ISPs:

Netvision.net.il
Zahav.net.il

However, I can send to other Israel addresses that are .CO.IL. Maybe there's something wrong with .NET.IL?

Yoav
Friday, March 07, 2003

I just got an Idea. look up (over walla.co.il or any other israeli search engine) an israeli site that is hosted on lets say barak or 012. Then find the "contact us" Email, and send it a test Email. Or better yet, find barak or 012 (or any other) techsupport Email and send THEM an Email. could get you some more leads.

Obviously, the only way to get treated seriously is not to go to the sysadmin on your site provider. They always have something better to do and never really want to help.
Go to customer relations, find the big man, and ask to talk to him and olny him.
Raise your voice and tell him that you have this problem and you need it to be resolved immidiately else they will lose your business. Keep nagging him untill he unleashes his power and get you to talk with people that know their stuff on his side. Not women with nice voices that can only tell you that something is probably wrong with netvision, but that guy with the lispi, ciggarette smoking voice.

From a customer's perspective, you should'nt give a damn for the reason. This is just like not paying for a late pizza. Hmmm.....Pizza... well you get my view. Sometimes you don't need to know the reason, you just need to know that its not working when you paid money for it to work.

Max Crippler
Friday, March 07, 2003

unknown user means it connected to the email server listed as responsible for email at the destination address and it said "no sorry, haven't heard of that user". That would suggest the problem was somewhere towards the destination.

Rob Moir
Friday, March 07, 2003

I disagree. I mean, how many times did you get the wrong message?
And if it got all the way to the mail server, while other Emails ARE received, what made this specific Email to be denied?

Max Crippler
Friday, March 07, 2003

Yoav sent me his email addresses and I've just done a tracert on the Israeli one; it has timed out twice. You can get to Israel but no further.

It looks like a DNS problem for net.il or something similar.

Stephen Jones
Friday, March 07, 2003

So could it be just something temporary?

Max Crippler
Friday, March 07, 2003

Appears so, unless netvision.net.il is dead which I doublt. The tracert still  times out at the same place.

Stephen Jones
Friday, March 07, 2003

Traceroute timing out means nothing.  Many hosts don't respond to such things.

Anonymous
Friday, March 07, 2003

I'm able to send to a number of different Israeli ISPs, inluding 012.net.il. So it's not necessarily a problem with .net.il (which Netvision and Zahav use).

I wish I could just visit these companies and just start beating people over the head. It may not get anything acomplished but it would make me feel damn good. :)

Yoav
Friday, March 07, 2003

do an nslookup of type=mx for the destination you are trying to reach and see if you can talk to the smtp server directly. i tried one at random (the one with a preference of 100, is that most or least preferred?) and reached it but didn't try to send mail.
how are you sending mail 'from' your israeli isp? from a webmail account or using a 'rich' client (probably over smtp?)

mb
Friday, March 07, 2003

----"Traceroute timing out means nothing.  Many hosts don't respond to such things. "----

Nor to ping?

Every site I have ever tried a tracert on has responded if it was up, exept for netvision which is up but doesn't respond to either. Strange.

Stephen Jones
Friday, March 07, 2003

To do an nslookup do I need to be on a Win NT/2000 machine (or UNIX) -- because I'm getting a  'Bad command or file name
error." This weekend I only have access to Win 98.

- I'm sending mail from my Israeli account via POP3.
- I've tried sending mail from my American account (ReadyHosting.com) to my Israeli one via POP3 and web-based interface that they provide.

Yoav
Friday, March 07, 2003

MB:

OK, I found a webservice where I can run an nslookup type mx

http://www.kloth.net/services/nslookup.php

Netvision's incoming server is:
mail.netvision.net.il
Netvision's outgoing server is:
mailgw.netvision.net.il

ReadyHosting's DNS info is:
ns5.readyhosting.com
63.99.209.103
ns6.readyhosting.com
63.99.209.104

How do I interpret the results (this isn't a specialty of mine)?

Thanks.

Yoav
Friday, March 07, 2003

I believe I found the culprit. I have the same exact problem as the journalist that wrote the following article:

http://techupdate.zdnet.com/techupdate/stories/main/0,14179,2896281,00 .html

Yoav
Sunday, March 09, 2003

Revised link:

http://techupdate.zdnet.com/techupdate/stories/main/0,14179,2896281,00%20.html

Yoav
Sunday, March 09, 2003

The basic way SMTP works (and I'm not a sysadmin or mail expert) is that every domain has a 'mail exchanger' which it specifies. Actually, typically more than one with a ranked list, but that's a different story.

When you send mail to someone@example.com, it looks up the mail exchanger (which are stored in DNS as MX records), connects to it over SMTP (which you can also do yourself using telnet or by telling your mail client to talk to it directly) and saying 'here's a message for someone@example.com'.

This can break at all sorts of points--the server could be down. Or misbehaving. Or denying access for some reason.

If one end or the other has been blacklisted (IP blacklists are incredibally stupid), it might block the message. But your ISP should be able to tell that it's been blacklisted, and the Israeli ISP should be able to tell you that they're using a blacklist.

The point of the exercise in looking these up yourself is to see if you can narrow down where it's breaking.

mb
Monday, March 10, 2003

I just got this in the mail:

Dear Yoav,

This address is blocked on Spamcop due to large amount of spam coming from those servers. We can not remove the address from Spamcop's black list, only the owner of the address can do that. For more information please visit: http://spamcop.net/w3m?action=checkblock&ip=63.99.224.26

Thank you for contacting abuse@zahav.net.il,
Hadas Shany
Abuse team
Internet Zahav
http://www.zahav.net.il

Yoav
Monday, March 10, 2003

Yoav,

Thank you very much for entering the reference to the article at techupdate.zdnet.com describing the problem of outgoing mail being blocked because another domain on the same shared server/IP-address was blacklisted for sending spam.

My email has been intermittently blocked to some addresses (and very frequently over the past few weeks). After reading the article, I determined that the same thing described in the article was happening to my email account, and found the IP address blacklisted at one of the spam-listing sites. I am even using the same host provider as the journalist.

I am now in the process of finding a new hosting provider.

Philip Dickerson
Wednesday, March 12, 2003

If you are happy with your hosting provider (except for being listed in a blocking list), just configure your email client to use your ISP's SMTP server.  This is the way I always have mine - I retrieve my mail (via POP3) from my web host but send it out (via SMTP) through my ISP.

One of the issues for my webhost is that Internap (my webhost's bandwidth provider) is on the blacklist that Excite uses - and they block *every* IP in Internap's range (i.e. every company that Internap provides bandwidth for). My host has tried to get off this list, but Excite isn't budging.

Excite seems to be the only site that regularly blocks my webhost and it doesn't seem like a good idea to switch when the next host might end up on their list anyways.

RocketJeff
Wednesday, March 12, 2003

Dear friends!!!
In march 2002 in Russia the new on-line game has appeared, it’s grasped millions hearts at once. Here people love each other and hate, marry and get divorced and simply live. It completes with much what doesn’t suffice them in a real life. I’m glad lo present your attention the most popular on-line game in Russia and now in English language www.combats.com

anderson77
Wednesday, June 30, 2004

*  Recent Topics

*  Fog Creek Home