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AOL bouncing emails sent by vbulletin

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  • AOL bouncing emails sent by vbulletin

    ** server info removed due to paranoia **

    Has anyone else had problems with AOL bouncing all emails sent by vbulletin??? I searched this forum to no avail, I can't imagine I'm the only one having this problem. Anytime one of my users subsribes to a thread, and they get a notification email, it works, except that now any email address with gets bounced. Same thing with the feature that verifies someone's email address when they register... if it's someone with an email, they never get the verification email, it gets bounced back to me... help!
    Last edited by dfinkle; Wed 6 Aug '03, 8:49am.
    New Jerseyans- Beat Your Traffic Ticket!!

  • #2
    Nope. I run my own server and get all bounce messages. AOL never reject emails from my vB forums (there are 4 running on my server.)
    Steve Machol, former vBulletin Customer Support Manager (and NOT retired!)
    Change CKEditor Colors to Match Style (for 4.1.4 and above)

    Steve Machol Photography

    Mankind is the only creature smart enough to know its own history, and dumb enough to ignore it.


    • #3
      Hmmm... I wonder what the heck is going on then
      New Jerseyans- Beat Your Traffic Ticket!!


      • #4
        I just went through this same thing. I contacted my webhost and they moved my site to another server. This fixed the problem but I have no clue as to why it was doing this.

        I was getting a bounce for everyone with an AOL or Netscape address. If someone subscribed to a thread, tried to register, even if I sent out an e-mail to them.

        In short, it may not be vBulletin that is the problem. Try sending someone with an AOL address a letter from your website and see if it goes through.

        If not, contact your webhost about it.


        • #5
          there may have been a spammer on the server you were on and AOL blocked the IP the spamming site was on which would also have been yours.
          Scott MacVicar

          My Blog | Twitter


          • #6
            AOL has a list of dynamically assigned IP addresses that it blocks from it's mail servers. We had this sort of problem at the place I work, where one of our customers couldn't send emails to their customers on AOL. Our Customer is on a Static IP but it would seem BT assigned it from a Dynamic Range.
            You can contact AOL about it, but I doubt they'll remove it (we provided a work around for our customer).

            Of course you could disallow people with AOL addresses from signing up. (I'm not anti-AOL, seriously I'm not )
            FFAddicts: [site|forums]


            • #7
              Thanks very much for your help everyone. Turns out AOL is bouncing all of my email, not just the mail sent by vbulletin. I've opened a support ticket with my host, I'll let you know how it turns out.
              New Jerseyans- Beat Your Traffic Ticket!!


              • #8
                In case anyone has this problem in the future, I'll post the response I just got from my host...

                This is not a block due to a spammer--you would receive a different
                message. I also called AOL about this last week and informed them they
                are listing a static IP as being dynamic. They informed us that our
                upstream provider listed it that way and they'd need ot contact them to
                tell them of the mistake.

                I did so, and they informed us that they did not list it as being in a
                dial-up pool of IPs and they and I both checked AOL's own database
                listing and it wasn't listed. I asked AOL if it may be blocked from
                spam--even though we've had no spam complaints regarding this server
                (we get copies of complaints, as we are in AOL's abuse mail feed), and
                they said it wasn't blocked.

                AOL has somehow screwed up their database and attempts to have them
                correct this are futile. They claim it's listed, but it's not and our
                upstream did not list it. I will call them again today and see what I
                can find as per a solution to this. Thank you.
                Tim Greer
                Director of Operations
                Site5 Internet Solutions, Inc.
                New Jerseyans- Beat Your Traffic Ticket!!


                • #9
                  For those interested
                  New Jerseyans- Beat Your Traffic Ticket!!


                  • #10
                    I had a similar problem with my private forums, and my staff are talking to AOL about it.
                    Avatar Chat


                    • #11
                      So it turns out spam actually was being sent using my server, without my knowledge. Some spammer have figured out how to use the Formmail script from Matt's Script Archive to send spam using forms from other websites... and that's exactly what was happening in my case. I got this message from my host:


                      We have discovered vulnerable versions of a popular formmail script
                      installed in your account's directory. This script has a history of
                      security issues and, up till the newest version, is vulnerable to being
                      exploited by outside 3rd parties. When exploited, it can be used to open
                      a gateway through the script to send spam through a user's account.

                      Within your account for the domain mentioned above, we located the following
                      exploitable script(s):


                      The scripts are an older version that is exploitable by spammers. By using
                      the script's vulnerabilities, they are able to use it to relay spam emails
                      through this server.

                      Although you probably were not aware of this problem or vulnerability
                      it is important to deal with this to prevent your scripts from being hijacked
                      by spammers. Otherwise, spam complaints against this server could
                      black-list all email sent through this server. This would effectively
                      disable sending emails for hundreds of clients simultaneously--including
                      your own ability to send email.

                      Due to the nature and use of this vulnerability by spammers, we were forced
                      to disable the script immediately with no warning. We apologize for not
                      being able to give you more warning, but the urgency of the problem demanded
                      immediate action on our part.

                      We have set the permissions to 0 (non-executable, non-readable, and non-
                      writable) in order to disable the script. With permissions set to zero,
                      the script will no longer work and any attempt to use it will fail with an

                      RECOMMENDED ACTION:

                      You have two options available to you if you wish to have FormMail

                      First, you may use our FormMail clone script under the cgi-sys directory.

                      This allows you to utilize the same functionality as the current script(s)
                      you are using. The script is designed to be a work-alike for all MSA
                      FormMail variants. However, it is a basic configuration whose focus is on
                      security, so it may not provide any of the customized settings you may
                      currently be using.

                      Second, you may use the FormMail clones from NMS. You can download those
                      scripts from the NMS website at:

                      While these may not be in the language of your choice, they are currently
                      the most secure FormMail versions available. Please stay current with the
                      versions provided there if you choose that option.

                      When you are ready to update the script with the newest version, please
                      feel free to contact us with any questions or problems. You can contact
                      us at the email address [email protected] for assistance.

                      As always, if we can assist you with anything, or if you have any further
                      questions, please don't hesitate to contact us. Thank you very much.

                      Site 5 Internet Solutions, Inc.
                      [email protected]
                      That's why AOL ended up blacklisting my site's server, which believe me, is a huuuuge pain the the arse.
                      New Jerseyans- Beat Your Traffic Ticket!!