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THOUGHT: If your Wireless Connection isn't good for E-Mails anymore
Posted by Arne Hess - on Wednesday, 22.08.07 - 15:20:12 CET under 09 - Thoughts - Viewed 12770x
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How important is mobile E-Mail? I think it's as important for you as it is for me, at least that's one reason why I'm using smartphones, in this case a Windows Mobile 6 upgraded Samsung SGH-i600 (the European version of the BlackJack) and O2 Xda trion; and I'm using these devices for several reasons and one of it is the QWERTY keyboard which allows to write text messages as well as E-Mails. So indeed, E-Mail is important for me, especially because I'm receiving some dozens E-Mail per day as well as I'm writing some E-Mails per day, wirelessly from my mobile device. But have ever thought about the fact, that your wireless connection is marked as spam?

Me neither, until I sent an E-Mail yesterday to my buddy Jason Dunn from Thoughts Media and I was somehow irritated when he told me, my E-Mail was marked by SpamCop as spam. I was irritated for several reasons, mostly because I'm using a non-public E-Mail server (related to my web server) where I had to fear that my E-Mail and/or web server was abused for spam. If one of these two servers would be abused it means my server could have some serious security issues.
Thankfully Jason sent the report in his reply which made it easier for me to nail down the problem:

Content analysis details: (5.5 points, 5.0 required) pts rule name description

  • 1.2 MSGID_MULTIPLE_AT Message-ID contains multiple '@' characters
  • 2.2 RCVD_IN_BL_SPAMCOP_NET RBL: Received via a relay in bl.spamcop.net
    [Blocked - see <http://www.spamcop.net/bl.shtml?212.23.126.23>]
  • 1.0 FB_WORD1_END_DOLLAR BODY: Looks like a word ending with a $
  • 1.1 RCVD_IN_SORBS_WEB RBL: SORBS: sender is a abuseable web server
    [212.23.126.23 listed in dnsbl.sorbs.net]
  • X-Spam-Flag: YES

Okay, as you can see above, the bad guy was a server with the IP 212.23.126.23. However, in this moment it was clear for me that it can't be my server since my IP addresses are different and I did a IP lookup. The result (what I feared already), the IP address isn't my but is related to E-Plus - the 3rd largest GSM and UMTS provider here in Germany:

inetnum: 212.23.126.0 - 212.23.126.31
netname: GPRS-NAT-POOL1
descr: GPRS NAT Pool
address: E-Plus Mobilfunk GmbH & Co KG
address: E-Plus Patz 1
address: D-40476 Duesseldorf

Okay, now that's too bad! While I have no clue where the E-Plus server went into the game (I've sent the E-Mail through my mail server which needs authentication), for some reasons the E-Plus server (to which I was connected via UMTS) took over the E-Mail (or whatever) and signed my E-Mail with his IP address. The result, the E-Mail was marked as spam when Jason received it (thankfully he received it anyway, I wouldn't receive such E-Mails on some of my E-Mail accounts).

Now I've checked SpamCop again to find out what the problem was and here is the result, why SpamCop lists the E-Plus server as unsafe:

  • System has sent mail to SpamCop spam traps in the past week (spam traps are secret, no reports or evidence are provided by SpamCop)
  • SpamCop users have reported system as a source of spam less than 10 times in the past week
    Automatic delisting

Furthermore SpamCop writes, "If you are the administrator of gprs-pool-1-023.eplus-online.de and you are sure it will not be the subject of any more reports of spam, you may cause the system to be delisted without waiting for us to review the issue. (Otherwise) If there are no reports of ongoing objectionable email from this system it will be delisted automatically in approximately 12 hours."

Too bad, the 12 hours passed already and it looks like the situation hasn't became better which means the E-Plus GPRS IP range keeps blocked:

Looks like this specific IP address and a good amount of other IP addresses in E-Plus' IP rage are blocked which means for me, that my E-Plus SIM card becomes nearly useless since I'm also using my Windows Mobile devices as my wireless modems for my Tablet PC and on my Notebook I write even more E-Mails per day!

Sure I've called the E-Plus customer service already but forget it. The agent hasn't had a single clue what I was talking about and she wasn't able to connect me with someone in charge of this problem.

Again, I subscribed at E-Plus for one single reason: using their UMTS network for mobile data but what is a subscription worth if I have to fear now that non of my E-Mails will ever reach the recipient? What's a UMTS data connection good for if you cannot use it to do your work (and I need my wireless connections for work)? I mean I'm talking about very basic Internet services here like Web, E-Mail and FTP. Not more but also not less and these three services have to work; otherwise it becomes useless. Good that my contract is expiring soon and after this finding, I don't think I will renew it again.

Cheers ~ Arne


 

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