Saturday, March 29, 2008

Lax Email Administrator

My company's email administrator is completely incompetent, he should be fired!

Here's the story: I was working at a client site and I went to check my old-fashioned POP3 email accounts, all of which get routed to one mailbox on my company's email server. One of these email addresses is very old, dating back to 1996, and it gets massive amounts of spam:

Well, they all get spam, and I have turned off all the spam filters because I just can't bear false positives: I don't ever want to miss anything real. I use MailWasher to browse the mailbox on the server side, a few minutes a day checking "Delete" is a cost of doing business.
Anyway, I hadn't checked that mailbox for a day, but... there were only FIVE MESSAGES WAITING!

That's impossible! I get that many 419 fraud letters in one day, never mind the endless promises that "She’ll never laugh at you anymore!"

To make a long story short, I used Google Mail to send a test email to the POP3 account, and it got bounced:
521 Mail rejected - you are listed in Open Relay Database (Open Relays) [FREE] -
Arrrgh! Was the company email server blacklisted by ORDB? Those stinking b@&^@#d$!!!

But wait a minute, got "404 Not Found"... and a Google Search told me that the ORDB anti-spam service was shut down in 2006.

The truth emerges: Spam blocker rises from the dead to bite lax email administrators.

Yes, my company's email server was still configured to check ORDB a year after that service shut down:

So when ORDB rose from the dead, and started replying "bad" instead of "good" every time our email server checked an incoming email message, all the spam got blocked... along with everything else.

Yes, my company has one of those "lax email administrators"... I should be fired!

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