David Westerfield

Theology. Culture. Technology.

Tag: smtp

Using Postfix SASL Authentication with Google 2-step Verification On

For future reference. This came in very handy after I turned on Google 2-step verification. Originally found here: http://passion4high-tech.blogspot.com/2013/03/postfix-sasl-authentication-failed-with.html

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If you configure your Google account for extra security to use the 2-step verification, then some applications which work outside the browser might not be compatible with 2-step verification and cannot ask for verification codes.

Postfix which was installed and configured to send out emails won’t work anymore, and you might notice error messages in the /var/log/mail.log file.

Something like:

SASL authentication failed; server smtp.gmail.com said: Application-specific password required.

The solution below should fix this issue:

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AT&T Re-Blocking Outgoing Email Port 25 for Uverse Customers?

(FYI: When I first had Uverse setup, they allowed me to open SMTP port 25. This problem started when it was inadvertently blocked again recently. Long story short, there were other reports of this happening. Below is the process of trying to get it unblocked again.)

I have come to the realization tonight that my mail server has not been sending out emails since February 17th. I hopped on AT&T’s Uverse chat support and was informed (after connecting to a second tech for a possible different answer because, you know, not all techs know the same things) that AT&T is now blocking outbound SMTP port 25 for Uverse customers. I initially had the port opened on my account to allow outbound email for my mail server. But it doesn’t work now as of February 17. And if you want to have this port opened now, you must contact their Connectech team to unblock it. The number, as of now, is 1-866-294-3464, or you can apparently connect with their chat service here: https://chatnow.att.com/. If you send me an email directly right now, I’ll try to respond another way in the mean time.

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UPDATE 1: Okay this is rich. So I contacted Connectech via the chat app (which is an exe download, similar to TeamViewer), chatted with the tech about the problem and was asked if I had purchased a support plan. I said, no, I just need my port 25 opened again. He said, I can’t help you unless you have a package purchased (paraphrasing all of the aforementioned).

So let me get this straight: I already pay AT&T Uverse a larger amount of money for their technology (okay fine, whatever) than the other guys. I pay for support too when I have a problem, support that comes with my service. AT&T decides to block outbound port 25. To get it open, I can’t just call the regular support anymore. I have to call their outsourced “professional techs” to flip a switch. And in the process, at least pay them $20 more a month. You’ve gotta be kidding me? This is a new low for AT&T customer service. Ever heard of corporate communism? With their level of bureaucracy, red tape and hoops to jump through to get something done, for the one’s they’re supposed to be servicing, I can’t think of a better term. Or how about inefficiency?

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UPDATE 2: So after having blogged and tweeted this issue, I have received two responses from AT&T techs saying they can help. They asked me to direct message them on Twitter now with my account information. And although they are still tweeting others with issues, they will not respond. I don’t get it. Still waiting though …

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UPDATE 3: A social media guy (Mike A) from AT&T contacted me directly about the issue and is getting the ball rolling. Appreciate it!

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UPDATE 4: After receiving a call, I have yet to hear anything about a possible resolution or whether it is even still being looked at. I’ve called twice, left messages, with no response. Benefit of the doubt: could be very busy.

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UPDATE 5: Received a call from Mike A a little while ago at the social media team at AT&T and they let me know they have resolved the problem, port 25 is not being blocked anymore. There were apparently other reports of this happening and they are handling it on a case by case basis. Appreciate the help, Mike A, at @ATTTeamNatasha!

 

I’m Not the Only One Apparently – Gmail’s Growing Spam Problem

A while back I wrote this post pertaining to what appeared to be spammers utilizing Gmail servers to send spam to my account. I didn’t know if it was just me or if others were experiencing it as well. It’s not just me apparently. This article on The Register in the UK shows that this is quite a growing problem for all mailing systems, that is now causing many mail services to start throttling Gmail (as well as Yahoo) emails that come in. This is bad news because Gmail was supposed to be one of the more secure mailing systems. In addition, it presents a big problem for services like Spamhaus because spam emails being sent through Gmail SMTP servers are not blacklisted. Therefore a spammer can send email from foreign IP address blocks that may be banned in the Spamhaus database, but because the email is actually being sent via Gmail servers, it is not blacklisted. So mail services have started enforcing throttling to limit the number of email that are sent from Gmail. This just shows that no matter how much security you put in place (even complex CAPTCHA techniques), there is always a way around systems, always. And at some point, someone will find the holes. It’s just a matter of time. The trick is staying ahead and always keeping people guessing.

hMailServer – Best Open-Source Mail Server for Windows

http://www.hmailserver.com/
This is by far one of the best mail servers I have come across for the price – free. Gotta love open-source. I set it up over the weekend as my new mail server, and I can’t believe how efficient this thing is over against my old mailserver, ArgoSoft (which you have to pay for by the way). So I’ve dumped ArgoSoft for this. So far, the anti-spam tools in it work a lot better as well. Amazing stuff.

Also … the web admin interface:

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