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Issues with email have resulted in accidental account restrictions - UPDATED

Discussion in 'Site News' started by The_Roadie, Aug 24, 2013.

  1. The_Roadie

    The_Roadie Well-Known Member

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    Somehow, the IP address that GMTNation uses to send notification emails got into one (of about 100) blacklists out there. When your ISP uses this blacklist, emails bounce back to us as undeliverable, and that ends up with the member being thrown back into the group of new members who haven't responded to their initial confirmation email.

    I've been getting PMs to help, and I still need an alert if you think you're in this group. But we're working on it.

    Alternatives are to go into your profile and enter an email address at a different ISP, like gmail, that isn't using this blacklist. When you get a message at that new address to confirm it, just follow those instructions and you should be good to go. You can put your old favorite address back when we get this resolved.

    Sorry everybody for the problems - I suspect a spammer set up shop nearby to us (but not on our IP) and we're mere collateral blacklist damage. Happens sometimes, and I've been tracking and fighting spammers for 18 years now.
     
  2. Short Bus

    Short Bus Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the help Bill :thumbsup:
     
  3. The_Roadie

    The_Roadie Well-Known Member

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    Between our host and jman423, they identified and nuked a security hole that a spammer broke into somebody else on the server we share. As I understand it. THAT exploit got us a bad reputation and into a few blacklists. The exploit is gone, and Jimmy is getting us delisted from the lists now, so all should be back in order soon.

    Apologies for the concerm we gave anybody who thought they got banned without being warned first. BELIEVE ME - if anybody's such a douche that they get banned from here, this infinitely tolerant and friendly community, they won't even be able to log in and send me a PM.

    Spammers suck, as we all know. I've been tracking and spanking them for almost 18 years now.

    http://bruce.pennypacker.org/2005/02/28/the-rules-of-spam/

    The Rules Of Spam

    Rule #0: Spam is theft.

    Angel's Commentary: Spammers believe it's okay to steal a little bit from each person on the Internet at once.

    Rule #1: Spammers lie.

    Russel's Admonition: Always assume that there is a measurable chance that the entity you are dealing with is a spammer.
    Lexical Contradiction: Spammers will redefine any term in order to disguise their abuse of Internet resources.
    Sharp's Corollary: Spammers attempt to re-define "spamming" as that which they do not do.
    Finnell's Corollary: Spammers define "remove" as "validate."

    Rule #2: If a spammer seems to be telling the truth, see Rule #1.

    Crissman's Corollary: A spammer, when caught, blames his victims.
    Moore's Corollary: Spammers' lies are seldom questioned by mainstream media.

    Rule #3: Spammers are stupid.

    Krueger's Corollary: Spammer lies are really stupid.
    Pickett's Commentary: Spammer lies are boring.
    Russell's Corollary: Never underestimate the stupidity of spammers.
    Spinosa's Corollary: Spammers assume everybody is more stupid than themselves.
    Spammer's Standard of Discourse: Threats and intimidation trump facts and logic.

    Rule #4: The natural course of a spamming business is to go bankrupt.
     
  4. Jman423

    Jman423 Site Owner Administrator

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    As Bill mentioned, we are sorry for the lack of a warning about why accounts were altered. In this case, there is "supposed to be" a notice that is displayed at the top of the site to attract attention of those that were affected.

    Here is what happens:

    We get multiple, repeat mail delivery failures about a single email address and we drop the user back into a group that requires them to enter and confirm a valid email address. Once that is done, the system automatically restores account permissions.

    While you are in that usergroup, a notice is supposed to be displayed to explain the reason of the account restriction and what to do. That got inadvertently disabled, which is why the very few of you that were affected over the past day or two got no notice. No one was ever banned, and unfortunately, due to the small amount of repeat offending email addresses getting bounced back, we assumed it was just a few bad email accounts.

    As Bill explained, we had a spammer exploiting a file on our server, and it was sending out thousands of spam emails per day. We found the issue, resolved it, and closed up the loophole that allowed it to happen.

    At the moment, we are attempting to resolve the consequences of this problem... we've been blacklisted on a few spam services. Unfortunately, we are having some trouble with one of them, and we are not sure how long it will take before we are removed from the list. Some email accounts may still be affected over the course of the next few days. We'll do out best to keep you updated.

    Thank you to Bill for handling the PR while I was handling the technical aspect and interfacing with the host to reach a resolution.

    We are sorry for the inconveniences this has caused.

    If it makes anyone feel any better, the process during which this issue was being investigated caused many sites on the server to be offline for hours today... GMTNation was not affected. It could have been worse :duh:
     
  5. The_Roadie

    The_Roadie Well-Known Member

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  6. Short Bus

    Short Bus Well-Known Member

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    I would like to send a big thank you to you, Jman423 for your work resolving this :thumbsup:
     
  7. Jman423

    Jman423 Site Owner Administrator

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    Um, sure... I'll take the credit :ugh:

    You should have seen Bill, he was crazy... he wanted to ban everyone, no questions asked. I think he has anger problems.
     
  8. Short Bus

    Short Bus Well-Known Member

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    I have already thanked Bill, I just wanted to make sure you got some of the love also.
     
  9. triz

    triz Well-Known Member

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    Woo hoooo. I'm no longer banned! I couldn't respond to any threads for the past few days. Glad it got worked out. Did you guys get the saboteur from Vertical Scope...lol
     
  10. The_Roadie

    The_Roadie Well-Known Member

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    That's the ticket! It was all a plot by Vertical Scope to drive members back there! As if.....
     
  11. BO TIE SS

    BO TIE SS Well-Known Member

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    Yeah...no one at VS is smart enough to think of such a plot! :crazy: :rotfl:
     
  12. Menthol

    Menthol Well-Known Member

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    Until next April fools .......................
     

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