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MarkLW
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Can't send an email from a virgin account, other accounts OK

I have a VirginMedia email address, a blueyonder email address and my wife has a VM address too.  I also have supanet, Gmail and Hotmail email addresses.

My desktop PC has Outlook 2010, configured with both our VM accounts, as well as the BY account, the supanet and the Gmail account and it's been that way for many years. My iPad has just my VM email and my Hotmail accounts configured, as does my iPhone. Again, all working happily for a long, long time.

The wife's laptop, iPad and iPhone have just her VM account configured. Again, all working happily.

At least, they were all working up to Monday night. When we woke on Tuesday morning (Tues 19th Jan), we were unable to send emails from any of our devices from the VM & BY addresses. My Hotmail and Gmail accounts still sent out without problem. We can receive emails into all accounts, on all devices.

When I try to send from any VM/BY account, on any of the devices, whilst on our home network, we get an error reporting that the username or password is incorrect.  They are not. Something is causing the server authentication to fail/reject login when routed through home network, although it's happy to authenticate IMAP and POP logins for downloading incoming emails.

I have a Superhub3, set in Modem mode and connected to that is a Netgear Orbi Mesh router, with three satellites. This has been in place for nearly 2 years.  Out of frustration last night, I did a factory reset of the Superhub3. I then set it back into Modem mode. I also did a factory reset of the Netgear Orbi system, before resetting my SSID and Password to chosen values. This whole reset procedure had no effect.

My desktop is hard-wired through to the router and the other devices are on Wi-Fi. If I turn off the Wi-Fi on my iPhone and use 4G, emails get sent out OK. But as soon as I enable the Wi-Fi again, I am unable to send out from my VM address.

So something happened overnight on Mon 18 / Tue 19 Jan, causing Virgin to reject emails sent out from virginmedia-owned addresses when sent from my home network. As I said, Hotmail, supanet and GMail messages go out OK.

I tried calling VM, but whenever I call, 'ALL LINES ARE BUSY....'. I raised my issue on the Facebook page, but no-one helped until they suggested posting here on the forums, so here I am!

I need technical help please!

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Re: Can't send an email from a virgin account, other accounts OK

It would be helpful to see what, if any, VM error code is returned by the SMTP server in this situation. Open a Command Shell or Terminal window and enter the following command where username:password is replaced with your email address and password, i.e. richard.branson@virginmedia.com:Y54kpX5g:

 

curl -v smtps://smtp.virginmedia.com -u username:password 2>&1 | (where findstr && (findstr  "235 VM") || (grep "235\|VM"))

 

Post the redacted results here.

Please also confirm that you are able to sign into webmail using the same authentication credential.

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MarkLW
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Re: Can't send an email from a virgin account, other accounts OK

Thanks for your reply. Yes, I can log into webmail with my details and can send messages from there.

Running the command you requested gives me this:

C:\Windows\System32\findstr.exe
< 525 5.7.13 Authentication Denied (VM305)

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MarkLW
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Re: Can't send an email from a virgin account, other accounts OK

I repeated the experiment with my blueyonder email address and my wife's virginmedia email address and received exactly the same response.

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Graham_A
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Re: Can't send an email from a virgin account, other accounts OK

Oh dear, that isn't good news, but it is possible to resolve.

The error code means that something on you home Virginmedia network is sending out spam so your external IP address has been blacklisted and as a consequence VM are stopping you from sending email through their servers.

The most likely candidates are devices such as firesticks or other such devices that have had software side loaded onto them to access 'free' material.  The easiest way to clean such devices is to do a factory reset.  Other candidates are the so call free Hola VPN.

There is a robust method of checking your devices set out here:

https://community.virginmedia.com/t5/Security-matters/Searching-for-Spambots-on-your-network/td-p/40... however it can be daunting at first sight.

 

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Graham

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Re: Can't send an email from a virgin account, other accounts OK

Is it possible that, due to dynamic IP allocation from Virginmedia, I have found myself with an IP address previously black listed?

When I did a factory reset of my Superhub3, I ran an email test and it worked properly.  But when I set it back to modem mode and reset my Orbi system, the problem was back.

I don’t have any firesticks. We both have an iPad, plus there’s a couple of older iPads that the grandkids use for games from the AppStore. We have an iPhone each, then I have a desktop & the wife has a laptop which she rarely turns on. Beyond that theres some Echo dots, some Sonos speakers & a smart TV.

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Re: Can't send an email from a virgin account, other accounts OK

When you went back to modem mode did you pick up the same external IP address that you had before the reset?

Echo dots, some Sonos speakers & a smart TV could be the culprits if non core applications have been added, also worth checking what apps the grandkids have added to their iPads.

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Re: Can't send an email from a virgin account, other accounts OK

Thanks. I’ll retest the superhub as a router tomorrow and check the external IP before/after, and retest the email as well.

I’ll report back my findings then. In the meantime, thanks again to both of you for your help.

I’ve got two little grandsons coming tomorrow for home schooling, so probably won’t be able to test & respond until later.

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ravenstar68
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Re: Can't send an email from a virgin account, other accounts OK


@MarkLW wrote:

Is it possible that, due to dynamic IP allocation from Virginmedia, I have found myself with an IP address previously black listed?


Unlikely IMHO - Virgin Media's DHCP is very sticky due to the length of the leases it uses, most people keep the same IP for months or even years at a time.

The IP is allocated based on the router network interface MAC so when you did the factory reset it switched back to looking at the Superhub's WAN MAC putting it back into Modem mode means it went back to looking at your router's WAN MAC instead.  In most cases it goes back to the same IP that you were using hence the problem returns.

You need to do a full inventory of your network.  I have had one person look to a Smart TV as causing issues, although I still can't be sue on that one.

Usually it's down to third party apps on a device.  One notable one is Hola Free VPN - the free version isn't really a VPN but rather a proxy, and if you're using it, you can act as an exit node for someone else's traffic without realising it.  It's not the only cause though.

You need to appreciate that if you are getting a VM305 error, i means a third party (Spamhaus) has detected email traffic coming from your network on port 25 to one of their spamtraps and has listed you on a particular blacklist (the CSS).  This is a real time listing which takes more than one detection event to trigger and automatically drops off after no detections have occurred for a given period of time (24-48 hours)

I've worked with a number of users, some of who, like yourself assumed that it was down to inheriting a bad IP, you can trust me when I tell you that it's not.

If you're wife's laptop uses Windows 10 and an up to date wifi card then you might want to take a look at this:

https://community.virginmedia.com/t5/Security-matters/Searching-for-Spambots-on-your-network/td-p/40...

Tim

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Re: Can't send an email from a virgin account, other accounts OK

So as of this morning, my emails are working again. From all devices (iPads, iPhones, desktop & laptop) and all Apps. I haven't done anything.

I didn't bother going back into router mode to test IP  external IP values. Just left it in modem mode and changed nothing on the internal network.

As per the comprehensive SPAMBOT detection instructions, I set up an unused desktop PC with Winshark, testing it for Port 25 activity. As expected there was none, as it's been unused for some time. I set up the Wireless Hotspot and began by connecting the three old iPads, used by the young grandsons for free Appstore games.  Testing overnight revealed no issues at all. I started worrying about the new PC I'd bought and had begun to configure. I thought it might be the cause, having been installing new software over the past few days. Set up Winshark on it and repeated the testing, but found nothing. 

I used my first test rig to test our two iPhones and and again found nothing.  I had a plan to carry on testing other stuff over the weekend, but as my feelings were that one of those things I'd already tested was most likely to have been the culprit, I wasn't sure I'd have any more luck.  Out of curiosity, I decided to retry the email problem and discovered that it was all working again.

Weird. And annoying. And time consuming.  Hope it doesn't reoccur.

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