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I use Outlook for my email. Some days ago my outgoing email was blocked by Virgin Media

The error message said authentication fault vm305.  This is apparently caused by spambots on one's system.  I cleared the spambots using Microsoft support emergency tool which removed three issues.  I then ran wireshark for many hours checking port 25 and it said no packets.  My system now appears to be clear.  I contqcted Virginmedia support with a view to having the blocks removed but have been unable to get any help from them.  Can anyone suggest how to solve this problem or should I just go to another Isp.  I now have no incoming or outgoing mail but can see my mail on webmail.

 

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Re: I use Outlook for my email. Some days ago my outgoing email was blocked by Virgin Media

Only the organisation that is blocking you can remove the block[s].

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Mike Robinson
Semi-Retired Aircraft Engineer & Computer Based Training and Learning Designer for many of the world's Military Arms.

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Re: I use Outlook for my email. Some days ago my outgoing email was blocked by Virgin Media

What three issues were removed?

Tim

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Re: I use Outlook for my email. Some days ago my outgoing email was blocked by Virgin Media


@jmrbespoke wrote:

The error message said authentication fault vm305. 

Good, it makes a change to get the VM error code. You must have some good skills to have worked out how to extract this from the Outlook error message. That bodes well for the rest of this reply

This is apparently caused by spambots on one's system. 

There is nothing apparent about it. This error code only appears in one specific set of circumstances. That is when VM see that your home IP address is listed by Spamhaus on a specific spam watch list. The list is called SBL CSS. It indicates that Spamhaus' spam traps have detected spam coming from your IP address.  When you try to send mail using Outlook (but not web mail) VM check the list and will deny sending if yourIP address is on it

I cleared the spambots using Microsoft support emergency tool which removed three issues. 

I bet you haven't. Most anti-malware tools do not detect spambots properly because they are programmed to conceal themselves from such tools. 

I then ran Wireshark for many hours checking port 25 and it said no packets. 

While it is true that spambots do go quiet after a while, I cannot be confident without more detail from you that you have run Wireshark properly. On the assumption that you are using a Windows PC you need to ensure that you connect all the devices you have that yuse your home connection via a wireless hotspot through the PC so that W/S can sniff the packets leaving your PC and Hub. There is guidance here on how to do it:

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

My system now appears to be clear.  I contqcted Virginmedia support with a view to having the blocks removed but have been unable to get any help from them. 

Quite right. You won't get any help from VM. In any event expecting first line staff to know anything about this or to be able to grasp the technicalities of this situation is expecting a bit too much. Like asking the paper boy to do brain surgery.

If you think you have cleared the infection from one or more than one of your devices you can apply to Spamhaus, using a form to have your IP address delisted. You can also check the status of your IP address on Spamhaus yourself. Only Spamhaus will do this. Nothing to do with VM. VM only use the list. They don't create it or maintain it.

Useful links to enable you to do all this:

https://www.whatismyip.com/ip-whois-lookup/

this will get your IP address if you just go to the site, by clicking the URL above.

https://www.spamhaus.org/lookup/

copy the IP address here and look for the result. The only listing that will stop you sending mail is SBL CSS. Nothing else matters.  And don't post your public IP address on this Forum - against the privacy rules.

https://www.spamhaus.org/sbl/

Use this Spamhaus page to read about the SBL CSS list and for delisting instructions. But if you have successfully cleared the infections the listing will drop off after 24 hours or so and you should be able to send mail again.

Can anyone suggest how to solve this problem or should I just go to another Isp. 

I just have;  and no. If you have a spambot infection you might find other ISPs are equally strict. And more importantly you are just shifting the problem elsewhere. If you have a spambot your system is responsible for at least part of the increasing spam load that all of us receive. You are at least under a moral obligation to get your system clean.

I now have no incoming or outgoing mail but can see my mail on webmail.

Correct - VM do not apply the same Spamhaus checks to their web mail system. 

 


I hope that  this more comprehensive reply will set you on the road to getting clean. But we have found from other cases that two the prime sources of this problem are using Amazon Firesticks which have unauthorised software on then; and using Hola free VPN (barge pole time).  If you have an F/S get rid of any unauthorised software and in extremis do a factory reset. Stop using the free version of the Hola VPN. 



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Re: I use Outlook for my email. Some days ago my outgoing email was blocked by Virgin Media

This is apparently caused by spambots on one's system. 

Change the word system for network and you'll be a whole lot closer to the truth, and this is one of the things I try to get across.

Many of the devices we use are computers in their own right, even though we don't think of them as such.  This is why my post here,

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

Comes in two parts.

  1. Set up Wireshark on a windows 10 PC with a wireless adapter, and look for traffic heading to and from the remote port 25.  If none is found we move on to step 2.
  2. Set up wireless hotspot on the PC and then set up Wireshark to listen to the hotspot, then connect wireless devices to the hotspot interface so traffic passes through the PC on the way to the internet.

Failing that you need to look at such devices as Kodi boxes, Amazon Firesticks, and even Android mobiles as being possible causes.

You also need to make sure you are not connected to a VPN from your home network as spammers will if possible use a VPN to send their traffic.

On the subject of VPN's - if you use Hola Fee VPN - uninstall it and never touch it again.  It's not a VPN and it can and does use customers bandwidth.  I tested and found spam traffic coming through it.  This wouldn't be picked up by A/V software as it's not a Virus.  But it's not really a VPN either, but a proxy.

Tim

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Re: I use Outlook for my email. Some days ago my outgoing email was blocked by Virgin Media

I have already carried this procedure.  My laptop is clear and there are no other devices on my network.  This does not get my email back however.  Many thanks for your response.

John

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Re: I use Outlook for my email. Some days ago my outgoing email was blocked by Virgin Media

So you have no Smart phones, printers,, etc?

Anyway if you are sure that there is nothing else on your network.  You can ask Spamhaus for a de-listing.

https://www.spamhaus.org/css/

Bear in mind though, that if the problem still exists, you WILL end up back on the CSS.

Tim

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Re: I use Outlook for my email. Some days ago my outgoing email was blocked by Virgin Media

Then it is evident that your are not clear of the issue because if you were Spamhaus would have delisted your IP and VM would not deny sending from your IP address.

Have you checked the listing on Spamhaus for your IP address as I explained. If you have and know the result why don't you complete the picture for us and tell us what you found.

You could, of course, have another issue going on with Outlook?


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Re: I use Outlook for my email. Some days ago my outgoing email was blocked by Virgin Media

Sense at last.  Many thanks.

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Re: I use Outlook for my email. Some days ago my outgoing email was blocked by Virgin Media

I don't have the details now.  One was an addon to Chrome, one was something ending in spigot which sounded spambotty.  I can't remember the last one but it didn't look suspicious.  Thanks to your help, I have removed the block in spamhaus.  No sign of email coming back so far.  The origin of the block was on Oct 5th and was the only one.  It was about ten days later that my email was blocked.  Looks like VM only check it every so often.  I guess spamhaus doesn't come cheap.  Anyway, nothing to do but wait.

Again many thanks.  There would be no way forward without you.

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