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VM305 error using mail client cannot send and cannot create new accounts

For nearly a week now, I have been unable to send @blueonder.co.uk emails using mail clients Outlook and Mailbird. Nor can I create or amend accounts in the client. Fails as soon as it tries to connect - with name or password not recognised wrt smtp. I have changed my main and email account passwords several times. Not the fault of the client (tried two). Webmail works fine. Problem only when connected via VM broadband. Problem does not arise if I use mobile phone tethering. From other posts, I am not alone and equally as frustrated.

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Re: Problems sending email using a mail client

Password change did not work.password rejection_LI.jpg

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Re: using mail client cannot send and cannot create new accounts on broadband. OK tho' if use mobile teth

@gazza202 - What's odd here is that if you tether it works ok.

There are actually a number of errors that can happen and appear to cause a password rejection.

Can you post up the SMTP error? - https://community.virginmedia.com/t5/Email/Outgoing-Authentication-Issues-Check-Email-Logs/td-p/3237...

Tim

 

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Re: using mail client cannot send and cannot create new accounts on broadband. OK tho' if use mobile teth

Indeed. Strange that tethered phone connection gets no problems. Only when connected via broadband. 

Log is as follows:

2019.06.21 17:17:08 SMTP (smtp.virginmedia.com): Authorizing to server
2019.06.21 17:17:08 SMTP (smtp.virginmedia.com): [tx] AUTH LOGIN
2019.06.21 17:17:08 SMTP (smtp.virginmedia.com): <rx> 334 VXNlcm5hbWU6
2019.06.21 17:17:08 SMTP (smtp.virginmedia.com): [tx] xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
2019.06.21 17:17:08 SMTP (smtp.virginmedia.com): <rx> 334 UGFzc3dvcmQ6
2019.06.21 17:17:08 SMTP (smtp.virginmedia.com): [tx] *****
2019.06.21 17:17:13 SMTP (smtp.virginmedia.com): <rx> 525 5.7.13 Authentication Denied (VM305)
2019.06.21 17:17:13 SMTP (smtp.virginmedia.com): Retrying authorization
2019.06.21 17:17:15 SMTP (smtp.virginmedia.com): Disconnected from host
2019.06.21 17:17:15 SMTP (smtp.virginmedia.com): End execution

 

Get a different failure if I try to access another mailbox (my website's) through VM. This is as follows:

2019.06.21 17:45:01 SMTP (mail.lcn.com): Begin execution
2019.06.21 17:45:01 SMTP (mail.lcn.com): Port: 465, Secure: SSL, SPA: no
2019.06.21 17:45:01 SMTP (mail.lcn.com): Finding host
2019.06.21 17:45:01 SMTP (mail.lcn.com): Connecting to host
2019.06.21 17:45:01 SMTP (mail.lcn.com): Securing connection
2019.06.21 17:45:01 SMTP (mail.lcn.com): Connected to host
2019.06.21 17:45:01 SMTP (mail.lcn.com): <rx> 550-rejected because 92.234.24.180 is in a blacklist at cbl.abuseat.org
2019.06.21 17:45:01 SMTP (mail.lcn.com): <rx> 550 Blocked - see http://www.abuseat.org/lookup.cgi?ip=92.234.24.180
2019.06.21 17:45:01 SMTP (mail.lcn.com): End execution
2019.06.21 17:45:01 gareth@website: ReportStatus: RSF_COMPLETED, hr = 0x800ccc69
2019.06.21 17:45:01 gareth@website: Synch operation completed
2019.06.21 17:46:01 gareth@website: Synch operation started (flags = 00000001)
2019.06.21 17:46:01 gareth@website: UploadItems: 1 messages to send
2019.06.21 17:46:01 SMTP (mail.lcn.com): Begin execution
2019.06.21 17:46:01 SMTP (mail.lcn.com): Port: 465, Secure: SSL, SPA: no
2019.06.21 17:46:01 SMTP (mail.lcn.com): Finding host
2019.06.21 17:46:01 SMTP (mail.lcn.com): Connecting to host
2019.06.21 17:46:01 SMTP (mail.lcn.com): Securing connection
2019.06.21 17:46:01 SMTP (mail.lcn.com): Connected to host
2019.06.21 17:46:01 SMTP (mail.lcn.com): <rx> 550-rejected because 92.234.24.180 is in a blacklist at cbl.abuseat.org
2019.06.21 17:46:01 SMTP (mail.lcn.com): <rx> 550 Blocked - see http://www.abuseat.org/lookup.cgi?ip=92.234.24.180
2019.06.21 17:46:01 SMTP (mail.lcn.com): End execution

 

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Re: using mail client cannot send and cannot create new accounts on broadband. OK tho' if use mobile teth

PS Got rid of blocked 550 error on accessing external email server. Remaining issue of VM blueyonder accounts persists.

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Re: using mail client cannot send and cannot create new accounts on broadband. OK tho' if use mobile teth

@gazza202 

I've had this moved to a separate thread.  The reason you're having problems isn't actually down to VM

While the error messages appear different and happen at different stages in the send - they are actually saying something similar

2019.06.21 17:17:13 SMTP (smtp.virginmedia.com): <rx> 525 5.7.13 Authentication Denied (VM305)

2019.06.21 17:45:01 SMTP (mail.lcn.com): <rx> 550 Blocked - see http://www.abuseat.org/lookup.cgi?ip=92.234.24.180

VM's error message is reporting that your IP address is listed on Spamhaus' CSS (Note Superusers have been given a list of Virgin Media's error codes but we've been asked NOT to share the full list).  It's not actually down to the password being wrong, but the email client sees the rejection and treats it as a wrong password due to the point at which the error occurs.

Likewise mail.lcn.com  is saying something similar, but in this case there's a different blacklist involved. Spamhaus' CBL  The link actually takes us to a lookup for the CBL listiing.  Checking the link itself - the IP address was listed but was self removed sometime in the last 24 hours.  Note though that mail providers don't actually use live lists, they download a copy periodically (Every 24 hours I believe) - so until mail.lcn.com updates their system they may still reject the connection.

Normally blacklists aren't used on email submission however given the nature of the CBL - some providers (including Virgin Media) do use it.

You need to look into your home network as these lists are live lists and indicate that traffic has been seen originating from your public IP address.  To be on one, you could shrug it off as a false positive, but two - strongly hints that at least one of your devices is infected with malware.

Tim

 

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Re: using mail client cannot send and cannot create new accounts on broadband. OK tho' if use mobile teth

I am not an expert (sic!) but I think you have conflated 2 separate things. The secondary issue - blocking by LCN  - has now been resolved because I requested the removal from the blacklist (God knows why the IP address ended up there in the first place - and what is this IP address pointing to anyway?). I should add that the LCN server has been blocked/blacklisted on many occasions - usually resolved within 24 hours or so.

LCN is no longer rejecting the connection. That is why I reported it as resolved.

However the continued smtp failures for VM email sending is surely a different issue? Partly because loads of people seem to be having the same problem. Partly because it doesn't happen if I tether with my mobile. Has to be something in the VM configuration, surely?

I am running a malware test but I doubt if there is a problem.

I appreciate your help. Juts seems to me that there is a box in  the VM configuration that the rest of VM doesn't like!!

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Re: using mail client cannot send and cannot create new accounts on broadband. OK tho' if use mobile teth


@gazza202 wrote:

I am not an expert (sic!) but I think you have conflated 2 separate things.

I am an expert although not an IT professional - I run my own email server, and I've taken the time to learn a lot about Virgin Media's email system as well, I've worked with Virgin Media to identify issues in the past and will continue to do so.  I have been helping on this Forum since 2011 and concentrating on email since 2014.

On the surface it does look like I've conflated 2 separate things, however trust me - I haven't.  I take great pride in not answering until I've checked what I'm saying and some of the stickies I've written have been put up with direct approval from Virgin Media.

The secondary issue - blocking by LCN  - has now been resolved because I requested the removal from the blacklist (God knows why the IP address ended up there in the first place - and what is this IP address pointing to anyway?).

The IP address is your IP address.  Don't believe me - type IP into a Google Search or go to whatismyipaddress.com when on your home connection.

I should add that the LCN server has been blocked/blacklisted on many occasions - usually resolved within 24 hours or so.

CBL entries indicate malicious traffic has been seen from your IP address.  They are real time and stop if no traffic has been seen in a particular period of time, if you're regularly appearing on this list YOU NEED TO ACT

LCN is no longer rejecting the connection. That is why I reported it as resolved.

Until the next time you end up on the CBL

However the continued smtp failures for VM email sending is surely a different issue? Partly because loads of people seem to be having the same problem. Partly because it doesn't happen if I tether with my mobile. Has to be something in the VM configuration, surely?

It's a reasonable assumption - except if you deliberately try using a wrong password you'll see a different error code 535 Authentication details invalid (VM300)

525 Authentication Denied (VM3xx errors) also happen at the authentication stage, but are actually down to failed checks VM have in place to keep hackers and spammers out of the SMTP servers.  For example VM311 Authper IP - when the number of different logins credentials tried from a single IP breaches a set threshold.  Gmail users who sent mail for their VM account via the Gmail interface used to see this one.  There is now a fix in place to resolve it after I pointed out what was happening (prior to this VM Forum Staff also tried giving the stock advice of "check your password")

There are 11 different 525 errors.  Email clients don't know that they're not actually down to a wrong password - all they know is that they're sending authentication details and the server is sending back an error in response.  So they do what they're programmed to do, bring up the password dialog.  That is why I wrote the sticky I directed you to - although it was actually in response to people getting a lot of VM304 errors at the time.

I am running a malware test but I doubt if there is a problem.

Check your whole network - not just a single machine.  Understand anything coming from your LAN is NAT'ed by your router so it all appears to come from your public IP

I appreciate your help. Juts seems to me that there is a box in  the VM configuration that the rest of VM doesn't like!!


Except it's easy to blame VM and to be honest I don't blame you.  VM certainly aren't blameless in some of the things that are happening recently, and trust me I've been moaning to the Forum Manager about it (because we Superusers aren't Virgin Media sycophants, when they make mistakes we tell them, and in at least one situation I took it even further and wrote to my MP).

You don't have to believe me - that's your prerogative, but one of the things I take pride in is knowing when I do and when I don't know what I'm talking about.  I'm not perfect - but on these facts I am 100% positive. 

Tim

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Re: using mail client cannot send and cannot create new accounts on broadband. OK tho' if use mobile teth

Thank you for your detailed reply. Left though with not knowing what to do. Having now restored (by my own investigation) part of my email traffic (through LCN) I am left with no ability to send email from my VM email accounts (or set up new) if I use the broadband connection. You say it is not a VM issue - but I find this difficult. It is purely when operating within the VM environment that the problems exist - and have not occurred for 10+ years as a user.

I wonder if my email address been hijacked. Is this possible?

You suggest that my activity is causing a "need to act". But what might be causing this? And what do I need to do? I do not send SPAM or any other kind of unacceptable material. I am concerned about whether my addresses have been cloned/spoofed of whatever.

Any advice gratefully received

Gazza202

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Re: using mail client cannot send and cannot create new accounts on broadband. OK tho' if use mobile teth


@gazza202 wrote:

Thank you for your detailed reply. Left though with not knowing what to do. Having now restored (by my own investigation) part of my email traffic (through LCN) I am left with no ability to send email from my VM email accounts (or set up new) if I use the broadband connection. You say it is not a VM issue - but I find this difficult. It is purely when operating within the VM environment that the problems exist - and have not occurred for 10+ years as a user.

I do understand why you would think the way you do, and I don't blame you, it's easy to fall into the trap of thinking you've found a solution, but without all the facts sometimes we can all add up 2 + 2 and get 5.  One of the things I do is to put all the information I have together and double check my answers, in fact back in 2011 - I would have probably been thinking exactly the way you are now, as I certainly didn't know anything near as much as I do about email, blacklists (how they should work and what some providers are doing) or even seemingly simple things like how to read a traceroute properly.  On email - the few times I have been wrong lately is when people haven't given me all the information I've asked for. 

For example one person couldn't reach his third party email servers - and on the face of it, it genuinely looked like an IP black at the server end, until I finally got a traceroute back from the poster which revealed Virgin Media's - Virus Safe was inadvertently causing the issue by hijacking the DNS lookup, at which point I got Virgin Media involved pretty sharpish.  I should stress that this is different to your case.  I merely cite it as an example of how easy it is to go wrong without the right information.

I really wish I could share VM's full SMTP list with you, however they have specifically asked that we don't, and I HAVE to respect that, but without that list you don't have all the facts to hand that I have.  However when I saw the VM305 entry, I did check the IP address in the second error against Spamhaus to verify the  result.  So the VM305 result IS CORRECT.

It's certainly not best practice to check IP's are blacklisted on initial email submission - however while Spamhaus discourages such use, it doesn't forbid it entirely.  I can see why mail providers might want to do this, as the idea is to protect their main outbound servers - better to have a few people inconvenienced then a few million.  Indeed some of Virgin Media's servers were actually blacklisted themselves for a short time this week, as can be seen by reading some Forum posts, this has since been resolved.

I wonder if my email address been hijacked. Is this possible?

Blacklists don't use email addresses to work their magic, they use IP addresses that have been seen actually sending mail to mail exchangers (i.e. servers that receive a domains mail).  In some cases blacklist providers use honeypot addresses my sneaking fake email addresses onto the net to be picked up by spammers.  Normal email traffic is not sent to these addresses, so the providers pick up the actual IP addresses that are connecting to the honeypot's mail exchangers.  Other time's they parse emails to pick up the IP addresses from the headers (Spambot does this with manual spam submissions, although there are steps that users have to take to make sure that the headers are parsed correctly - however not doing so usually means that it's part of the providers own mail receiving network that gets flagged wrongly, rather than the actual initial sending IP address)

You suggest that my activity is causing a "need to act". But what might be causing this? And what do I need to do? I do not send SPAM or any other kind of unacceptable material. I am concerned about whether my addresses have been cloned/spoofed of whatever.

Not your activity itself - but activity from your home network.  You yourself have stated that you periodically have problems with your address suddenly being blocked - with the problem clearing in 24 hours.  This is consistent with sporadic traffic being seen coming from your IP which then triggers the CBL listing.  The CSS is used to identify IP addresses from which spammers are sending trickles of spam traffic to avoid tripping some of the IP reputation mechanisms.  (This is called Snowshoe spamming - as just like snowshoes spread your weight to stop you sinking into the snow, sending the spam in trickles aims to spread the weight of the spam to make less of an impression).

So although you didn't realise it, you have two results that actually support each other from TWO different mail providers (in Virgin's case I use the term loosely, they're an ISP who provide email as a free add on and even when they were suing Gmail to provide the service, it was by no means problem free).  The reason that the mail works when sending over your mobile network, is because you aren't making the connection from the affected IP address.  So to you it looks like it's a Virgin Media problem, particularly as others are also reporting email issues - EXCEPT - those people AREN'T getting 525 VM305 errors - they're instead getting 535 VM300 errors (I know as I've been asking them for their email logs too in fact that's why @Kev_B but the one sticky together) - See what I mean about putting all the facts together carefully.

Any advice gratefully received

I don't know if it's worth reaching out to Spamhaus directly to see if they can give more information - but one of the problems is that NAT - while being wonderful as a stateless firewall (which is not what it was designed for - it's more of a side effect of how it works) also masks the actual devices LAN IP address - so unless the device identifies itself by it's actual LAN IP when greeting the mail server, the only IP address Spamhaus sees is the public IP of your Virgin Media connection.  So you need to carefully check any and all devices on your home network.

Gazza202


I admit the latter is not necessarily going to be an easy task - however I would certainly look at the CBL lookup - it does tell you when traffic was lost seen originating from the affected IP address.  If you're able to check what devices were online at that time, it might help you narrow things down.

Going forward, if you encounter problems with your external provider again - you definitely need to bear the above in mind.

Tim

P.S.  I final piece of advice I personally give - stop relying on ISP provided email anyway, if you ever leave VM - you will lose it.  Far better to use a proper email provider, even one of the free one's than to rely on the address provided by any ISP.

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