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waltg
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emails to my personal domain not being delivered

recently emails from virgin's email system have not been getting delivered to my personal xxx@xxx.co.uk email address with the message " retry time not reached for any host after a long failure period"

I AM receiving emails to the same xxx@xxx.co.uk from numerous other senders on a range of different systems.

Strangely I used the same failing email address a few minutes ago to register with this forum and I got the verification email from virgin ok.

Any suggestions?

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coenoby
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Re: emails to my personal domain not being delivered


@waltg wrote:

recently emails from virgin's email system have not been getting delivered to my personal xxx@xxx.co.uk email address with the message " retry time not reached for any host after a long failure period"


The error message you are receiving would normally be much longer than the brief extract you have quoted.  However, as you have probably already worked out, it indicates that VM emails are not being accepted by the email server that your personal email domain is using.

If you could post the full error message (but with the email addresses edited to remove the name before the @ symbol) we might have a better idea of why your server is not accepting VM emails.

Coenoby

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waltg
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Re: emails to my personal domain not being delivered

Thanks for getting back to me. here is the complete non delivery message from Virgin and I have also added the information from mydomain hosting server related to the non-delivery

Here is the non-delivery message from Virgin Media…...

 

This message was created automatically by mail delivery software.

 

You sent the following message, but this message could not be delivered to all recipients:

 

======================================================================

Subject: Re: Test to blueyonder from xxx@xxx.co.uk

------=_Part_343715_1517020679.1593710211629 MIME-Version: 1.0 Content-Type: text/plain; charset=UTF-8 Content-Transfer-Encoding: 7bit  yes I got the message from xxx@xxx.co.uk   > On 02 July 2020 at 18:11 walt xxx <xxxx@xxx.co.uk> wrote: >  >     what a pain >     ------=_Part_343715_151702

======================================================================

 

The following addresses failed:



  xxxx@xxxxg.co.uk

    retry timeout exceeded



===============================================================

 

Here is the report I get from the server hosting my address


Event:
rejected
User:
-remote-
Domain:


From Address:
xxxx@blueyonder.co.uk
Sender:


Sent Time:
Jul 2, 2020, 1:25:13 PM
Sender Host:
know-smtprelay-omc-6.server.virginmedia.net
Sender IP:
80.0.253.70
Authentication:
unauthorized
Spam Score:
0
Recipient:
xxxx@xxxx.co.uk
Delivery User:
xxxxnet
Delivery Domain:
xxxx.co.uk
Delivered To:


Router:
reject
Transport:
**rejected**
Out Time:
Jul 2, 2020, 1:25:13 PM
ID:
1jqyHi-000FEi-M8
Delivery Host:
know-smtprelay-omc-6.server.virginmedia.net
Delivery IP:
80.0.253.70
Size:
0 bytes
Result:
Could not complete sender verify callout

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coenoby
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Re: emails to my personal domain not being delivered


@waltg wrote:

Here is the report I get from the server hosting my address

Event:rejected

User: -remote-
Domain:

From Address:xxxx@blueyonder.co.uk
Sender:

Sent Time:Jul 2, 2020, 1:25:13 PM
Sender Host:know-smtprelay-omc-6.server.virginmedia.net
Sender IP:80.0.253.70
Authentication:unauthorized
Spam Score:0
Recipient:xxxx@xxxx.co.uk
Delivery User:xxxxnet
Delivery Domain:xxxx.co.uk
Delivered To:

Router:

reject
Transport:

**rejected**
Out Time:
Jul 2, 2020, 1:25:13 PM
ID:
1jqyHi-000FEi-M8
Delivery Host:know-smtprelay-omc-6.server.virginmedia.net
Delivery IP:80.0.253.70
Size:0 bytes
Result:Could not complete sender verify callout


Thanks for that.

I have to say that I am not a real expert when it comes to the detailed intricacies of email servers. There are others on here who have a much deeper understanding of the subject than I do.

However, for what it is worth, the thing that stands out to me is the very last line from your hosting server:

"Result:Could not complete sender verify callout"

There is also the line "Authentication:unauthorized" which I think is related.

Here is what I do know:

Sender verification callouts were introduced as a way to help incoming email server owners cut down on spam by validating the sender’s email address.

The sender's address is obtained from the ‘MAIL FROM’ section and a specific command is issued from the incoming/receiving email server back to the sending email server.

If the sending server.acknowledges that command then the incoming/receiving email server knows that the address exists on the server and that it is ok to accept the original message. If the sending server  does not reply then the assumption is that sender's address does not exist on that server. In that case the email address may have been spoofed and so it is best to reject the email.

That's the theory.😐

However, the problem is that there can be many good reasons why the outgoing/sending email server does not respond even though the email address exists on the server and the email is quite legitimate. For example, many outgoing email servers have strict security rules in place precisely to avoid unwanted connections and these rules may block the sender verification callouts.

Therefore if you have 'Sender Verification Callout' enabled on your personal domain's incoming email server you do run a risk of rejecting  emails from legitimate senders. These days there are better ways of weeding out spoofed emails by implementing checks on the sending domain's SPF, DKIM and DMARC records.

I certainly do not know enough about the Virgin Media email servers to say whether they would respond to a sender verification.The implication from what I can see in your post is that they do not respond or at least may not always respond in a timely fashion.

However, as I said there are others on here much more experienced than me and they may see something else in the error messages but that is my first thought.

Coenoby

 

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ravenstar68
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Re: emails to my personal domain not being delivered

I was having a look at the results from your server and I was struggling to be honest.  However I do think that @coenoby has called it right.

What we see is one of VM's outbound servers trying to send you mail, then the mail is rejected with a Sender Callout could not be completed.

Sender callout is a way of verifying that the senders address is:

1. Genuine
2. Able to accept bounce messages.

Essentially what your server does is try sending the first steps of a bounce message to a domains mail exchanger

  • HELO <receiving hostname>
  • MAIL FROM: <>
  • RCPT TO: <sender@address.com>
  • QUIT

Now sender callouts do seem a good idea but here's the problem

The sender address can be spoofed so all a sender callout tells you is that the sender address is a real address, but it doesn't prove that the mail actually came from that sender.

If the server making the callout falls foul of anti spam measures then the sender callout can at the very least be delayed and at the worst fail completely.

Add to that Sender callouts can actually result in YOUR server being blacklisted.  So as a rule while they do seem a good idea, I personally wouldn't recommend their use.

FWIW VM's server DOES accept sender callouts - (I tried from my own mail server).  So I suspect your server may not be configured ideally.

Tim

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coenoby
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Re: emails to my personal domain not being delivered


@ravenstar68 wrote:

However I do think that @coenoby has called it right.

Thank you Tim.

The line "Could not complete sender verify callout" immediately jumped out to me. There does not really seem to be any other reason for the incoming server to reject the message.

I just hoped that I was on the right track with my post so I am thankful that you concur.😃

Useful to know for future reference that VM's servers do accept sender callout if the incoming/receiving server is configured correctly.

Coenoby

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waltg
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Re: emails to my personal domain not being delivered

Thanks everyone for the replies. I am no further forward with solving this as I am just a user. I can tell you that host for my domain has a log of failed emails and of the hundreds of emails I get to my xxx.co.uk account there are only 4 other domains that fail to get through because of the Call Out issue and two of those are from blueyonder accounts.  There are also plenty rejected because the sender doesn't verify (spam).

It seems weird to me that I do get all my billing and marketing mail from virginmedia.com but not blueyonder.co.uk

I will just live with it but I still don't know if the problem lies with the sending or receiving host. 

Thanks for the help anyway.

Have agood weekend

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coenoby
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Re: emails to my personal domain not being delivered


@waltg wrote:

there are only 4 other domains that fail to get through because of the Call Out issue and two of those are from blueyonder accounts. There are also plenty rejected because the sender doesn't verify (spam). I will just live with it but I still don't know if the problem lies with the sending or receiving host. 


I would suggest that you need to talk to whoever hosts your domain. The general consensus is that Sender Verify Callouts are not a recommended approach to blocking spam emails as Ravenstar68 explains in his post.

You are probably rejecting perfectly valid emails for no good reason. Using techniques that direct 'suspect' emails to the spam folder has to be the better option rather than simply rejecting them out of hand. IMHO.

Coenoby

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waltg
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Re: emails to my personal domain not being delivered

Coenoby, that makes sense. I'll raise the issue with my host over the weekend and update here with the response.

Fingers crossed!

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ravenstar68
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Re: emails to my personal domain not being delivered

@waltg 

When you start using your own email domain, you need to stop thinking of yourself as just a user.  You are your own domain administrator.  The hosting company can help you to some degree, but you do need to take time to learn email concepts.

Sender callouts do seem a good idea, BUT there are measures in place which break sender callouts, such ar greylisting.

Lets use a site to verify two email addresses.  The addresses are valid but I shall redact part of the addresses

Your results for myaddress@blueyonder.co.uk will be displayed below after processing. We found that:

  • The Email Address Syntax is correct
  • Connecting to mx.tb.ukmail.iss.as9143.net did not work

MX record found: mx.tb.ukmail.iss.as9143.net (Priority 1)
Connecting to mx.tb.ukmail.iss.as9143.net
Connected to mx.tb.ukmail.iss.as9143.net
Dialog with mx.tb.ukmail.iss.as9143.net failed
------------------------------------------------------------
220 mx9.tb.ukmail.iss.as9143.net mx9.tb.ukmail.iss.as9143.net ESMTP server ready
HELO verifyemailaddress.org
421 HELO MXIN201 Your HELO/EHLO verifyemailaddress.org is not matching your DNS configuration kumquat.pi.activeminds.net ;id=rbMIjN1HrSIx7;sid=rbMIjN1HrSIx7;mta=mx9.tb;d=20200704;t=080906[CET];ipsrc=209.126.119.123;

Note here that the email server rejected the transaction at the helo stage as the server sending the mail does not have it's reverse DNS or SMTP banner set properly.

Now another:

Your results for myaddress@ravenstar68.co.uk will be displayed below after processing. We found that:

  • The Email Address Syntax is correct
  • Connecting to box.timothydutton.co.uk worked
  • We feel that myaddress@ravenstar68.co.uk is not valid

MX record found: box.timothydutton.co.uk (Priority 10)
Connecting to box.timothydutton.co.uk
Connected to box.timothydutton.co.uk
Dialog with box.timothydutton.co.uk ok
------------------------------------------------------------
220 box.timothydutton.co.uk ESMTP Hi, I'm a Mail-in-a-Box (Ubuntu/Postfix; see https://mailinabox.email/)
HELO verifyemailaddress.org
250 box.timothydutton.co.uk
MAIL FROM: <noreply@verifyemailaddress.org>
250 2.1.0 Ok
RCPT TO: <myaddress@ravenstar68.co.uk>
450 4.2.0 <myaddress@ravenstar68.co.uk>: Recipient address rejected: Greylisted, see http://postgrey.schweikert.ch/help/ravenstar68.co.uk.html
QUIT
221 2.0.0 Bye
------------------------------------------------------------
Email address myaddress@ravenstar68.co.uk rejected

Now on this I'm using an anti spam measure called greylisting.  The server rejects the attempt to send with a temporary error, but it does keep a list of attempts.  A good email server will try again later and the mail will get through.

So in both cases we have a genuine email address failing verification.

After seeing the above, how sure can you be that all the failed sender callouts in your logs were actually spam?

Tim

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