SMTP Outage

Due to a system problem, outgoing email via SMTP was not working for some users for about 2 hours. This has now been fixed. More details in this forum thread.

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Various services moved around

We’ve moved a few services around to reduce the load on our main server. This has meant shutting down some services on IPs where they had been for years. In particular if you used:

* smtp to 66.111.4.3 or 66.111.4.20 (old DNS for old mail names)
* any service on 66.111.4.60-62 (had been out of DNS for a while, but old mail.messagingengine.com and http://www.fastmail.fm)
* authenticated SMTP through any server other than mail.messagingengine.com

Then you may have noticed that the service went away in the past 24 hours. The main reason for removing these services was that the machine hosting them is also used for outbound email, and by allowing SMTP there a particularly clever spammer managed to bypass our rate controls for one spamming run (we noticed the increased load in the daily report that evening and shut down the technique they had used).

For the vast majority of users: nothing has changed. For the few who were doing something tricky, you can use the IP address 66.111.4.160-162 in place of .60-.62 if you need to. If you have put explicit IP addresses rather than CNAMEs in your DNS and you’re not hosting with us, then tough – you’re doing something naughty and things break when you do that – fix the entries!

To discuss this, head over to this forum thread.

Bron.

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Improved user security features

We’ve just released two improvements to users security when reading their email.

  • Common phishing techniques in emails are now automatically caught and the link to the offending site is blocked. Note that this cannot catch all possible forgeries/phishing attempts, so users should still act with caution when reading emails that they don’t explicitly trust, but this should help in many common cases.
  • Some common virus emails that are forged to appear to come from FastMail administrators are now automatically blocked for all users
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