Greylisting change

Recently we’ve observed that some spam zombie machines are smarter than others, and do SMTP retrying which means that they bypass greylisting. These machines have been reponsible for a large number of “stock scam” spams that include random text and an attached gif. Between Oct 17 to Oct 20 we were trying out a new greylisting policy that involved taking feedback from the spam scoring system, and re-greylisting systems with an increased delay if they had delivered emails that had been detected as spam by the scoring system. Our testing suggested that this quickly and effectively blocked the zombie machines.

Unfortunately it also blocked a small number of poorly configured real email servers that were being used for forwarding because they would also forward all spam emails, and thus be judged as the source of the spam. This caused some emails to be delayed for many hours or in some cases over a day. We’ve now removed this policy totally. While the concept seems a good idea, unfortunately the small number of incorrectly configured hosts out there mean that this just causes too much of problem for them.

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Large number of DAV logins for some users fixed

Some users have been experiencing a problem where using DAV to access their file storage would result in a large number of “logins” occuring to their account. Because of abuse tracking systems, this would possibly result in their account being locked. This problem seems to have started recently especially for Mac OS X users because of a change in the way that Mac OS X uses DAV to access file storage, it seems to use an inefficient method which sends thousands of requests in quick succession.

We’ve now rolled out a fix for this that will ensure that the large number of requests is aggregated into a single login event for rate and abuse tracking purposes.

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Greylisting disabled over the weekend

Due to a coding error, the recently introduced greylisting feature was accidentally disabled over the majority of the weekend. Most of the extra spam should have been caught by the SpamAssassin spam filter, but still may have resulted in much more spam ending up in users Junk Mail folders than normal. The feature has now been re-enabled.

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Numerous minor updates

A number of updates have just been rolled out

  1. The ability to set a “Reply to” address with a personality. Normally when a recipient replies to an email, the reply is sent to the “From” email address in the email. However, if a “Reply-To” address is set on an email, that email address is used instead. On the Options -> Personalities screen you can now set a separate “Reply-To” email address for each personality that’s set in an email when you send using that personality
  2. Ability to rotate photos in the file storage area. When viewing a directory in your file storage as photos, the new options Rotate clockwise and Rotate anti-clockwise are available in the Action menu. These control the displayed rotation of currently selected photos in the specified direction. Note that the actual photos are left as is on disk, only the actual display of them on the file storage screen, and on any websites shared as photo galleries is rotated
  3. A new filtering option is available to display all Selected emails only. This appears directly above the mailbox listing along with the All, Read, Unread and Flagged options. If there are selected emails, then in addition, the link is made bold and the count of selected emails is shown (e.g. Selected (3))
  4. Searches on the mailbox screen can now include the word OR to search for one thing or the other. For instance, doing a search on the mailbox screen for fred will search the mailbox for email with a Subject containing “fred”, or with a From address containing “fred”. If you now do a search for fred OR john (the OR being all capitals with spaces around it is important), then it will search the mailbox for an email with a subject containing “fred”, or with a subject containing “john”, or with a From address containing “fred”, or with a From address containing “john”
  5. Small bug fixes to the Format action on the compose screen
  6. Improved handling of sub-folders of “Inbox”. In same rare circumstances, certain sub-folders of the Inbox folder may not have displayed properly, this has now been fixed
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