Yahoo Groups And the Hard Bounce

I’ve been a member of several groups at Yahoo! Groups since before Yahoo bought eGroups. That’s quite a long time. At 06:30 this morning, I realized that I hadn’t seen any email from any of those groups for a while. So I got up and checked and discovered what I knew I was going to see: email delivery to my address had been turned off since 12/15 because of a “hard bounce.” This happens every month or so, and it’s always the same thing:

Remote host said: 554 The message was rejected because it contains prohibited virus or spam content [BODY]

What that means is that someone (not me) sent an email containing a virus to one of the lists. The list then tried to deliver it to me, but my mail server rejected it. And Yahoo’s list manager then interpreted that bounce as indicating that my email address won’t accept email, and turned off all delivery to me. Does this make sense to you? Someone else sends a virus and my email gets turned off.

I actually think that both Yahoo Groups and my mail server share blame in this case. My mail server shouldn’t bounce a virus-laden email, it should just quietly throw it away. It’s not like anyone who intentionally sends a virus really needs to see the bounce message; they know what they’re doing. And Yahoo Groups’ server is too stupid to interpret the bounce message and quietly ignore it. Instead, it penalizes me. But what, exactly, is my mail server?

That question is interesting because I can’t be sure whose mail server is the culprit. The reason is that there are three mail servers involved in sending me email. GoDaddy is my domain registrar, and therefore they maintain my MX records, and all my mail is first sent to them. I also have a SpamCop account. I have a forwarding address setup with GoDaddy that sends all email for me to SpamCop. SpamCop, once the email has been checked for spam, then forwards the email to my Gmail account. Since the bounce message that I’m allowed to see doesn’t include any details, I don’t know which server sent actually did the bouncing. Two days ago I stopped using my SpamCop account, so now I’m down to just GoDaddy’s and Gmail’s servers, and I’m hoping that the troublesome server belonged to SpamCop. If I get turned off again, I guess I’ll know it wasn’t.

It’s very frustrating to get turned off like this, over and over, because of someone else’s nefarious acts.

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