Spam outbreak causes email delays

Major South African Hosting provider Xneelo has informed users that it is experiencing a large-scale spam outbreak that is resulting in email being delayed. Many Xneelo subscribers have been experiencing delays when sending emails to external recipients.


Some users have also received messages that the IP address they are attempting to send the email from is on the Spamhaus blacklist.


“You will receive the following error when attempting to send an email: 550 Spamhaus (-53): retry time not reached for any host,” Xneelo said.


The message below is what many Xneelo subscribers have received since yesterday:


A message that you sent has not yet been delivered to one or more of its recipients after more than 24 hours on the queue on antispam-jnb1.host-h.net.
The message identifier is: XXXX
The subject of the message is: XXXX
The date of the message is: Tue, 25 Aug 2020 09:20:00 +0200
The address to which the message has not yet been delivered is:
xxxx@xxxx.com
host xxxx.mail.protection.outlook.com [xxx.xxx.xxx.xxx]
Delay reason: SMTP error from remote mail server after pipelined sending data block:
xxx.xxx.xxx.xxx Server busy. Please try again later from [xxx.xxx.xxx.xxx]. (Sxxxxx) [xxxx.prod.protection.outlook.com]


No action is required on your part. Delivery attempts will continue for some time, and this warning may be repeated at intervals if the message remains undelivered. Eventually the mail delivery software will give up, and when that happens, the message will be returned to you. The company said its engineers have rolled out a change that should resolve the error being encountered.


Dangerous Email and Scams


Spam mails sometimes contain hoax and phishing emails that may be harmful to users when clicking on links or opening downloads. Recently we have found that hackers are pretending to be reliable contacts using real names but sending from fake email addresses.


There is basically no way to stop someone pretending to be you by putting your name and sending from a fake email address. If it was actually coming from your email address that would be a different story as your email inbox could be hacked. You would need to contact your service provider to change your password and possibly unblock your account.


In the case of people sending mails from fake address you can often easily spot the fakes by the use of the wrong email address as the sender if its blatant... or by hovering over the email address with your mouse to check the email address.


As email users we just need to get smarter... and if you use your email address for marketing then let your clients know to watch out for hoax emails.


Some tips aimed at protecting your devices and your digital life and to share:


  • Run an up-to-date antivirus solution – Running antivirus on your devices helps protect you from the mass of attacks.
  • Don’t open or click on emails from unknown senders. Set your email junk filter to a high setting.
  • Scrutinize email addresses and URLs, and hover before you click. Criminals are famous for switching a letter or two in a trusted name to get you to click.
  • If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. You aren’t going to win a random gift card or prize for something you did not sign up to enter.
  • Be particularly careful when viewing emails on smartphones as phishing indicators can be more difficult to identify.
  • Do the basics – keep your machine updated, back up your information and use a strong passphrase – all of these actions make it easier to recover if you do click on a malicious link.
  • Get your email service provider to check antispam software if it does not block dangerous emails and report emails to them


Lastly, consider a new email address or a free account, such as Gmail, to create a throwaway email address that can be used for marketing and sharing publicly. And try to keep your own business email limited to business contacts and friends and family.

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