Sunday, July 08, 2007

Blogger domain blocked by Spamhaus

Yesterday I discovered that if I send an email containing this blog's URL (in the signature, say, or as a link for the recipient), my email service provider is blocking it. Turns out I cannot send or receive such an email, nor can a third or external party send such email through my provider's system.

This turns out to be because Spamhaus has listed the entire Blogger domain. So says my email service provider's friendly tech rep. He said that it's a Google/Blogger problem, and that in the future I could simply obfuscate the URL to avoid the problem. That's a shame because it defeats the purpose of placing a link. [Apparently it's not the entire domain, but some subset of Blogger's servers, which is hardly a better situation.]

I don't know how many major Internet service providers subscribe to Spamhaus, but if they do, they are probably blocking any inbound or outbound email that contains a Blogspot URL.

I wonder if other blogging services are similarly affected? If they are not affected, why is Blogger listed? Is it something Blogger is or isn't doing?

This is apparently not a new problem. It would seem that Google/Blogger and Spamhaus, both of them good guys, could do something about it.

This is the sort of reason that I registered a long time ago. Maybe I should think about using it instead of the trusty, familiar Blogspot account.

Oh, well...


Al said...

Something doesn't quite make sense to me, as Spamhaus doesn't list domains, only IP addresses. Can you share an example of the blocking/bounce message or IP address affected?

I track blacklists like Spamhaus over on and have Google alerts set up to notify me when certain things (like Spamhaus) get mentioned on blogs. So, that's how I found you.

Anonymous said...

Sure, as soon as I get back to my other machine I'll post one of the bounce notices.

I agree it doesn't quite sound right, but that's what they said. I even challenged my friendly and seemingly competent tech rep about Spamhaus listing only numeric IP addresses, but he said something about the URL resolving to the blocked IP and so on.

At that point I just dropped it.

This was after the email support people told me essentially the same thing, that it was a link in my email being blocked because of a Spamhaus block.

As for the offending IP address, I don't know what it is. It's not my IP address that's causing the problem, because email that doesn't contain the offending URL sails on through.

I'll post back with the bounce message in a bit.

Steve said...

OK, here are two bounce messages. The first is when I attempted to send a test message containing the offending URL. It never made it out of my email service provider's network, near as I can tell.

Hi. This is the qmail-send program at
I'm afraid I wasn't able to deliver your message to the following
This is a permanent error; I've given up. Sorry it didn't work out.

(stevesturgill AT gmail DOT com): failed after I sent the message.
Remote host said: 554 The message was rejected because it contains
prohibited virus or spam content

--- Below this line is a copy of the message.

Return-Path: (steve AT stevesturgill DOT com)
Received: (qmail 19109 invoked by uid 99); 7 Jul 2007 01:18:31 -0000
Date: Fri, 06 Jul 2007 18:18:31 -0700
From: steve AT stevesturgill DOT com
Subject: tst
To: Steve Sturgill (stevesturgill AT gmail DOT com)
MIME-Version: 1.0
Content-Type: TEXT/plain; CHARSET=US-ASCII
User-Agent: Web-Based Email 4.10.1

dis be a tes of plain text composition and how links work

Incidentally, the same thing happened when I attempted to send a message to myself at the same address I was sending from.

The second bounce message was when I attempted to send a test message from another email account to the one that's blocked. This is the bounce message I got from the other email account.

This is an automatically generated Delivery Status Notification

Delivery to the following recipient failed permanently:

steve AT stevesturgill DOT com

Technical details of permanent failure:
PERM_FAILURE: SMTP Error (state 16): 554 The message was rejected because it contains prohibited virus or spam content

----- Original message -----

Received: by with SMTP id f1mr2247685wae.1183898616151;
Sun, 08 Jul 2007 05:43:36 -0700 (PDT)
Received: by with HTTP; Sun, 8 Jul 2007 05:43:36 -0700 (PDT)
Message-ID: <>
Date: Sun, 8 Jul 2007 05:43:36 -0700
From: "Steve Sturgill" (stevesturgill AT gmail DOT com)
To: steve AT stevesturgill DOT com
Subject: tst5
MIME-Version: 1.0
Content-Type: multipart/alternative;

Content-Type: text/plain; charset=ISO-8859-1; format=flowed
Content-Transfer-Encoding: 7bit
Content-Disposition: inline

Content-Type: text/html; charset=ISO-8859-1
Content-Transfer-Encoding: 7bit

----- Message truncated -----

Anonymous said...

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Trinity said...

Hello I found your post when I put in the code that has been giving me problems also. I can't hit reply to any messages any more they bounce back. All my yahoo groups were bouncing because of this also had to change them to my yahoo email address. I'm an author and this is my author email and I can't use it because of this stupid code and I've called everyone to find out what to do. I get the exact same message it won't go away unless I use plain text for my emails.
Trinity Blacio