[SURBL-Discuss] Email Rejected due to Multi.surbl.org

David B Funk dbfunk at engineering.uiowa.edu
Tue Apr 27 08:21:00 CEST 2010

On Mon, 26 Apr 2010, Wolf, Duane A. wrote:

> I've been researching an issue where emails are getting rejected with these NDR errors:
> An error occurred while trying to deliver this message to the recipient's e-mail address. Microsoft Exchange will not try to redeliver this message for you. Please try resending this message, or provide the following diagnostic text to your system administrator.
> The following organization rejected your message: smoothwall.
>   _____  
> Sent by Microsoft Exchange Server 2007
> Diagnostic information for administrators:
> #552 www.w3.org in multi.surbl.org: ##
> #552 www.w3.org in multi.surbl.org: ##
> If I'm reading this correctly the emails are being rejected cause the multi.susrbl.org found a reference to w3.org in a HTML email??
> How can this be fixed/removed/corrected?
> Thanks,
> Duane

"w3.org" is not in any surbl.org list and to the best of my knowledge
never has been. (it would be a mistake if it ever were).

Sometimes ISPs will provide a "special" customized DNS service that takes
queries that 'miss' and provides an answer that routes their customers to
a "helpful" web page (on the assumption that the DNS 'miss' was due to a
customer mis-typing a host name in a web browser). Needless to say,
such "helpfulness" causes chaos with DNS-based listings such as SURBL,
Spamhaus, SORBS, CBL, and many others.
So that false-positive may have been caused by FUBARed local DNS/network

Be that as it may, any intelligent implementation of surbl filtering
will have a local "whitelist" of URLs that it will never bother even
trying to look up such as "google.com" "hotmail.com" "msn.com", and
"w3.org" (SpamAssassin does this). This is as much to reduce filtering and
network overhead as it is to guard against false-positives.

Long story short, that NDR report is either wrong & misleading or
an indication of a fundamental problem in that mail server, it isn't
caused by SURBL. You'll have to try to get that mail administrator to
figure out what's going on.
Good luck there, MS Exchange has a long history of Bowdlerizing
internet-RFC error messages to "not confuse people". ;(

Dave Funk                                  University of Iowa
<dbfunk (at) engineering.uiowa.edu>        College of Engineering
319/335-5751   FAX: 319/384-0549           1256 Seamans Center
Sys_admin/Postmaster/cell_admin            Iowa City, IA 52242-1527
#include <std_disclaimer.h>
Better is not better, 'standard' is better. B{

More information about the Discuss mailing list