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Messages pending submission backed up

Posted on 2006-06-13
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Last Modified: 2011-10-03
This issue started yesterday out of the blue. I'm running Server 2003 Standard SP1 with Exchange Version 6.5 SP2.

My messages pending submission que continues to grow mostly with spam. I currently have around 1000 items waiting. They are processed, but it is very slow. I cannot find where any updates may have been applied on this machine to change anything. It is running GFI 11.0, but I have it disabbled at the moment with no luck. It is also running Symantec Mail Security for Exchange, which I also tried disabling temporarily.

I turned the NDRs off, and have restarted the machine and the SMTP service a couple of times.

Forgive me if I have not provided enough information. I will be happy to supply more if it will help.

Any thoughts or suggestions are greatly appreciated.
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Question by:XOracle
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Expert Comment

by:Sembee
ID: 16898269
Turning NDRs off doesn't really help.
Are the messages from postmaster@ ? If so, then they could be NDR spam. Turn on recipient filtering and tar pit.

http://www.amset.info/exchange/filter-unknown.asp

Make sure that you turn on both filtering and the tar pit, otherwise it makes things worse.

Also take a look at my spam cleanup article here: http://www.amset.info/exchange/spam-cleanup.asp

Simon.

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Author Comment

by:XOracle
ID: 16903268
The messages are not from postmaster. The majority of them the last two days have been from @netzero.com. They were coming from @yahoo.ca three days ago.

I have enabled recipient filtering and tar pit as well and it still does not seem to be making a difference.

I tried to work through the spam cleanup article, but I'm having difficulty that I believe is related to my PIX allowing only the seven SMTP minimum-required commands.

Any other thoughts?
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Expert Comment

by:Sembee
ID: 16907586
The firewall should make no difference with the cleanup article.
Remember that ESM is notorious for not showing the true extent of the queues. It can take three or four goes before the queue even begins to look clear. Most spammers will drop and run, so a large number of messages will be sent to the server then the spammer will disappear. In many cases they will not continue to come in, it is just ESM catching up.

Simon.
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Author Comment

by:XOracle
ID: 17167043
It appears as though the problem was related to GFI and massive amounts of spam hitting our server. If I turned GFI off, everything would run fine. I've turned it back on, and everything has run well for over a month. It seems that we were just getting overwhelmed with spam at the time. The fact that GFI is running with Exchange on an old server probably doesn't help mattters either. GFI offered to help in accordance with our support contract, but was able to offer no solution to the problem.
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