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sending emails - "Your server announcement looks like a dhcp pool allocation"

Posted on 2006-11-21
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Last Modified: 2008-01-09
Hi,

We send our emails through a dedicated hosting solution. This means our server calls itself 123-123-123-123.dedserver.net instead of mail.mycompany.com, when smtp'ing to another server.

Usually fine - but emails to one particular domain (*@optus.com.au) fail consistently. They bounce back with the following error. I've emailed postmaster@optus.com.au as instructed but not holding my breath.

Can you advise if this is a problem my end? I wonder if their mail server is trying to do a reverse DNS lookup or something. But we can email other domains without drama.

=======================

Hi. This is the qmail-send program at 123-123-123-123.dedsvrs.net.
I'm afraid I wasn't able to deliver your message to the following addresses.
This is a permanent error; I've given up. Sorry it didn't work out.

<Russell.Johnstone@optus.com.au>:
203.13.126.131 does not like recipient.
Remote host said: 554 5.7.1 <123-123-123-123.dedsvrs.net>: Helo command
rejected: Your server announcement looks like a dhcp pool allocation.  Mail postmaster@optus.com.au for more information.
Giving up on 203.13.126.131.

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Question by:blowfly
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jar3817 earned 500 total points
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The error says something about the server announcement, which happens when it first connects in SMTP, it'll say "EHLO 123-123-123-123.dedserver.com". This is probably where it's failing. Some email admins (myself included) filter based on the reverse dns (and corrisponding forward dns), announcement hostnames and lots of other stuff to detect spam. The 123-123-123-123.dedserver.com format is very similar to dialup/cable/dsl generic reverse dns (having the ip either in dotted or dashed form (forward or reverse) within the hostname. The best thing to do would be to change the reverse dns to a real hostname, or at least something that doesn't look so generic. The idea is that legit servers that send out email will have specific hostnames so you know what they are (mail.whereever.com, smtp3.whereever.com), mail coming from  a generic hostname looks like (to some quick and dirty spam filters) a compromised machine that is pumping out spam.

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by:jar3817
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and...
when and if you change the reverse dns, also make sure the smtp announcement changes too. You can usually override that, but you didn't mention what mail server software you're using.
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by:blowfly
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FYi I got a reply from postmaster and they ended up whitelisting us. Looks like they thought we were spammers due to the xxx-xxx-xxx-xxx.blah.com introduction so yes, changing that introduction is a priority now. We're following up with our ISP abotu how to change it.
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