AOL email intermittenly unable to reach SBS 2003 Exchange due to timing out
Posted on 2011-05-02
I have issues with AOL email making it to some users on our domain. It seems to happen intermittently and without any pattern that I can determine right now. I had issues with it a couple of years back made some adjustment to MS Intelligent Message Filter and then heard nothing about it until March of this year. It was reported at that time that emails from Corporate personnel (that happen to be AOL users) didn't make it through. However when I followed up on the issue their emails were then coming in fine. I figured it was just a time out issue since I had very little in the way of details from those users what had occurred. But last week I discovered that someone I know who uses AOL was having trouble sending me emails. Which makes me concerned because I don't know if the issue is related and certainly don't want the corporate users running into the problem again, certainly not if it can be fixed. I'm Running SBS 2003 SP2 and we host our own Exchange.
I was able to find a situation similiar to mine except that it looks like that user had a Cisco firewall in place. I have a Sonicwall TZ 170.
When I ran the diagnostic tool on MXToolbox last week I did notice that it timed out and thought initially that might be it, but refreshing it a dozen times doesn't recreate the problem. I've added it as a monitored event and haven't seen anything indicating that it's timed out since last week.
My friend the AOL user is currently getting email through to me and was able to get a copy of the AOL Returned Mail Transcript.
*** ATTENTION ***
Your e-mail is being returned to you because there was a problem with its
delivery. The address which was undeliverable is listed in the section
labeled: "----- The following addresses had permanent fatal errors -----".
The reason your mail is being returned to you is listed in the section
labeled: "----- Transcript of Session Follows -----".
The line beginning with "<<<" describes the specific reason your e-mail could
not be delivered. The next line contains a second error message which is a
general translation for other e-mail servers.
Please direct further questions regarding this message to the e-mail
administrator or Postmaster at that destination.
----- The following addresses had permanent fatal errors -----
----- Transcript of session follows -----
<firstname.lastname@example.org>... Deferred: Connection timed out with mail.pulsco.com.
Message could not be delivered for 3 hours
Message will be deleted from queue
As I mentioned earlier; what I gleemed from the post dealing with a similar issue as mine it appears they felt it was a firewall issue so I decided to take a look at the Firewall Logs. When I filter in on the event that looks questionable to me I get the following incidents being logged. The earlier events happened in March and my friend doesn't email me regularly enough to be able to say with any degree of accuracy when the issues occurred to them. Could this be related?
1 04/29/2011 00:00:26.032 Warning Firewall Logging SMTP POP-Before-SMTP authentication failed
2 04/22/2011 00:00:26.896 Warning Firewall Logging SMTP POP-Before-SMTP authentication failed
3 04/15/2011 00:00:26.736 Warning Firewall Logging SMTP POP-Before-SMTP authentication failed
4 04/12/2011 15:33:41.224 Warning Firewall Logging SMTP POP-Before-SMTP authentication failed
Could it be that it is the Firewall causing the problem?