To recap, Friday February 28, the mail server was compromised for all domains that have their email through 3Cstudio. Read the full story here. At first, it appeared as if only att.net was considering mail to their mailservers as spam and blacklisting our mailserver, because that was the only entity sending back immediate block notifications.
Just this Friday evening & Saturday morning, that was no longer the case — it was readily apparent by then that other mail providers (such as Yahoo, Comcast, etc.) were also considering mail from the 3Cstudio mailserver as spam, as bounce-back messages began to funnel in, originally sent a few days prior. Thankfully, it appears that Gmail is not currently affected.
The difference between att.net and the others is this: apparently the others have a policy of allowing the mail to continue to try and get through. Once it reaches a set amount of attempts, it can then send back a message that the note was “permanently deferred” or that “delivery temporarily suspended”.
What does this mean for me, as a 3Cstudio hosted mail user?
Any person that you contacted since 02/28/14 who did not reply (or that you are now receiving bounce-back messages like the ones described above) may need a follow-up call from you to figure out what they received, or you should use any secondary email for the time being if you need to trade email. Apologies in advance for this inconvenience… but I know that a late connection is better than no connection, in most cases.
What does this mean for email going forward?
I’m trying to figure out whether it is worth continuing to attempt to get our mailserver off the blacklists of the individual mail providers mentioned above (all of whom have different requirements/methods for requesting removal… and even then they don’t guarantee that they’ll actually remove you!), or if it will be simpler to “start fresh” with a new IP address. It will probably be the latter, but I need to do a few comparisons and other digging before going that route.
It’s been a really rough 10 days. Thank you for your understanding and your patience. “Other” hosting solutions I’ve had in the past (and have currently) have had a lot more issues than my cloud in the past couple of years, so I guess something like this was bound to happen. It turns out that I’m learning a great deal about what is (and what is not) truly secure, gained a little insight into spam/hack mentality, and hopefully will be all that much more wise in the areas of email setup and recommendations.