NinerNet Communications™
System Status

Server and System Status

Problems with shaw.ca again

13 July 2021 19:21:41 +0000

Shaw Communications Inc. and their mail filtering sub-contractor (Cloudfilter/Cloudmark) are again delaying, and now even bouncing, email sent to shaw.ca addresses. However, we have no way of communicating with Shaw mail server admins, so we cannot talk to them about how their filtering practices are non-standard and unpredictable.

Our mail server is still/again not in any of the 250 major blacklists that we monitor, so it is unclear why Shaw/Cloudfilter are causing this problem. If you are a Shaw customer, we strongly recommend that you contact Shaw and complain. We also recommend that you do not forward your email to any addresses on their domain.


Update, 2021-07-13 15:45 (PDT): Bounce messages will contain this line, or something very similar to it:

host shw-central.mx.a.cloudfilter.net[3.96.81.40] refused to talk to me: 421 shw-ibgw-4001a.ext.cloudfilter.net cmsmtp too many sessions from 178.62.195.26 AUP#CNCT

Normally bounce messages can be easily deciphered, but even we don’t know what this means or how it makes any sense.

NC036: Maintenance complete

16 June 2021 02:17:12 +0000

Server NC036 has been rebooted and is back online. All functions have been checked, and all services are running normally.

If you have any questions, please contact NinerNet support. Thank-you.

NC036: Server restart

16 June 2021 02:07:49 +0000

Server NC036 will be rebooted shortly, following recent maintenance. It will be inaccessible for about one minute. We will post again when it is back online.

Email to shaw.ca delayed

7 June 2021 04:15:13 +0000

As of Sunday 6 June 2021 (Pacific Time), emails to shaw.ca are being delayed. This problem may also be affecting other domains owned by Shaw Communications Inc., but at this point we’re only aware of the issue affecting email to shaw.ca

The problem appears to be that Shaw has changed their MX record to point to a new, external mail filtering company. (The change is new; the mail filtering company is not new.) All emails to shaw.ca are being temporarily deferred, rather than hard-bounced. It’s unclear why this is, as our mail server’s IP address is not in any major blacklists of the approximately 250 that we regularly monitor. There is also no notice on Shaw’s “Service Updates & Outages” page, and no notification was received by Shaw customers of a planned outage.

We will continue to monitor this situation and, if we can, take any action to work around Shaw’s action and the unavailability of their mail system at the moment. If you have any questions in the meantime, please contact NinerNet support. If you yourself are a Shaw customer, we strongly recommend you contact them and voice your displeasure at your email being delayed and/or blocked.


Update, 2021-06-07 15:00 (PDT): We submitted two support requests to the company to which Shaw outsources their email, but they have been no help, suggesting that we have to contact Shaw directly. However, since they’re blocking our email and they don’t seem to have any kind of a corporate website, that’s rather difficult.

After our last reply to a ticket at 14:23 we checked the mail server to confirm that the copies to Shaw were blocked, and we found that almost all of the queued emails to shaw.ca addresses had been cleared; a few moments later all had been cleared and delivered.

So it seems that this issue has been resolved. However, we have had no contact from Shaw, so without an explanation for why their email stopped working we can’t be sure this won’t happen again.

NC036: Maintenance complete

30 May 2021 23:03:44 +0000

The scheduled maintenance on server NC036 is complete. The ability to send and receive email was not available between 22:47 and 22:53 on 30 May UTC. The new disk space has been tested and all is running normally.

Thank-you for your patience. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact NinerNet support. Thank-you.

NC036: Scheduled mail server maintenance

30 May 2021 22:44:06 +0000

During this weekend’s maintenance window we will be adding hard drive storage to server NC036 to continue to provide more storage space for a growing number of growing email accounts. This maintenance is scheduled to start in a few minutes, it will conclude in less than half an hour.

During the maintenance the ability to send and receive email will not be available, both via standalone email programs (e.g., Outlook, Thunderbird, etc.) and the webmail. Incoming email will be queued on the sending servers until our server is back online again, after which it will then be delivered to our server and your email account. This may result in a delay longer than the planned length of the maintenance though.

Please monitor this status page to be notified of the end of the maintenance. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact NinerNet support.

Thank-you for your patience as we continue to work to improve our services to you.

Emails to Microsoft domains delayed

12 March 2021 04:16:41 +0000

Since about 05:00 UTC on 11 March we have noticed that emails to Microsoft’s free email domains — hotmail.com, outlook.com, msn.com, live.com and various other domains in various other TLDs — have been and are being significantly delayed, sometimes by twelve hours or more. This is not a problem with our mail servers; it is Microsoft that are deferring and refusing deliveries. If you look at their “service health” page, they claim that “Everything is up and running”, but this is not accurate — or true.

We are monitoring the situation, but there is little to nothing that we can do. We ask you to have patience when communicating with people who use this free email service, and if Microsoft cared to communicate with the public, we’re sure they’d ask that too.

NC036: Post-mortem

21 September 2020 08:42:47 +0000

As noted in the previous two posts, there was a virus outbreak on server NC036 (the primary mail server) this morning. Apparently the machines associated with five email accounts on three domains were compromised, allowing criminals to use those accounts to send thousands of viruses. These were intercepted by our anti-virus scanner, but due to the volume of activity on the server we had to shut down the SMTP side of the mail server while we determined which email accounts were compromised, suspended them and removed their messages from the mail queue.

Please note that what happens in almost all cases when email accounts are compromised is that the computer (or one of the machines or devices on which those accounts are configured) is what is actually compromised; it is not the server. The account owner’s machine is usually infected with a virus or other malware, and the account’s password is then transmitted to the criminals behind the virus. They then launch an attack via the legitimate and correct password. It’s as if your car was stolen and the thief used it to commit a crime; the car behaved as it was told by the guy with the key, but is not responsible for the crime. On the other hand, the owner of the car may have left the key in their car and the door unlocked, contributing to the compromise. This is why it is vitally important that you have anti-virus software installed on your computer, and kept up-to-date.

If you have any questions about this, please feel free to contact NinerNet support, and we’ll be happy to answer your questions or concerns. Our apologies for the interruption.

NC036: Mail server is back online

21 September 2020 07:26:54 +0000

Our apologies. The sending side of the mail server (NC036) is back up. It was down for 21 minutes between 06:56 and 07:17 UTC. The ability to check your email account was not down.

We will post additional information and contact the affected clients shortly.

NC036: Mail server paused while we clean up a spam outbreak

21 September 2020 07:05:48 +0000

Server NC036 (the primary mail server) is temporarily paused while we clean up a huge virus outbreak. I will be back online as soon as possible.

NinerNet home page

Systems at a Glance:


Loc.SystemStatusPing
Server NC023, London, United Kingdom (Relay server), OPERATIONAL.NC023OperationalUp?
Server NC028, Vancouver, Canada (Monitoring server), INTERNAL.NC028InternalUp?
Server NC031, New York, United States of America (Web server), INTERNAL.NC031InternalUp?
Server NC033, Toronto, Canada (Primary nameserver), OPERATIONAL.NC033OperationalUp?
Server NC034, Lusaka, Zambia (Phone server), INTERNAL.NC034InternalUp?
Server NC035, Sydney, Australia (Secondary nameserver), OPERATIONAL.NC035OperationalUp?
Server NC036, Amsterdam, Netherlands (Mail server), OPERATIONAL.NC036OperationalUp?
Server NC040, Toronto, Canada (Web server), INTERNAL.NC040InternalUp?
Server NC041, New York, United States of America (Web server), OPERATIONAL.NC041OperationalUp?
Server NC042, Seattle, United States of America (Status website), OPERATIONAL.NC042OperationalUp?

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