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Earthlink blocking mail - mismatched rDNS

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Earthlink blocking mail - mismatched rDNS - 21.May2010 5:11:55 PM   


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Joined: 21.May2010
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Mails from one of my customers sent to any earthlink address is being blocked by earthlink. I've followed earthlink's automated procedures to solve the problem, but that hasn't worked. I've verified that my customer's mail server is not black listed anywhere, is not an open relay, and has a valid PTR record.

My customer's mail server is: mail.thenorrisgroup.com
IP address of mail server is:

I just heard from an earthlink level 3 tech support guy that the problem is that when earthlink (or anyone else for that matter) receives an email from someone at the norris group (my customer), the mail header "RECEIVED:" section indicates that the mail is from "71-83-80-194.static.rvsd.ca.charter.com" and not mail.thenorrisgroup.com. The issue is plainly obvious...the SMTP connection is coming from their firewall (which is and not the mail server (which is

Right now, there is a 'A' record for mail.thenorrisgroup.com -> The ISP (Charter) has created a PTR record for -> mail.thenorrisgroup.com. This can all be verified at any dns testing site.

So...what do I need to do to fix this?

Do I need to change the 'A' record for mail.thenorrisgroup.com from to If so, then I'll need to have the ISP change the PTR too (obviously). I will also need to add a firewall rule which says to forward all incoming traffic on port 25 to the mail server's internal ip.

Another option would be to create an 'A' called smtp.thenorrisgroup.com and resolve that to (the firewall). Then, have the ISP (Charter) create a PTR record to make resolve to smtp.thenorrisgroup.com. THEN, I could update the helo response in the SMTP Virtual Connector to reflect smtp.thenorrisgroup.com instead of mail.thenorrisgroup.com. This would make the PTR, the Received, and the helo all match.

Problem is...the mx record says that the mail server for thenorrisgroup.com is mail.thenorrisgroup.com and not smtp.thenorrisgroup.com. So...maybe I could then just add a CNAME record for smtp.thenorrisgroup.com which would just point back to mail.thenorrisgroup.com

So...what would happen if I then changed the MX record to smtp.thenorrisgroup.com?

Diagram of my customer's network:

TheNorrisGroup's Firewall (Cisco 871) -
Internal network gateway ip -
Network Swtich
Mail Server - Exchange 2003 (exchange.norris.local & internal ip of
external 'A' record of mail.thenorrisgroup.com which resolves to

Any suggestions?

Aaron Rogers
Inland Empire Computing
Post #: 1

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