FAQ`s - Challenge/Response Issues ( 7 Articles )
Frequently asked questions about ChoiceMail challenge/response issues.
Creating your own challenge/response process
If you do not wish to use the highly secure challenge/response process supported by our servers, you can configure ChoiceMail One to bypass our registration process and create your own email-based challenge/process.
There are two steps to doing this.
1) Customize your outgoing challenge message to remove the link that refers to the challenge. Then add whatever text you want to your message such as telling people that they should put the number "xyzzy" (say) in the subject line of a message back to you.
2) Create a new permission rule that looks for 'xyzzy' in the subject line of incoming messages. Set the action of that permission rule to Approve Sender.
Note that when you handle challenge/response in this manner, there is no option to view the sender information before they are approved.
I am not receiving any responses to challenges
Symptom: Registration requests are not being received or are being deleted by ChoiceMail. You can see this by checking the activity logs (View | Activity logs)
Solution: Please make sure you are running the latest version of ChoiceMail, which is available directly from our main website.
ChoiceMail stopped sending out challenges
Choicemail has stopped sending out registration requests to unknown senders - it used to work fine - and I continue to be able receive messages from whitelisted senders with no problem
Your ISP has probably changed their configuration so that all outgoing mail requires authentication. ISPs do this to increase security. You should contact your ISP or check their website to determine if this is the case.
To make sure your ChoiceMail can send outgoing challenges - click on Options | Configuration and check the box that says "This server requires authentication". Then uncheck the "use same as incoming" checkbox and type in your ISP username and password (this username and password is normally the same as your incoming POP3 username and password)
Click OK to close all dialogs.
Your messages should now go out without problems.
You may also need to reconfigure your email program as well to use authentication if it is not already set to do so. Note that when you do this, although you will enable authentication and enter the appropriate username and password, do not change the server settings - both the POP3 and SMTP servers must be set to localhost or to the explicit IP address 127.0.0.1 so that your email program can continue to communicate with ChoiceMail.
What our users say:
Challenges are not being sent out
First, make sure that challenges are enabled.
Click on Options | Preferences to open the preferences dialog.
Click the first tab, called Settings. You will see two sub-pages, called General and Advanced, respectively. Click Advanced. At the bottom is a checkbox called \"Do not send challenge messages\"
Make sure it is UNCHECKED if you want challenges to be sent out.
Second, check the icon associated with senders in your unknown senders list. If the icon displays BCC, then ChoiceMail will not send a challenge to that sender. It is normal for there to be a few entries that display BCC. Mail from list servers, newsletters from vendors, and so on, will often legtimately NOT include your email address in the TO field.
However, if ALL of the senders display BCC, then the most likely possibility is that ChoiceMail does not recognize the address in the TO field as belonging to you. This typically happens if mail is being sent to an ALIAS that you have configured to forward to your real POP3 account. If ChoiceMail does not know that the alias actually belongs to you, it will mark the message as BCC and not send out a challenge.
The solution is to make sure that you have in fact told ChoiceMail about your aliases. Click on "Options | Preferences" and then select "Aliases and Mailing Lists" from the dialog. Add your alias email addresses and click OK.
Warning: NEVER NEVER NEVER enter an alias that does not actually belong to you. For example, if you are receiving email from a newsgroup, it may be addressed to a special email address (not yours). If you were to add that special email address to your alias list, you would end up sending challenges back to the newsgroup, and really annoy a lot of people.
The link is broken in a challenge
If you are a trying to send a message to someone whose emails are being protected by ChoiceMail, you must fill in a form at a webpage with your reasons for wanting to contact the user.
You will have received an email message from that user's ChoiceMail system containing a URL on which you should click to get access to the form.
Unfortunately, some email applications break the URL up into multiple lines and only leave the first line "live". Therefore when you click on the URL, only the beginning of the URL is being used by your browser.
We have provided an unsupported tool that can repair the damage in SOME cases - we can't guarantee it will always work - it really depends on how badly the email program broke the link.
Click here to download a utility called RepairEncryptedURL.exe from our website and run it. A small window will be displayed into which you can then drag your broken URL. If the program can repair the URL, it will copy it to the clipboard so that you can paste it back into the address bar of your browser (Mozilla, Firefox, Internet Explorer, Netscape, etc) and try again.
If you find that the registration process does not accept the code you typed in, it is possible that your browser has cached the image and so has an "old" code displayed. You can test this by explicitly reloading the registration page using your RELOAD button. The value in the code box should change each time you do this. If it does not change, then your browser is not correctly reloading the registration page. Some older versions of Netscape are particularly prone to this problem.
ChoiceMail Enterprise is sometimes not sending challenge messages out
This article applies to ChoiceMail Enterprise only.
If you think that the challenge mail is not going out - please first make sure that both ChoiceMail services are running. If the SMTP Service (the bottom one on the ChoiceMail Control Panel) is not running please start it up. It may take a long time for ChoiceMail to catch up with previous requests and clear the queue out if this was the case so please wait at least 24 hours before you try the test again.
If both services were running please go to the \\Queue folder under the main CME folder and then to the \\cm subfolder.
You should see some directories in there. Each directory will represent one domain name and in the directory you should find files that are messages waiting to be sent out. All of these are challenge messages waiting to be sent out and most (95% or so) will be invalid addresses. It is normal to have thousand or more domain names in there, but if you have 5000+ you may have had a problem with your networking.
If this is the case - please do the following.
1) STOP the ChoiceMail server and the ChoiceMail SMTP service
2) RENAME the \queue\cm\ folder to something else - "cm-old" for example
3) Start up the ChoiceMail SMTP service AND the ChoiceMail service.
4) Remove your test addresses from the sender list and retry - see if that fixes the problem.
If this does not help...
Each message is comprised of two files. One file is the .MSG file which is the actual message - the other one is the corresponding .NFO file that contains the information about the message.
Open the information file in notepad and take a look at the attempt count and reason for failure. Please report back what you found and we will go from there.
If none of the above applies ...
Please take a look at your unknown sender list. Do you see the email address there? If soe - what kind of icon does it have? Any red emblems? Move your mouse over the little icon and see what the pop up text says. If the sender is marked as spam for example - it may be that you set Reverse DNS record checking too high or you have a rule that is marking senders as spam. Strong SPF check or invalid SPF on the sender's part may trigger this as well.
Does challenge/response cause an increase in spam?
This (very old) argument is a red herring for several reasons
1) the spammers already know that your email address is valid because, if it was not, your ISP's POP server would have already bounced an "unknown user" header to them.
2) Spammers spend a lot of time blindly sending messages to ISPs and recording the responses to determine what email addresses are real....that's one of the ways they get your email address in the first place
3) 99.9999% of the spam comes from fake email addresses so nobody sees those registration messages anyway.
4) We have monitored the amount of spam being received by various users over the last few years and the rate of change in spam (increasing for everyone) has been the same as for users NOT using ChoiceMail. The product has been around for almost two years (since July 2002) and would have died out a long time ago if this was a real problem.
5) For those that are still concerned, ChoiceMail has an option to "Hide your email address" on outgoing messages for your "peace of mind"