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#fail: Facebook has changed their mail domain to facebookmail.com

Posted by jpluimers on 2010/05/28

Recently, facebook started to complain that my email is not valid any more:

Please update your email address
Our systems have detected that valid.email@example.com is no longer a valid email. Facebook requires all users to maintain an active contact email. Please enter and confirm a new contact email below:
New Email: XXXXXXXX
If you believe you have received this message in error, please reconfirm your current email.

Note I changed my facebook email address in the quote above and log below, but the unchanged one is valid, and accepts mail.

This is what my mailserver shows in their log when facebook tries to send a verification mail:

May 21 12:32:41 snap sm-mta-rx[386]: NOQUEUE: connect from outmail014.snc1.tfbnw.net [69.63.178.173]
May 21 12:33:02 snap sm-mta-rx[386]: o4LAWfCH000386: Milter (smf-sav): init success to negotiate
May 21 12:33:02 snap sm-mta-rx[386]: o4LAWfCH000386: Milter (smf-grey): init success to negotiate
May 21 12:33:02 snap sm-mta-rx[386]: o4LAWfCH000386: Milter: connect to filters
May 21 12:33:04 snap smf-sav[27873]: sender check succeeded: <notification+pilorv6f@facebookmail.com>, 69.63.178.173, outmail014.snc1.tfbnw.net, [00:00:01]
May 21 12:33:04 snap smf-grey[27866]: delay for 00:15:00, 69.63.178.173, outmail014.snc1.tfbnw.net, <notification+pilorv6f@facebookmail.com> -> <valid.email@example.com>
May 21 12:33:05 snap sm-mta-rx[386]: o4LAWfCH000386: Milter: to=<valid.email@example.com>, reject=451 4.2.1 Mailbox busy, try again later
May 21 12:33:10 snap sm-mta-rx[386]: o4LAWfCH000386: from=<notification+pilorv6f@facebookmail.com>, size=0, class=0, nrcpts=0, proto=ESMTP, daemon=MTA-RX, relay=outmail014.snc1.tfbnw.net [69.63.178.173]

May 25 13:06:45 snap sm-mta-rx[6667]: NOQUEUE: connect from outmail010.snc1.tfbnw.net [69.63.178.169]
May 25 13:07:05 snap sm-mta-rx[6667]: o4PB6jB1006667: Milter (smf-sav): init success to negotiate
May 25 13:07:05 snap sm-mta-rx[6667]: o4PB6jB1006667: Milter (smf-grey): init success to negotiate
May 25 13:07:05 snap sm-mta-rx[6667]: o4PB6jB1006667: Milter: connect to filters
May 25 13:07:11 snap smf-sav[27873]: sender check tempfailed: <notification+pilorv6f@facebookmail.com>, 69.63.178.169, outmail010.snc1.tfbnw.net, [00:00:05]
May 25 13:07:12 snap sm-mta-rx[6667]: o4PB6jB1006667: Milter: from=<notification+pilorv6f@facebookmail.com>, reject=451 4.1.8 Sender address verification in progress
May 25 13:07:17 snap sm-mta-rx[6667]: o4PB6jB1006667: from=<notification+pilorv6f@facebookmail.com>, size=0, class=0, nrcpts=0, proto=ESMTP, daemon=MTA-RX, relay=outmail010.snc1.tfbnw.net [69.63.178.169]

May 27 12:04:31 snap sm-mta-rx[29271]: NOQUEUE: connect from outmail006.ash1.tfbnw.net [69.63.184.106]
May 27 12:04:51 snap sm-mta-rx[29271]: o4RA4VJf029271: Milter (smf-sav): init success to negotiate
May 27 12:04:51 snap sm-mta-rx[29271]: o4RA4VJf029271: Milter (smf-grey): init success to negotiate
May 27 12:04:51 snap sm-mta-rx[29271]: o4RA4VJf029271: Milter: connect to filters
May 27 12:04:53 snap smf-sav[27873]: sender check succeeded: <notification+pilorv6f@facebookmail.com>, 69.63.184.106, outmail006.ash1.tfbnw.net, [00:00:02]
May 27 12:04:53 snap smf-grey[27866]: delay for 00:15:00, 69.63.184.106, outmail006.ash1.tfbnw.net, <notification+pilorv6f@facebookmail.com> -> <jeroen.facebook.com@pluimers.com>
May 27 12:04:54 snap sm-mta-rx[29271]: o4RA4VJf029271: Milter: to=<jeroen.facebook.com@pluimers.com>, reject=451 4.2.1 Mailbox busy, try again later
May 27 12:04:59 snap sm-mta-rx[29271]: o4RA4VJf029271: from=<notification+pilorv6f@facebookmail.com>, size=0, class=0, nrcpts=0, proto=ESMTP, daemon=MTA-RX, relay=outmail006.ash1.tfbnw.net [69.63.184.106]

A few remarks:

  1. Facebook sends verification mails every few days, or on demand.
  2. They don’t use the facebook.com domain for sending mail, but in stead facebookmail.com
    (ever got bitten by for instance bank scam? they use domains similar to your bank’s domain to get your secret passcodes…).
  3. They use servers outside the facebook.com domain to send mail: outmail###.@@@.tfbnw.net where ### is a 3-digit number like 014 or 010, and @@@ can be almost anything.
    (do I need to repeat the “ever got bitten” bit here?).
  4. My mail server uses both
    SAV – Sender Address Verification – (smf-sav: does toe sending email address indeed exist?) and
    Greylisting (smf-grey: does the sender persist trying to send the mail a couple of times over a certain period of time) in order to filter out SPAM.
    SAV and Greylisting together brings my incoming SPAM down from 99% to less than 1%.
  5. smf-sav responds with “Mailbox busy, try again later” in a reject-451, indicating a failure of class 4 (try again in the future) but Facebook usually does not try again.
  6. smf-grey responds with “Sender address verification in progress” in a reject-451, indicating a failure of class 4 (try again in the future) but Facebook usually does not try again.

According to RFC3463 (see section 2 in that RFC), all class 4xx SMTP status codes indicate a sending system should retry later.

So: because Facebook does not retry sending the same verification email, or retries from different server, it thinks my email is invalid…

Which forces me to whitelist their domain or mail servers on my whitelist.
I don’t want to do that (especially not because I cannot predict which domains and servers they are going to send mail from), but I seem to have to.

Anyone else who has other ideas to solve this?

–jeroen

Via: Is facebookmail.com from Facebook? – Yahoo! Answers.

11 Responses to “#fail: Facebook has changed their mail domain to facebookmail.com”

  1. Fourniol Odile said

    Je suis épuisée, je n’arrive toujours pas à modifier mon adresse e.mail chez Facebook !

    • jpluimers said

      I hope some of the French readers can answer your question, as I don’t speak French.
      –jeroen

      • Bruce Bergman said

        Well, he wrote:

        >> I’m exhausted, I still can not change my e-mail address on Facebook!

        Which, I don’t think, is something we can help with here. ;-) Good luck though, my French friend! ;-)

        thanks,
        bruce

  2. […] […]

  3. Dora said

    AArgh, this just confuses an old lady even more! Whitelist? RBL list? Domains? IP’s? Just want to get these damn annoying warnings to stop already! I’m fed up with continuously having to reconfirm my email…..:-(

  4. Chris said

    Well, for you domain operators or near programmer astute types, that’s great, but what about the overwhelming majority of FB users? B. Bergman is right… this is FB’s problem, but we’re having to juggle to accommodate them. (Essentially, they want us to set up our email accounts with green light open access to predict their spam like mannerisms.)

    I have read in technology magazines and social network sites that FB, for all their attention and member participation, their programmers and site facilitators are anything but top shelf. They pretty much launched all this winging things as they went along.

    I have the same annoying “Our systems have detected” notification about my known email address “no longer being valid.” (We own the domain and manage it properly.) Funny, though, upon entering my Gmail account, the error goes away and the regular FB activity notifications start back up again.

    Perhaps Gmail is wise to the incompetence and accommodates this in advance?

    Or, perhaps they have linking arrangements that diffuse this before we get such notifications?

  5. James said

    Thanks for this Jeroen – even though I don’t run my own mailserver, I *can* configure the Spam Assassin settings at my ISP… let’s see how this goes.

    James

  6. Bruce Bergman said

    I found some more interesting stuff here, after watching their “checker” fail again, despite my whitelist. Turns out that facebookmail.com got themselves on a blacklist. I assumed that Facebook wouldn’t be on any blacklists, so I left that check in when configuring the whitelist entry. Bad idea. Here’s an excerpt from my logs:

    Jun 4 11:41:13 maps in.smtpd: Matched sender domain based whitelist (Domain=facebookmail.com) with comment ‘Facebook whitelist’.
    Jun 4 11:41:13 maps in.smtpd: Rejecting message from notification+k4nae4wr@facebookmail.com to valid.email@example.com because the sender is on the RBL list at bl.spamcop.net

    So, time to fix that one too (sigh).

  7. Bruce Bergman said

    I concur. I’ve recently been getting the same Facebook warnings about “update your email address” and it stymied me for a while, trying to figure out what recently changed. Their warnings are as annoying as hell. I know my addresses are valid because I manage the whole domain. After digging into this, essentially following your same line of research, I came to the same conclusion.

    I have whitelisted (well, turned off “unknown sender” delays and greylisting) facebookmail.com, and I suppose I will have to do the same for those tfbnw.net addresses, but that’s not really how I want it to go. Like you said, they could change domains or IP’s tomorrow and we’d have to whitelist again. That sucks. Ideally, Facebook needs to honor the spirit of the responses (if not the letter of the RFC) that they’re getting back, and if it says to try back in a few minutes, they need to do so. Failing to do so makes them no different from spammers (who give up after trying once).

    This is really THEIR problem, but we’re paying for it. Hopefully word will get out that they need to do a better job in verifying address and they will change their approach.

    Thanks for your help!
    Bruce Bergman

  8. R Wells said

    I get endless popups from Facebook saying to update my email address too. Does anyone know how to make it stop? It is constant. FB has decided my email address is not functional and the link they send to fix the problem always fails. What a mess. What a screwed up website they have.

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