Blog Archive

Friday, January 27, 2012

Email Upgrade, What We've Learned And What You Need To Know

If you’re a subscriber to our Facebook page or Twitter feeds, you already know much of the information in this post, but the information is important enough to repeat. On Monday night we installed our new e-mail server, and while the transition went well overall, there were some small issues that need further explanation. This post will provide that information.

Since the transition, some customers have been experiencing problems with returned e-mails; sometimes getting a message along the lines of “unfortunately this message can’t be sent,” and a link to a site called Spamhaus. Spamhaus is a site that collects e-mail information from servers around the world in order to determine the sources of unwanted “spam” email. A list is then published and made available to providers, like the EPB, who can then use the list to determine how to block the spam by “blacklisting” the networks that allowed the spam to be sent and, thus, keep the system running efficiently. It is a great system, and without services like it, we would all be drowning in a flood of junk e-mails. Typically the report is generated by Spamhaus detailing the problem, and the problem can be easily fixed. The provider (in this case the EPB) then simply requests to be removed from their “blacklist,” so that everything returns to normal quickly. Usually this causes a short inconvenience for a few customers and is corrected before anyone even notices.

However, like all things automated, Spamhaus too occasionally breaks, which is what has happened over the last few days. They have placed the EPB on a “blacklist” but gave us absolutely no reason, so we have, in effect, been searching for the needle in the haystack. To make matters worse, Spamhaus is located in England, and they do not have 24 hour support. We immediately engaged Linux Magic, the manufacturer of our new e-mail server, for assistance. We have been working with them the past few days trying to resolve this problem and ensure we are no longer “blacklisted.”

One problem we discovered is that several e-mail accounts had been compromised and were being used by people from out of the country to use our e-mail server to send out spam all over the internet. We have now disabled these accounts and are monitoring the server for more of these. Another problem was found in that some customers had viruses and were also sending out e-mails. These problems were uncovered as a result of our attempts to provide a more user friendly e-mail system for those individuals who use their cell phones for e-mail services.

Our team has worked around the clock since Monday night to resolve these problems. We, along with Linux Magic, continue to monitor the server in our best efforts to prevent any further disruptions in what we feel certain is a superior e-mail product.

Another common question that has been asked by our customers, is “why does the new mail server show that it has blocked 30 spams, but I only see 4 of them in my spam folder?” A very basic answer to a complicated process, each e-mail is rated with a 1 to 10 rating as it passes through the anti-spam system. If you have whitelisted this sender, the e-mail will pass on through. A rating of 1 - 3 will result in the e-mail being delivered. A rating of 3 - 5 will place it in your “spam” or “quarantine” box, depending upon the interface you are using. A rating of 5 or above will block it at the server. The only spam e-mails you will see are the ones with a 3 – 5 rating. Barracuda operated in the exact same manner, it simply didn’t notify you about those 26 e-mails that were blocked with a 5 or above rating. If you want to view your spam with the 3 – 5 rating, simply log into either of the webmail clients and look at your spam folder. You can then move those e-mails, or click on the button in the right hand corner of e-mail pane to whitelist the sender so they will always be directed to your inbox.

As always, if you need any help or have any other questions, please feel free to give us a call at 651-8341 or send an e-mail to, and we will do our best to help you. And, if you are reading this information for the first time, please consider becoming a fan of the Glasgow EPB on Facebook, as information pertaining to this upgrade, outages and other important issues is constantly updated. Just click on
Monday, January 23, 2012

Tonight's Email Server Upgrade

As we've been mentioning over the past several days. Tonight at midnight the Glasgow EPB

We've been working for several months to make sure that this migration goes as smoothly as we possibly can. We've also given you lots of information over the past weeks regarding this transition. There are just a few key things you need to remember. These are the key differences in this mail server and the old one which might affect you:

  • If you are a customer that uses a mail client on your computer (such as Microsoft Outlook, Eudora, Thunderbird, or Windows Live Mail) you will not have to do anything. Your email will work the same as it always have and you probably aren't going to notice anything different at all.

  • If you are a customer that forwards email from one account to the other, for example you forward your address to gmail, then you should log in and check your forward settings in the webmail interface. Over the weekend we wrote a script to import the forwards so it should be fine, just in case it can't hurt to check. You can do this tomorrow morning by logging into the webmail interface at and looking under Options>Autoresponder And Forwards.

  • When logging into the new webmail interface, you must use your entire email address as the username. For example

  • If for some reason you've left all of your mail on the server, then your email will automatically be imported into the new system. To automatically kick this off, you need to log into the webmail at tomorrow after the migration. Depending on the size of your mailbox, it might take a few minutes, but your email will show up inside of webmail.

  • If you had contacts saved in webmail, we've done our best to import them. If for some reason your contact list inside of webmail doesn't get imported, then give us a call or send us an email at and let us know what you're missing and we'll do our best to get it corrected for you.
  • Barracuda is going away, we are going to be setting it so that it no longer does any filtering then will be removing in a few days after we're sure that customers have received all of their quarantined mail. The new antispam features are integrated into the email server and the quarantine can be viewed by logging into and selecting "Mail Settings" from the drop down box. We have been asked by the mail server creator to not import whitelists yet. The technology the new system uses is different from the Barracuda so it shouldn't have as many false positives as the Barracuda had and shouldn't need as many white lists. Just in case though, we are saving all of your old white lists so we can put them if we need too.

We have been planning this migration for quite some time and we've tried to think of every possible way to make it as painless as possible for our customers. We're sure there will be some issues and we'll have staff on hand to deal with these. If you have any problems after the migration give us a call at 270-651-8341 or send us an email at and we'll be happy to help you work through them. Thanks for your patience, and we hope you enjoy the new features given to you by MagicMail.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Important News About Your EPB Email

No one really looks forward to big changes, and that includes us. We just made some fairly sweeping changes to our cable television lineup and we hate to bother you again so soon, but this coming change is one that will make our email system more resistant to threats, more reliable, faster, and more adaptable to porting our email to other devices and easier to use when you are on the road. So, here it comes.

The Glasgow Electric Plant Board will be upgrading our email on the night of January 23rd. We will be removing the Barracuda Spam Firewall, importing user accounts, and importing user address books. We have been working on this improvement for a few months and we are confident that our extra efforts will result in minimal inconvenience for you. All of your existing email on the old system will also be imported such that when you log into the webmail system you should not be losing anything.

This is an upgrade that we are very excited about and which will be adding much new functionality to our email system. You will not only benefit from the more redundant and stable Linux based system, but you will also see the following features.

  • You will be able to store up to a gigabyte of email and attachments per mailbox. This means you will be able to keep several thousand emails on the email server where they are safe from things like computer crashes.
  • The advanced and integrated antispam and antivirus features mean you no longer have to go two different places to check your spam filter. You can simply do it from inside the new webmail interface.
  • The current trend of smart phones, tablets, and other devices which allow remote viewing of email, accounts for around 40% of the “mail checking” on our current system. This new email solution allows for better security policies which make it easier for us to allow you to check email through these devices.
  • You will have the ability to manage all of your own email accounts from a central location.

Another new feature with this system is the completely revamped webmail interface. Our current webmail portal, while very functional, lacks a lot when it comes to ease of use and navigation. When using MagicMail you will have the ability to choose from a simple webmail interface called Webmail Lite, or a new and more advanced system called Tuxedo. We will help you pick the one best suited for your use.

Webmail Lite Interface

Tuxedo Advanced Webmail

Tuxedo Calendar System

From inside of either system you will have the ability to send and compose email, manage your address book and manage your settings. Perhaps the most exciting new feature is the ability to manage your “Spam Inbox” as well as customize your spam settings and rules from inside of your mailbox.

Mailbox Management

Spam Settings

We expect this process to go smoothly but, as always, if you have any issues after the upgrade feel free to call us at 270-651-8341 or check our , , or pages for statuses and updated information.