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Tool helps identify inbound Exchange Server email flow issues

I'm running Exchange Server 2003 Service Pack (SP) 2 on Windows Server 2003. Recently, I had a spammer use my SMTP server to spam people, and now my Exchange server is not accepting new email. I've tried to telnet port 25, but without success. I've also tried using SmtpDiag, reinstalling Exchange 2003 SP2 and restarting the server to the last known 'good' configuration. What else do you recommend?

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I'm going to assume that you are not using Windows Small Business Server (SBS) and, therefore, ISA Server is not playing a part in this. There is a fantastic tool called SmtpDiag.exe available for download from Microsoft. It will help you identify why inbound email is not being accepted. If your external MX records were altered, it could cause telnet and other hosts to point at the wrong server.

Since you mentioned that you were just the victim of an open SMTP relay from a spammer, you'll also want to make sure that your outbound email is not adversely affected. You can check to see if your SMTP host IP address is on a blocklist at Spamhaus.

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This was first published in September 2008

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