'Forgot Password' Emails not being sent, but other emails are.

Get help with installation and running phpBB 3.2.x here. Please do not post bug reports, feature requests, or extension related questions here.
sjgarth
Registered User
Posts: 35
Joined: Fri Jan 11, 2013 12:37 pm

'Forgot Password' Emails not being sent, but other emails are.

Post by sjgarth » Mon Nov 19, 2018 9:52 pm

Support Request Template
What version of phpBB are you using? phpBB 3.2.5
What is your board's URL? https://forum.rblr.co.uk/main/index.php
Who do you host your board with? unlimitedwebhosting
How did you install your board? I used the download package from phpBB.com
What is the most recent action performed on your board? Update from a previous version of phpBB3
Is registration required to reproduce this issue? Yes
Do you have any MODs installed? No
Do you have any extensions installed? Yes
What version of phpBB3 did you update from? phpBB 3.2.4
What extensions do you have installed?
Activity Buttons
Add User
AJAX Registration Check
Board Announcements
Collapsible Forum Categorie
External Links Open in New Window
Image Upload
LMDI Multilinks
NavBar Search
Obscure Contact Us
Pages
phpBB Media Embed PlugIn
Privacy policy
Profile side switcher
Red title for new topic and new reply
Site logo (3.2)
Tapatalk Plugin for phpBB

What styles do you currently have installed? pro-silver
What language(s) is your board currently using? english
Which database type/version are you using? MySQL(i) 5.6.42-cll-lve
What is your level of experience? Comfortable with PHP and phpBB
What username can be used to view this issue? ask and I will pm
What password can be used to view this issue? ask and I will pm
What actions did you take (updating your board; installing a MOD, style or extension; etc.) prior to this problem becoming noticeable? This issue existed before the update to 3.2.5, and goes back a while. I have only recently tried to resolve the issue. Unfortunately I am not able to pinpoint when the issue started, but the extensions have been in place for quite a while.

Please describe your problem.

I am using the PHP mail function not SMTP. Emails are being sent from the board for contact admin and email a user and mass email function (only tried with myself not a mass email).
However, the forgot my password function does not send an email. I have tried with myself and the test user without success.
I have read other topics and have changed the email package size to 0 without success.
I have not managed to get SMTP working, but as php is sending emails I have not pursued the required SMTP settings with my provider.
I am not sure why some emails will be sent and not the 'forgot password' emails.
Any ideas?
Generated by SRT Generator
Last edited by sjgarth on Sat Jan 26, 2019 10:40 am, edited 1 time in total.
Steve Garth
A complete idiot who requires a forum like this to tie his shoelace.

sjgarth
Registered User
Posts: 35
Joined: Fri Jan 11, 2013 12:37 pm

Re: 'Forgot Password' Emails not being sent, but other emails are.

Post by sjgarth » Fri Jan 25, 2019 12:48 pm

Any chance of some assistance with this please.
Steve Garth
A complete idiot who requires a forum like this to tie his shoelace.

User avatar
Mick
Support Team Member
Support Team Member
Posts: 21053
Joined: Fri Aug 29, 2008 9:49 am
Location: Watching cricket - definitely

Re: 'Forgot Password' Emails not being sent, but other emails are.

Post by Mick » Fri Jan 25, 2019 1:51 pm

What type of email address are you using for Contact and From email addresses, free, premium or supplied via your hosting account?
"The more connected we get the more alone we become" - Kyle Broflovski

sjgarth
Registered User
Posts: 35
Joined: Fri Jan 11, 2013 12:37 pm

Re: 'Forgot Password' Emails not being sent, but other emails are.

Post by sjgarth » Fri Jan 25, 2019 3:40 pm

The 'contact' and 'from' email addresses are attached to the domain using the ISP email setup system. The emails work in every other way required.
Steve Garth
A complete idiot who requires a forum like this to tie his shoelace.

User avatar
stevemaury
Support Team Member
Support Team Member
Posts: 50405
Joined: Thu Nov 02, 2006 12:21 am
Location: The U.P.
Name: Steve
Contact:

Re: 'Forgot Password' Emails not being sent, but other emails are.

Post by stevemaury » Fri Jan 25, 2019 4:19 pm

Disable or otherwise uninstall TapaTalk and test.
For REALLY good and VERY inexpensive hosting CLICK HERE

I can stop all your spam. I can upgrade or update your Board. PM or email me. (Paid support)

sjgarth
Registered User
Posts: 35
Joined: Fri Jan 11, 2013 12:37 pm

Re: 'Forgot Password' Emails not being sent, but other emails are.

Post by sjgarth » Fri Jan 25, 2019 10:17 pm

I have disabled tapatalk with no change.
Steve Garth
A complete idiot who requires a forum like this to tie his shoelace.

sjgarth
Registered User
Posts: 35
Joined: Fri Jan 11, 2013 12:37 pm

Re: 'Forgot Password' Emails not being sent, but other emails are.

Post by sjgarth » Sat Jan 26, 2019 1:03 am

Further Info:
I am using the PHP Sendmail system not SMTP.
I disabled all my extensions and tested the email functions, result was;
-User to user email works
-Mass mail function (to me and a test user) works
-Forgot password doesn't work
Steve Garth
A complete idiot who requires a forum like this to tie his shoelace.

User avatar
thecoalman
Community Team Member
Community Team Member
Posts: 3154
Joined: Wed Dec 22, 2004 3:52 am
Location: Pennsylvania, U.S.A.
Contact:

Re: 'Forgot Password' Emails not being sent, but other emails are.

Post by thecoalman » Sat Jan 26, 2019 11:10 am

sjgarth wrote:
Sat Jan 26, 2019 1:03 am
-Forgot password doesn't work
Do registration emails work?

User avatar
EA117
Registered User
Posts: 580
Joined: Wed Aug 15, 2018 3:23 am
Contact:

Re: 'Forgot Password' Emails not being sent, but other emails are.

Post by EA117 » Sat Jan 26, 2019 12:54 pm

For what it's worth, one thing that could be consistent with the symptoms is that your hosting provider is using spam-prevention filtering that is thinks your failing messages are scoring high enough to be spam. I'm not talking about spam rules or filtering at the receiving end; but rather that your hosting provider themselves are dropping the mail you're attempting to send, after phpBB has successfully handed the message off to the PHP mail() function.

This happened with my host provider when we tried to use their mail service. The non-variable "Subject: New private message has arrived" subject line was in their system as having been associated with spam, and the use of this subject line was enough to score the email to be dropped. Consequently, no one was receiving notifications of new Private Messages in phpBB.

Whereas other mail being sent by phpBB, such as the user-to-user email "Subject: "{SITENAME}" - Email a friend", or the user-defined subject line in the Contact Admin form, or the administrator-defined subject line of a mass email, or notifications of new thread posts which included the thread name in the subject line, all have variable subject lines which wouldn't match a static filter like that.

Not that "subject line" is the only way messages can be filtered or scored; I'm just saying this did contribute to the overall score in the system my host was using, and was enough to get them dropped, at least in our case. The Forgotten Password function of phpBB you're testing and seeing failure with happens to also have a static subject line, "Subject: New password activation". So that is what brings this previous experience to mind.

You could test this theory to either confirm or rule it out by changing the subject line phpBB uses for the Forgotten Password email, and then testing whether this changes anything about the email being successfully received. For example, the English email template for Forgotten Password would be the one in /language/en/email/user_activate_passwd.txt. Save a backup copy of that original file, and then upload an edited version where you have changed the subject line to something that will be unique to your site, such as "Subject: "{SITENAME}" - New password activation".

After changing the template to use a more unique subject line, if re-testing the Forgotten Password function now successfully sends emails to the same people it previously did not, then your next conversation probably needs to be with your hosting provider. To confirm that their logs show the mail is indeed being intentionally dropped at their end, and whether they have any way for you to avoid this issue.

Whether they offer to help prevent the issue or not, an interim solution can be to change the email template subject lines to all include at least your "{SITENAME}" variable, so that the subject lines will be more unique. I did that initially too, but my long-term solution was ultimately to use an external email service, via SMTP, which didn't have such an aggressive policy against the mails the phpBB board was attempting to send.

sjgarth
Registered User
Posts: 35
Joined: Fri Jan 11, 2013 12:37 pm

Re: 'Forgot Password' Emails not being sent, but other emails are.

Post by sjgarth » Sat Jan 26, 2019 2:03 pm

thecoalman wrote:
Sat Jan 26, 2019 11:10 am

Do registration emails work?
Hi, I have registration turned off, however I turned it back on to test your request, and no, registration emails does not work.
Steve Garth
A complete idiot who requires a forum like this to tie his shoelace.

sjgarth
Registered User
Posts: 35
Joined: Fri Jan 11, 2013 12:37 pm

Re: 'Forgot Password' Emails not being sent, but other emails are.

Post by sjgarth » Sat Jan 26, 2019 2:10 pm

EA117 wrote:
Sat Jan 26, 2019 12:54 pm
For what it's worth, one thing that could be consistent with the symptoms is that your hosting provider is using spam-prevention filtering that is thinks your failing messages are scoring high enough to be spam. I'm not talking about spam rules or filtering at the receiving end; but rather that your hosting provider themselves are dropping the mail you're attempting to send, after phpBB has successfully handed the message off to the PHP mail() function.
etc.
Thanks for this.
My provider has CPanel installed for me which has a Track Delivery page for emails. I have two separate accounts, one for the charity and one for personal use.
The track delivery for the PHPBB Forum shows that the emails have been accepted and sent (so it may not be the board at fault here), but the track delivery for the other account (where the email was sent to) does not show it being received at all, even though it appears to show all emails that have been rejected as well as accepted.
Sending track delivery entries
picture 1.jpg
Receiving track delivery entries
picture 2.jpg
Steve Garth
A complete idiot who requires a forum like this to tie his shoelace.

sjgarth
Registered User
Posts: 35
Joined: Fri Jan 11, 2013 12:37 pm

Re: 'Forgot Password' Emails not being sent, but other emails are.

Post by sjgarth » Sat Jan 26, 2019 4:23 pm

Response from my ISP indicates that emails from my board are being blocked by Barracuda anti-spam software and are failing in transmission.
The reason for the blockage is a special criteria of Barracuda's and they will not release the information.
I have taken the advice of EA117 and change my subject lines, and other things without any change.
Therefore I need to change the email server being used by the board.
Thanks for your answers and I will be back if necessary.
Steve Garth
A complete idiot who requires a forum like this to tie his shoelace.

User avatar
thecoalman
Community Team Member
Community Team Member
Posts: 3154
Joined: Wed Dec 22, 2004 3:52 am
Location: Pennsylvania, U.S.A.
Contact:

Re: 'Forgot Password' Emails not being sent, but other emails are.

Post by thecoalman » Sat Jan 26, 2019 9:44 pm

Register an account using the email address provided here, it will analyze the email for you.

https://www.mail-tester.com/

User avatar
david63
Registered User
Posts: 16058
Joined: Thu Dec 19, 2002 8:08 am
Location: Lancashire, UK
Name: David Wood
Contact:

Re: 'Forgot Password' Emails not being sent, but other emails are.

Post by david63 » Sun Jan 27, 2019 10:34 am

You could try using SMTP2GO. Basically this is an email proxy so that you actual email is IP address is "hidden" from Barracuda.

If I am not mistaken you can ask Barracuda to unblock your email IP address.

Another option is to ask your hosts to move you on to another mail server.

This is one of the problems with using shared hosting - if one user on the email server creates a problem then the whole server gets banned, irrespective of whether you are the culprit or not.
David
Remember: You only know what you know and - you don't know what you don't know!
My CDB Contributions | How to install an extension
I will not be accepting translations for any of my extensions in Github - please post any translations in the appropriate topic.
No support requests via PM or email as they will be ignored

User avatar
EA117
Registered User
Posts: 580
Joined: Wed Aug 15, 2018 3:23 am
Contact:

Re: 'Forgot Password' Emails not being sent, but other emails are.

Post by EA117 » Sun Jan 27, 2019 12:52 pm

It's not clear, for me anyway, that we're looking at a blocked or blacklisted scenario currently. Since success or failure seems to depend upon the content of the message being sent. ("Forgot password" fails, others do not fail.) If the reputation of the originating mail server was the issue, I would be expecting all messages to fail.

One thing I'm also presuming that the response from your ISP means that their own Barracuda appliance is choosing to drop those emails, as opposed to "a Barracuda appliance outside of our control at the recipient's end is rejecting this." If you've tested with recipients who are on entirely separate email address domains and still get the same "Forgot Password"-specific failure, this would support that the email is being dropped within your own hosting service's network.

If that's true, and the mail is being dropped by your own hosting service, then it will be difficult to get mail-tester.com's or any other recipient's scoring of the failing mail. Since the failing mail never actually leaves the hosting service's network, same as is happening to all of the normal recipients.

A service like SMTP2GO sounds like a great option. It also brings to mind Amazon's mail service that was mentioned here not too long ago.

For what its worth, in our case, all we needed to do was not attempt to use the email services provided by my hosting account. Simply purchasing a dedicated mailbox -- as you would for any other non-phpBB and non-server hosting-related purpose -- and having phpBB authenticate and send through the SMTP server using those credentials was enough. The bottom line was "if we can send the same email content successfully using Outlook or any other SMTP client, our phpBB server will be able to send it too." Since from the SMTP server's perspective, phpBB is just another client authenticating with the correct credentials. We no longer bother modifying the email templates, and just send the email as phpBB intended.

Regardless of which way you go, one other thing which turned out to be important was that our hosting service also actively blocked outbound port 25 or 465 connections. What you're looking for are services which provide alternative non-standard ports which are less likely to have been blocked; such as in SMTP2GO's case where they provide "SMTP port: 2525 (or 80, 25, 8025 or 587 if that doesn’t work)." Port 80 out of that list is the most "evasive" one, and the least likely that your hosting service would have been able to block for outbound traffic since it's needed for outbound HTTP, too.

To me the biggest "crime" in all of this is that you weren't immediately receiving back a rejection notice, by email, confirming that the send attempt was being dropped. It took a conversation with your hosting provider to learn this, same as it did with us. Until that point, emails were being " randomly lost" and we had no idea when or how often. But I suppose that's part of the anti-spam intention too; they don't necessarily want to reveal and confirm exactly when the spammer is running afoul of their detection, just to keep the spammers guessing whether they've been thwarted or not.

Post Reply

Return to “[3.2.x] Support Forum”