Category Archives: MX Alerts

This blog will contain updates on MxToolBox Services including maintenance schedules, upgrades, bug fixes and more. Please follow us on Twitter at http://twitter.com/mxtoolbox

New User Interface Design for MxToolbox.com

vt_logo


4/1/2013

MxToolBox constantly works to make our free public DNS, email and diagnostic tools better. We are announcing a major leap forward in user interface technology. We invite everyone to preview the new MxToolBox.

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VT100 technology is now ubiquitous, and represents a major improvement over the outdated VT52 protocol which, let’s be honest, had some limitations. The additional character sets and escape sequences allow the kind of cutting-edge branding and logos marketing teams demand today. User interface developers are now able to deliver the highest possible user experience.

While other websites are stuck with outdated HTML5 technology, MxToolbox is now able to serve users with almost any hardware, including most terminal introduced after August of 1978. VT100 apps are also available for all major smart phone platforms. Well, at least IOS and Android…we’re not sure about Blackberry.

The reduced bandwidth requirements will especially benefit our users in the US, of which an estimated 10 million still have dial-up internet access, with 3 million on AOL alone. With much higher connection speeds, we don’t think the rest of the world will see much performance benefit.

The existing version will continue to be available while the new interface is in beta.

Our future technologies division encourages your feedback and if we can get 1,000 “likes” on Facebook, our management has promised to purchase us a 14.4 Kbps modem!

Controlling Alert Notifications

Notifications MenuNotifications Settings

We recently had someone who uses MxToolbox monitoring contact us with a question of how he could avoid getting blacklist alerts on his phone in the middle of the night while still being able to get mobile alerts for critical things like his MailFlow monitor.

There are a couple of ways to manage your notifications and I wanted to share them here and show how you could use them to take control of the communication we send you.

You can access the Notifications settings under the main settings menu in the upper right.

Main Notification Grid

Notifications Grid

Here you will be presented with all of your monitors and which type of notifications they are configured to send out. You can filter this list to find only monitors that match your criteria and you can use the top checkboxes to turn all of the monitors on or off with a single click. This way you can decide what comes to your inbox and what comes to your phone. If you like, you can configure a monitor to never send notifications at all. More on that later.

Default Notification Options

Default Notification Settings for New Monitors

On your main settings page you can also configure your account to set default options for any new monitors that are created. This is especially helpful if you frequently add monitors and do not wish to get mobile alerts by default.

 

Blacklist Summary Settings

Blacklist Summary Settings

I also mentioned before that you might choose to not receive any notifications for some monitors. If you have many IP Addresses that you are keeping tabs on instead of being notified as each IP goes on and off a list, you can select to receive a helpful summary email which shows the status of all of your blacklist monitors. You can choose these to be generated anywhere from hourly to monthly and choose what time they are mailed to you. These settings are also located on the main settings page.

 

Rise in Realtime Black List (RBL) Activity over Yesterday and Today

On our MxWatch Server Monitor we have aggregated all of our user data and Blacklist results into two informational graphs on our new Dashboard.  As a benefit of providing this information, we noticed both a rise in listings for today as well as an increase for the Realtime Black List (RBL) Mailspike. Note, we also saw a rise for Truncate, Spamhaus, Lashback & CBL. It seems like yesterday was a big activity day for RBLs.

We were intrigued, so we did a bit of digging. We didn’t find anything on the Internet or on Twitter, so we reached out directly to Mailspike.  They quickly responded (nice Customer Service!) and let us know that they have been making a few upgrades. They have upgraded their “infrastructure to be able to deal with more data and they added/improved algorithms for zero hour detection and bulk listing of highly compromised IPs inside dynamic network ranges.”

Oh and by the way Mailspike, we love your Live Traffic Monitor. That’s a really cool idea!

As always, we thank you for using our Server Monitoring tools and for reading our blog! If anyone has any further details on any of these Blacklists and the activity, contact us at feedback@mxtoolbox.com.

New MxWatch (Server Monitoring) Dashboard Launched

MxToolBox has provided Free DNS Tools, including MxWatch Server Monitoring since 2003. Since then we have been pushing hard to improve your experience with our tools and in the last year we overhauled MxWatch to a new look and feel.  Today we are excited to release a new and improved MxWatch Dashboard.  We want to emphasize that this is merely a new look for the MxWatch system; nothing behind the scenes in how the tool works will be changed during this launch.

Tag/Alert View
The Tag/Alert View on the left is helpful to quickly view the status of your alerts. If there was an issue a red or yellow flag would float next to the respective tag. You can quickly make updates to your Tags using the Manage Tags button. Tags are very similar to Google Labels, or Outlook folders. The idea is that you can “tag” an alert for quick reference and to help you remember what service you are monitoring.  You can also group alerts together using tags if you want an overview of multiple systems.  If you need more help with Tags, view our helpful video on the Manage Tags page.

If you are not comfortable with the Tag View you can also use the alternate Alert View, which is very similar to the old My Alerts page.

Alert History Visualization
Our Engineers have added a new tool that quickly shows the most recent issues for your monitors. If an orange square falls under a date, that means there was an issue. Simply click the orange square for more information.

What’s Down
The What’s Down button replaces the My Alerts button and defaults to showing you what is down as opposed to all of your alerts. If you would like to view all of your alerts, simply uncheck the box ‘Show only down’ and all alerts will be shown.

History
The History button replaces the Alert History button. Click this to see a concise and quick history of your monitors.

If you haven’t signed up for a Free Monitoring account, we urge you to give it a try! Go here. If you are return user, please logon and check out the new Dashboard.

Our Engineers are continually working on this service to further improve it’s functionality and ease of use.  We are very interested in your feedback on the MxWatch Dashboard and we urge you to send us your ideas for improvement as well. Please feel free to reach out to us at feedback@mxtoolbox.com.

NOMOREFUNN Realtime Blacklist Website Having Issues

A few weeks ago we started receiving notices that the NOMOREFUNN Realtime Black List (RBL) website was down.  We’ve been monitoring their site for a few weeks and their website remains down however the RBL database itself is up and taking queries. Unfortunately we don’t have any details as to why/when the site went down.

Although the website remains down, the RBL list is answering and is being maintained. Due to the RBL List still answering and showing in an active state, we will not be removing this list from our tool at this time.

MxToolBox is not affiliated with any Blacklists nor does inclusion on our tool advocate the use of any specific lists.  We simply provide a public tool that can be utilized to see if you are on a Blacklist.   If you are on a Blacklist, or more importantly, if you are having problems with your email delivery and you’re not getting the help you expect from the blacklists themselves or the recipients to which you cannot send; MxToolBox has a Solution!  MxToolBox offers Blacklist Protection!  For more information please feel free to visit our website or email info@mxtoolbox.com.  You can always call 866-MxToolBox (698-6652) and ask to speak to any of our blacklist specialists for assistance or to learn more about our solutions.

We’re always looking for new Blacklists to add to our tools.  If you have one you would like to suggest, please send an email to support@mxtoolbox.com.

For information about other Blacklists that have shut down or Blacklists that are having problems, view this forum post.

WSFF DNSBL Disabled

Notice: Due to will-spam-for-food.eu.org (WSFF) enabling and disabling their RBL, our Blacklist Monitoring Service provided false results. From time to time list providers will enable their list (and list everyone) in an effort to  ensure that no one is using their list.

At this time we have removed this RBL from our list. Our Engineers are also conducting an audit of our current list to ensure that it is the most accurate it can be.

For more information on what Blacklists are and how MxToolBox can help, read this blog post.

MxToolBox is not affiliated with any Blacklists, we just provide a public tool that can be utilized to see if you are on a Blacklist. If you are on a Blacklist, rest assured as we do offer Blacklist Protection! For more information please feel free to visit our website or email us at info@mxtoolbox.com.

We’re always looking for new Blacklists to add, so if you want to suggest one to us, please send an email to support@mxtoolbox.com.

For information about other Blacklists that have shut down or Blacklists that are having problems, view this forum post.

Is Your Company in an Area with Severe Weather? Protect Your Company’s Email with Email Disaster Recovery with MxToolBox

To our friends that live in areas with frequent inclement weather: If your company server isn’t prepared for crazy weather, we can help! Our Emergency Email Continuity Product is designed to provide an inbound backup email platform. Our system works by creating a backup mailbox for each of your users that is constantly running. In the event of impending severe weather, you can have peace of mind that your email is safe. Our servers have unlimited mail spooling and will safely store your email until you are ready for it to be released.

Our Emergency Mail system even provides a natural “meeting place” for employees to regroup and collaborate after a widespread disaster when even the office is unavailable. The rich AJAX web client allows users to send and receive mail from their Zimbra mailbox from anywhere at anytime.

If you already have a Disaster Recovery system in place, kudos! But, are you Monitoring your Server for up/down activity? Our Server Monitoring can send you an automatic alert if there is an issue.

Please be safe! If you have any questions at all please don’t hesitate to reach out to use at info@mxtoolbox.com or at (866)-MXTOOLBOX / (866)-698-6652.

SysQuadrat Blacklist Removed from Our Blacklist Tool

We recently had added a new Blacklist to our tool called SysQuadrat with the cooperation of the list manager. Unfortunately the RBL provider didn’t realize the amount of traffic that our tool would be sending him, so his list got a bit more than bargained for. The RBL Provider also let us know that his list is only for Paid Users. At this time we have removed the SysQuadrat Blacklist from our tool.

For more information on what Blacklists are and how MxToolBox can help, read this blog post.

MxToolBox is not affiliated with any Blacklists, we just provide a public tool that can be utilized to see if you are on a Blacklist. If you are on a Blacklist, rest assured as we do offer Blacklist Protection! For more information please feel free to visit our website or email us at info@mxtoolbox.com.

We’re always looking for new Blacklists to add, so if you want to suggest one to us, please send an email to support@mxtoolbox.com.

For information about other Blacklists that have shut down or Blacklists that are having problems, view this forum post.

Is Your Company in the Path of Hurricane Irene? Protect Your Company’s Email with Email Disaster Recovery with MxToolBox

To our friends on the East Coast: If your company is in the path of Hurricane Irene and you don’t have your server prepared, we can help! Our Emergency Email Continuity Product is designed to provide an inbound backup email platform. Our system works by creating a backup mailbox for each of your users that is constantly running. In the event of impending severe weather or Hurricane, you can have peace of mind that your email is safe. Our servers have unlimited mail spooling and will safely store your email until you are ready for it to be released.

Our Emergency Mail system even provides a natural “meeting place” for employees to regroup and collaborate after a widespread disaster when even the office is unavailable. The rich AJAX web client allows users to send and receive mail from their Zimbra mailbox from anywhere at anytime.

Please be safe! If you have any questions at all please don’t hesitate to reach out to use at info@mxtoolbox.com or at (866)-MXTOOLBOX / (866)-698-6652.

Epsilon Data Breach: Could Lead to a Rise in Phishing Attacks

The recent Epsilon Press Release letting their clients know that a major security breach had occurred at their company has email security companies like MxToolBox on the alert. Epsilon is one of the largest distributor of permission-based emails in the world and that equates to around 40 billion marketing emails per year. They have revealed that millions of individual email addresses were exposed during the attack and breach of their servers. Among Epsilon’s customers are US Bank, JPMorgan Chase, TiVo, Capital One, the Home Shopping Network, LL Bean Visa Card, Ritz-Carlton Rewards, Best Buy, Disney Destinations, Walgreens, and many more. (net-security.org)

You may ask what exactly is phishing and why is it so dangerous? Phishing is a way of attempting to acquire sensitive information such as user names, passwords and credit card details by masquerading as a trustworthy entity in an electronic communication. Communications purporting to be from popular social web sites, auction sites, online payment processors or IT administrators are commonly used to lure the unsuspecting public. Phishing is typically carried out by e-mail or instant messaging, and it often directs users to enter details at a fake website whose look and feel are almost identical to the legitimate one (wikipedia.org).

Additional Resources
Original Epsilon Press Release regarding incident.
Epsilon Breach Affects JPMorgan Chase, Capital One
Massive Epsilon breach affects JPMorgan Chase, Capital One, US Bank and others
Seven of the top Fortune 10 use Epsilon