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-   -   Vfemail.net and Openmail.cc (http://www.emaildiscussions.com/showthread.php?t=70286)

communicant 11 Mar 2015 05:14 AM

Vfemail.net and Openmail.cc
 
There are several old threads on the forum about VFEmail.net and Openmail.cc, but perhaps it's time to start a new one for more up-to-date comments and queries.

The service has been quite stable for a long time, but today I have encountered persistent problems.

Has anyone else experienced erratic response at VFEmail.net and/or openmail.cc (which is part of the same system)?

Openmail was very slow yesterday but worked.

Today I've encountered numerous problems -- failed logins with correct credentials, logins accepted but followed by very erratic performance, server errors, inability to move messages from inbox to folders, and several other problems, encountered repeatedly over the course of the entire day, and during two or three separate login/logout cycles.

I have accounts at both VFEmail.net and openmail.cc. A few minutes ago I was able to login to my VFEmail.net account but not my openmail.cc account. Then, a little while later, I encountered a 'failed login' for the VFEmail account as well.

What's going on? There is no mention of any problem on the VFEmail.net twitter feed, and nothing new at the VFEmail.net forum.

I haven't yet raised a ticket with Rick because I'm hoping it will clear up soon. (The service is moving to a new collocation site on March 21, and notice of the resultant downtime has been provided, but that is many days away and presumably has nothing to do with what is happening today.)

I'd appreciate it if other EMD members with VFEmail.net and/or openmail.cc accounts would check and see if anything erratic is happening with their accounts. I doubt that it could be only at my end, but you never know.

Thanks.

B4its2L8 11 Mar 2015 06:11 PM

I've been using TB of late and have my VFEmail acct set up in it. I have noticed an occasional inability to login over the past couple of weeks. Yesterday afternoon, for example. I only log in several times per day, so I can't say how often this happens. Maybe once every few days. I've never submitted a support ticket or posted at their forum, since it has never been a 'work flow' issue for me.

Today it's logging in fine on TB, btw. And I just checked the webmail login (RC) and it's working fine, too. If/When login failure happens again (before the server move), I'll mention it. :)

rmannam 12 Mar 2015 04:53 PM

I Received this message from VFEMail

Thanks again for being a being a member of VFEmail!

We've secured a new colocation facility and will be moving in by April 1st.

As we're planning to physically relocate the servers soon - the question is: Can you accept a few hours of downtime, or do we need to engineer a mirrored site?

A mirrored site would require a new server for the primary data, and we'd add an additional VM to get the database data over. Then when the DNS is changed, the new location would proxy until the records are propagated. We'd have to figure out how to securely connect both sites, it would probably require a full site to site VPN and entirely new subnetting at the new site. More moving parts means more chance for errors. But, potentially no actual downtime. Anyone pointing to the old site after the DNS change will simply be proxied.

A shutdown would just be powering down the servers, and taking them to the new location. As only the primary data store is not mirrored, half of the servers could already be ready and waiting. I would expect less than 2 hours of downtime on a Saturday (CST) night. This method less chance of problems, no funky re-configurations. No additional equipment saves about a month's worth of hosting costs. The proxy from the old site can still be done in this configuration.


Please vote ASAP! ow.ly/JfW5q


Please let me know if you have any questions,


Thanks,
Rick Romero

B4its2L8 12 Mar 2015 06:37 PM

Just FYI an email updating the results of Rick Romero's poll has already been sent out. (He said most of his respondents are okay with up to 8 hrs. downtime while the transition is being made.)

Anyway, communicant's post indicates he's already aware of the server relocation schedule but doubts that's the cause of the problem(s) he's experiencing.

FredOnline 4 Jan 2019 11:46 PM

VFEmail Status Update
 
E-Mail received from Rick Romero:

Quote:

As you may be aware, recently we were hit by another DDOS attack. Thanks to our friends at
New Continuum Data Centers, we were able to weather the attacks with minimal inteference. This latest
attack was against our incoming mail servers, which did cause some delays processing incoming email.
We're actually in a really good position, technologically speaking, to diversify our incoming mail systems
across the globe - but we really need a healthy cash injection to get that going.

What that can do is provide upstream links that can be saturated in the event of an attack, without actually
affecting incoming deliveries OR access to your email.

If you haven't already, please upgrade now to help us achieve this new redundancy goal. https://www.vfemail.net/cpanel

Due to low "free to subscriber" conversions, we may be ending free registrations. The cost to create a new Copper account
would be $1. Part of this POSSIBLE requirement is the amount of effort and costs involved in cleaning up spam, RBLs, and upstream
rejections at other providers. Another reason is our Ad revenue has dropped dramatically, while our site usage has increased.
I will be 'massaging' the ads to try and improve our revenue there, but we really need your support!

janusz 5 Jan 2019 01:34 AM

Quote:

The cost to create a new Copper account would be $1.
Some time ago Fastmail would offer a lifetime account for $15 (or maybe $10). After a while FM decided this made no sense commercially, so the users were forced to upgrade.
Now VFM offers lifetime accounts for $1.... Good luck to them....

FredOnline 5 Jan 2019 02:03 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by janusz (Post 608779)
Some time ago Fastmail would offer a lifetime account for $15 (or maybe $10). After a while FM decided this made no sense commercially, so the users were forced to upgrade.
Now VFM offers lifetime accounts for $1.... Good luck to them....

Their "lifetime" account is (according to the website) a BRONZE account for $24.95:

https://www.vfemail.net/vfemailaccts.php

janusz 5 Jan 2019 02:12 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by FredOnline (Post 608780)
Their "lifetime" account is (according to the website) a BRONZE account for $24.95

So what exactly do you get for $1??

FredOnline 5 Jan 2019 02:19 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by janusz (Post 608781)
So what exactly do you get for $1??

The way I read it, your $1 is for "creating" a COPPER account.

The current comparison between COPPER and BRONZE accounts is in the link:

https://www.vfemail.net/vfemailaccts.php

janusz 5 Jan 2019 02:24 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by FredOnline (Post 608782)
The way I read it, your $1 is for "creating" a COPPER account.

Ok, but once you created it and dropped $1 in the box, it's yours for life, isn't it? Subject to being used once every 180 days.....

FredOnline 5 Jan 2019 02:40 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by janusz (Post 608783)
Ok, but once you created it and dropped $1 in the box, it's yours for life, isn't it? Subject to being used once every 180 days.....

I would guess that it doesn't depend on your understanding of the word "life", that would be determined by the provider of the service.

ņ la FastMail?

FredOnline 12 Feb 2019 04:26 AM

VFEmail - major problems reported on Twitter today
 
Quite a few tweets posted, quite a lot to read, I suggest if interested to head over to:

https://twitter.com/VFEmail

Last tweet:

Quote:

This is all I can do at this time. I will need to get into the datacenter to see if the one file server I caught during formatting can be recovered. If it can, we can restore mail, but most of the infrastructure is lost.
Just noticed on their website:

Quote:

!!!ALERT!!!! Update Feb 11 2019
www.vfemail.net and mail.vfemail.net are currently unavailable.
We have suffered catastrophic destruction at the hands of a hacker, last seen as [email protected]

This person has destroyed all data in the US, both primary and backup systems. We are working to recover what data we can.

Incoming email is also not available. I do not have any additional updates at this time, we're working on a resolution.

janusz 12 Feb 2019 03:52 PM

It's getting more and more funny every day.... Now it reads:
Quote:

Mailboxes are new, no subfolders exist.
No filters are in place. If you created a filter with Horde, Login to Horde, Create any folders you need.
[...]
At this time I am unsure of the status of existing mail for US users. If you have your own email client, DO NOT TRY TO MAKE IT WORK.
If you reconnect your client to your new mailbox, all your local mail will be lost
This is followed by
Quote:

Since 2001, VFEmail has provided businesses and end-users a quick and convenient way to ensure their own security when it comes to email

communicant 12 Feb 2019 07:12 PM

1) What's the URL to log in to horde? I've been redirected to the page from time to time when I made a login error, but I never made a note ot the address.

2) These problems are not "funny" if one depends on VFEmail to the extent that I and many others do, Every few years Rick seems to be targeted by "vicious" DDOS attacks -- why? Why VFEmail in particular? Rick? Are you around? Why you?

FredOnline 13 Feb 2019 02:17 AM

https://www.itpro.co.uk/security/329...-out-by-hacker

sflorack 13 Feb 2019 05:42 AM

I know very (very) little about server security, but you have to assume that this was an inside job.

..but it's a good reminder to backup your own data!

communicant 13 Feb 2019 07:36 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by sflorack (Post 609156)
I know very (very) little about server security, but you have to assume that this was an inside job.

..but it's a good reminder to backup your own data!

Oh c'mon -- Rick Romero trashed his own servers? He's the only one "inside," so if it's an inside job he would have to be the culprit. What's his motive? It's not like burning down a house for the insurance money. If he wanted to destroy the service he could simply have announced that it was shutting down. And if for some unimaginable reason (which could only be that he had gone bonkers) he wanted to destroy all his customers' data instead of giving them a chance to move it and go somewhere else, he could have done it with the push of a button. Why this way? VFEmail has been messed up for several years now, and the sporadic use of Cloudflare has, IMO, made things worse, at least for me. I am very disappointed, fed up, and more than a little desperate. But let's not libel Rick, who has tried hard to fix things.

TenFour 13 Feb 2019 08:10 PM

This is one reason why I no longer use a small email provider, no matter how good the product or service. There is no way of knowing what infrastructure, software, or procedures the service is using, and inevitably sh*t hits the fan. Yes, we've also seen problems with the biggies like Outlook and Gmail, but they have never been catastrophic failures like this. For those saying that this proves you should have a local backup of all your email, I say maybe, if you are really, really careful, have multiple backups including offsite, and live in a place with no earthquakes, fires, hurricanes, etc. I can't remember where it is located, but I read an interesting article recently about someone who escaped a hurricane that destroyed his home and a huge chunk of Houston, and he said if it weren't for using G Suite his entire business would have been taken down. As it was, he was able to purchase a cheap Chromebook while living hundreds of miles from home and get instantly back up and running. The power of using a large service provider in the cloud.

FredOnline 13 Feb 2019 09:32 PM

Another article:

https://krebsonsecurity.com/2019/02/...strophic-hack/

This quote from the article, attributed to Rick:

Quote:

I havenít done much digging yet on the actors,Ē he said. ďIt looked like the IP was a Bulgarian hosting company. So Iím assuming it was just a virtual machine they were using to launch the attack from. There definitely was something that somebody didnít want found. Or, I really ****** someone off. Thatís always possible.
Note: ****** = sanitised by EMD

SideshowBob 15 Feb 2019 12:42 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by TenFour (Post 609158)
This is one reason why I no longer use a small email provider, no matter how good the product or service. There is no way of knowing what infrastructure, software, or procedures the service is using, and inevitably sh*t hits the fan. Yes, we've also seen problems with the biggies like Outlook and Gmail, but they have never been catastrophic failures like this.

If your mail and its online back-ups are lost it doesn't matter whether it's a tiny problem for a very large provider or the catastrophic failure of a very small one.

Quote:

For those saying that this proves you should have a local backup of all your email, I say maybe, if you are really, really careful, have multiple backups including offsite, and live in a place with no earthquakes, fires, hurricanes, etc.
The chance that a backup fails even the same month as your mail is lost on the server is very small. You don't need anything particularly sophisticated to protect against well over 99% of online failures, which should be very rare events anyway.

communicant 18 Feb 2019 06:40 AM

So, what now? VFEmail.net, openmail.cc., etc., have been down for days. Has Rick thrown in the towel? Is the service ever going to be usable again? That was one of my few "real" email providers that I actually used regularly and depended on, as opposed to "collecting" services because of location or an unusual domain.

What to do now? Has anyone been in touch with Rick or read any up-to-date Twitter posts?

And a more general question -- why VFEmail? Every couple of years a catastrophe hits it. What are the odds?

Berenburger 18 Feb 2019 06:48 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by communicant (Post 609182)
What to do now? Has anyone been in touch with Rick or read any up-to-date Twitter posts?

Following this link. https://www.vfemail.net/incident.php

TenFour 18 Feb 2019 08:53 PM

Quote:

The chance that a backup fails even the same month as your mail is lost on the server is very small.
How often do you check your backup to make sure it is working properly? To be even more secure simply have your email duplicated at additional cloud providers and benefit from their infinitely more robust and secure infrastructure. This method works even if you prefer the services of a smaller provider as your day-to-day email platform. Simply use Outlook.com or Gmail to back it all up and you are instantly good to go if the main provider goes down, and without the hassle of having to hook up to a new email service, import your emails, etc. That isn't a trivial task and can easily take days to get set up properly.

FredOnline 23 Feb 2019 04:13 AM

On Twitter by @VFEMail:

Quote:

If you've received an email 'from yourself' claiming your passwords have been compromised, it's fraud. It's in no way related to our recent incident. I've personally received at least 6, all to aliases that don't even have an email authentication method.

sflorack 25 Feb 2019 12:12 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by communicant (Post 609157)
Oh c'mon -- Rick Romero trashed his own servers? He's the only one "inside," so if it's an inside job he would have to be the culprit.

I was referring to the server administrators, not Rick specifically. As I recall, he hosts in the Netherlands.

communicant 11 Mar 2019 06:24 PM

For the last couple of weeks (or thereabouts), it was possible to log on to VFEmail at a temporary URL Rick set up, and new messages were trickling in. This morning, this is what greeted me when I tried to log on:

___________________________

A fatal error has occurred
Could not connect to any defined memcache servers.
Details have been logged for the administrator.
___________________________

Could someone please tell me what this means?

TenFour 11 Mar 2019 07:48 PM

I suspect the best information is still at this link: https://vfemail.net/incident.php

Berenburger 2 May 2019 07:28 AM

Registrations are open again.
https://twitter.com/vfemail/status/1...271291393?s=21
Quote:

Registrations are open again. Free accounts are more limited to deter spammers - but Google captcha is gone for you anti-Googlers.
Please keep with us as we rebuild all the features we've incorporated over the years - and fend off Canadian lawyers who want your data.

tanvi16 13 May 2019 02:47 PM

Many thanks for sharing this. Keep up the good work!!

communicant 14 Jun 2019 10:24 PM

Is VFEmail.net down again? Anyone else having problems?
 
Vfemail.net has been working OK for a while as it struggles back to its feet after the attack, but yesterday a problem suddenly came back that I had with it for a year or more before the attack -- Safari says it can't establish a secure connection with VFEmail.net. Before the attack, this would happen maybe seven out of every ten tries and the others times I was able to log in. After the attack, during the shake-out, suddenly this problem went away. Rick suggested an alternative url -- https://cf.vfemail.net' -- to use when I was having the pre-attack problem, because he was using Cloudflare and he thought that might have something to do with it. I tried that today and it gets me to the login page instead of the "no secure connection" dead end, but I still can't log in.

I'm at my wits' end. I don't even know if VFEmail is down or it's just me, because Safari "can't establish a secure connection" with isup.me either!

Is VFEmail down again?

communicant 21 Oct 2019 07:19 PM

more trouble at vfemail.net?
 
Around the time of the last DDoS attack, when I was having trouble logging in to vfemail.net, Rick Romero suggested trying the URL https://cf.vfemail.net, and this often worked. I sometimes have recourse to it even now, and it gets me to a point where I can at least read incoming mail, though sending can still be a problem.

Two days ago, however, whenever I enter that URL (or plain vfemail.net, for that matter), I get an intercept screen:

DDoS protection by Cloudflare
Ray ID: 529272234d25c54c

Is anyone else having trouble with vfemail.net. Are they under attack again?

sflorack 3 Nov 2019 02:19 AM

It would appear they were.. and they are again currently.

https://twitter.com/VFEmail

I think we may have already discussed this, but what's the beef with their service? They seem to be under constant attack.

jdtaylor 3 Nov 2019 09:29 PM

It's a good sign of an email operator wanting to keep things going throughout all these attacks.

It's a shame there is no service in their country like Action Fraud or similar who have an under attack phone number to get help in such situations. Have a google search for Action Fraud and see if they are able to help or not if you are in europe.


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