Yesterday our help desk staff began receiving calls from customers
whose mail to AOL addresses had bounced. Investigation shows that
AOL has begun blocking email sent via Pilot servers.
Here's why: various worms, viruses, and other critters find their
way onto end user PCs and begin generating massive amounts of
email. At MSU they accomplish this by relaying through Pilot,
which accepts such relays from computers with msu.edu. When AOL
detects a server behaving this way, they block the server from
delivering any mail to any aol.com address.
The solution for Pilot users who can't get mail through to
AOL correspondents is to upgrade to mail.msu.edu. Because
mail.msu.edu requires authenticated connections, it will
not accept attempts by these worms/viruses/spammers to
relay through its servers.
It is necessary for Pilot to continue to accept mail relays
from msu.edu addresses for legitimate purposes, so it appears likely
that the AOL blocks for Pilot servers will be permanent.
Of course, as always, we encourage all end users to use current
antivirus protection on their desktop computers.
Notice has been posted to help.msu.edu/status . We'll update
the entry if status changes.