[sclug] POP / Fetchmail - how to get rid of a stuck message

matt johnston insecure.email at virgin.net
Wed Jun 10 16:21:09 UTC 2020

No problem. VM's webmail keeping everything annoys the hell out of me
too. Periodically, typically on boring conference calls, I'll clear it
out. Best method I found is give it half an hour to load at login, then
scroll the bar on the left  down to load more messages half a dozen
times. Then select all, then delete. Rinse, repeat and say, "Sorry, I
missed the question. Please can you repeat it." as necessary.

Some of those Nigerian Billionaires are legit... 


On Tue, 2020-06-09 at 19:00 +0100, James Wyper wrote:
> Thank you – it didn’t occur to me that they would still allow an insecure 
> connection (smtp has been locked down to TLS-only for ages).  I’ve now 
> deleted the aberrant message despite its kind offer of the chance to share 
> in several million USD deposited by a government official in some corrupt 
> part of Africa.
> Even though I pull my emails with the “no keep” option in fetchmail (and the 
> pop3 session only showed that single message) VM’s webmail keeps every 
> single message that we’ve ever been sent – so it’s now almost unusable 
> because it frequently times out trying even the simplest inbox operations. 
> I’m guessing they duplicate each incoming mail and push one copy to the pop 
> server and the other to the webmail / imap one.
> Thanks again
> James
> From: matt johnston
> Sent: Tuesday, June 9, 2020 7:44 AM
> To: James Wyper ; Sclug at Sclug. Uk
> Subject: Re: [sclug] POP / Fetchmail - how to get rid of a stuck message
> Hi James,
> Wow, this takes me back. My first proper job was supporting NTL's doomed 
> internet set top boxes when they launched ntlworld, Project1 as it was 
> known. Ah, the late 90s!!! Y2K panic, the heady days before broadband, 
> Netscape, Eurdora and clearing out large or corrupt mails from customer's 
> inboxes with telnet.
> My favourite ever call, and customer, was from this job. A lovely lady from 
> Swansea, trying to get online for the first time, at her wits end. "I'm 
> typing in my password, see, and it's just coming up STARS." But I digress...
> Try vanilla telnet to the server, that still seems to work OK:
> [matt at kraken ~]$ telnet pop3.ntlworld.com 110
> Trying
> Connected to pop3.ntlworld.com.
> Escape character is '^]'.
> +OK Virgin Media POP3 server ready [ e4c558782NTL ].
> user wypers
> +OK
> Or skin the cat by other means and have a clear out via the webmail 
> interface... mail.ntlworld.com in your browser's address bar will redirect 
> you to the Virgin Media e-mail portal.
> Best of luck!
> Matt
> On Mon, 2020-06-08 at 19:17 +0100, James Wyper via Sclug wrote:
> Hi
> I’ve got an old-fashioned email set-up that pre-dates my ISP offering IMAP 
> access – in fact I set this up after asking this group for advice ~16 years 
> ago (thanks again!).  I use fetchmail to pull messages from my ISP’s POP3 
> server and then (via postfix) dump them onto a server which in turn runs 
> IMAP and makes the email available to multiple devices.  This works well for 
> me and I’m in no hurry to change it.
> Except.. I keep getting a message like this in /var/log/mail.log – it’s 
> nothing more than an annoyance but I’d appreciate advice on how I might get 
> rid of it.
> Jun  8 18:00:24 karelia dovecot: imap-login: Login: user=<james>, 
> method=PLAIN, rip=, lip=, mpid=13979, 
> session=<tB7/i5WnovtWEaxy>
> Jun  8 18:00:24 karelia dovecot: imap(james): Logged out in=120 out=1139
> Jun  8 18:00:53 karelia dovecot: imap-login: Login: user=<james>, 
> method=PLAIN, rip=, lip=, mpid=13984, TLS, 
> session=<p/m2jZWnXsJWEaxy>
> Jun  8 18:02:26 karelia dovecot: imap(james): Logged out in=135593 
> out=75268385
> Jun  8 18:02:48 karelia fetchmail[2214]: 1 message for wypers@<redacted> at 
> pop3.ntlworld.com (1942 octets).
> Jun  8 18:02:48 karelia postfix/smtpd[13996]: connect from 
> localhost[]
> Jun  8 18:02:48 karelia postfix/smtpd[13996]: warning: Illegal address 
> syntax from localhost[] in MAIL command: <zydnsacabyinv@>
> Jun  8 18:02:48 karelia fetchmail[2214]: reading message 
> wypers@<redacted>@pop3.ntlworld.com:1 of 1 (1942 octets) not flushed
> Jun  8 18:02:48 karelia postfix/smtpd[13996]: disconnect from 
> localhost[] ehlo=1 mail=0/1 rset=1 quit=1 commands=3/4
> Jun  8 18:02:48 karelia dovecot: imap-login: Login: user=<james>, 
> method=PLAIN, rip=, lip=, mpid=14002, TLS, 
> session=<M82dlJWnuppWEaxy>
> Jun  8 18:02:50 karelia dovecot: imap(james): Connection closed (STATUS 
> finished 1.316 secs ago) in=348 out=976
> I’m assuming that the problem is a malformed email on the POP3 server that 
> fetchmail can’t fetch and delete because my local postfix rejects it.
> To verify this I’ve tried to log on to VirginMedia’s POP3 server manually 
> with
> openssl s_client -connect pop3.ntlworld.com:995
> and get as far as
> +OK Virgin Media POP3 server ready [ e4c558782NTL ].
> When I then enter
> USER <same email address as in /etc/fetchmailrc>
> it hangs for a minute and then dumps me out with
> read:errno=0
> Does anyone know the correct incantation to get command-line access to 
> Virgin’s POP3 server, or other client methods I could try to find and delete 
> this message?  Or am I looking in the wrong place?
> Thanks
> James
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