ME020250 - HOWTO: How to clear the queues if a spammer abuses the server


This article describes how to clear queues if a spammer or user abuses the server. If a user is not restricted to sending a limited number of emails per hour, it is possible that either they or a spammer can send a large amount of emails through the mail server, ending up with a large amount of emails in the SMTP outbound queue. While the messages may clear after time, when the sender is blocked, you should do your best to delete the messages if they are not valid or are spam. Leaving spam messages in queues to be sent may cause your IP address to be blacklisted.


The utility for clearing MailEnable outgoing message queues is available from Extract the executable from the ZIP file and copy the utility into the Mail Enable\bin directory. Then select the executable file to launch the application. This utility can remove any queued messages by matching text contained in the first 100 lines of the mail message. To determine what text you can match on, it is easiest to examine individual messages in the queue to find something unique that you can delete on. For example, a spammer may have used the same subject, or the same sending IP address. If the queue is large you are best not to use Windows Explorer to navigate to the queue, use a command prompt. When you open a command prompt, navigate to the messages folder in the outbound SMTP queue, which would be:

Mail Enable\Queues\SMTP\Outgoing\Messages

Then use Notepad to read a message. This can be done by typing "notepad", then a space character, then hit the Tab key before hitting Enter (you can hit Tab more than once to cycle through messages). Copy out either the subject or other unique string, such as senders IP address, to the Queue Clean Utility. When you run the utility, set the queue type to be Outgoing, and disable the Results checkbox, since this will slow down the deleting. Enter the search string and click Purge Queue. The program will then iterate through the items in the queue and delete the matches messages. The program will update its display after 1000 messages checked, but otherwise will appear locked. You may need a few iterations of choosing strings before you are able to remove the majority of messages. The queue clean utility has the option of cleaning a queue which is not the current one. This may be useful if you have renamed a queue directory, rebuilt the original one in order to process new email, and need to still clean out spam to save valid emails. When entering the path to the custom queue, enter the path to the queue command files, which are in the directory above the messages, i.e. if you were selecting the existing queue you would enter as the custom path:

Mail Enable\Queues\SMTP\Outgoing

If you renamed this it may be something like:

Mail Enable\Queues\SMTP\Outgoing_saved



How to manually delete Outbound SMTP messages from MailEnable queues: Article ME020158

How to locate corrupt messages in the SMTP Connector Queues: Article ME020235

Product:MailEnable (All Versions)
Keywords:spammer queues MEQueueClean spam abuse hijack hijacked
Class:HOWTO: Product Instructions
Revised:Wednesday, May 4, 2016