How to Remove Your IP from AT&T’s Blacklist

We do not provide desktop support. If you have a personal account with an email issue, call your ISP. We cannot assist unless you have a Linux server with root level access. We have no formal affiliation with ATT or SBC Global.

If you cannot send emails to AT&T, SBC Global or other AT&T related email servers, your server may have been blacklisted. Here are some tips to get removed from the AT&T blacklist. This is another installment of our Spam Blacklist Removal Series, so be sure to check out the series for other ISPs.

Spam blacklist removal often requires you to follow specific steps established by the ISP. While the process is generally the same for most ISPs, finding their abuse forms and their methods of handling removal differ. I find AT&T to be one of the more responsive of the major ISPs. Typically, you will see your IP removed from AT&T’s spam blacklist within 24-72 hours, provided of course you are not spamming again.

Getting delisted from the AT&T email blacklist requires a few steps:

  1. Verify you are on the AT&T’s blacklist.
  2. Perform preliminary blacklist removal checks.
  3. Submit AT&T blacklist delisting request.

AT&T Blacklist Verification

If you are blacklisted at AT&T, you will get a bounced email from them. In this email or in the server logs, you will see something like:

Remote_host_said:_521-192.168.1.1_blocked_by_ldap:
ou=rblmx,dc=AT&T,dc=net/521_Error_-_Blocked_for_abuse._
Contact_abuse_rbl@abuse-att.net./

The exact format of the error will vary depending on your email system. This error is from a Plesk server running Qmail.
If AT&T’s email servers return this blocked email message, then your server’s IP has likely been blocked by AT&T. There could be other response codes, but typically all AT&T blacklist notifications will include a 500 series error plus a link to the abuse_rbl@abuse-att.net email address.

If you are not getting a bounce or seeing 550 type error, then you may not be on a spam blacklist but have some other email delivery issue.

Preliminary Blacklist Removal Tasks

Before requesting removal from AT&T’s blacklist, you will want to stop what has caused the listing in the first place. Here are a few items to check:

*Make sure there is no unauthorized email going from your server.

  • Check the daily volume of email going to AT&T.
  • Look for compromised user accounts.
  • Look for people forwarding email to AT&T.net, Bellsouth.net, or SBCGlobal.net.

You will often need to dig through your server maillogs and access logs to try to identify the cause of the listing. The sooner you respond to bounces the greater the chance you can catch the problem before it becomes too severe. If you flood 1000’s of spam or phishing emails, your email sender reputation will drop. If you have a low sender reputation, AT&T may not remove you from their spam blacklist.

AT&T Blacklist Removal Process

While the rejected emails tell you to email abuse_rbl@abuse-att.net, the information you want is located on AT&T’s block inqury website. Here you will find a list of AT&T email error codes as well as a AT&T blacklist removal request form:

Tools for administrators of mail systems whose messages have been blocked.

After completing the form, you will usually get a reply from AT&T within a few hours. The removal of your server IP from AT&T’s spam blacklist may take a few more days. If you do not see any response within 72 hours, you will want to confirm the spamming has stopped and then email abuse_rbl@abuse-att.net with a request about your removal request.

Your AT&T Spam Blacklist Experiences?

If you have AT&T, BellSouth, or SBC Global delivery tips or blacklist removal tips, please let me know. I deal with email blacklisting every week and am trying to document the processes at major email providers.

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Jeff is the CEO and founder of rackAID. He has been working in hosting industry since the days of Rackshack's famed customer appreciation parties back in the early 2000's. Jeff is an avid cyclist, wine enthusiast, and admitted Kraftwerk listener (please don't hold that against him). You may spot him at any number of hosting, startup and small business conferences

10 Comments

  • Jerome Friedman June 29, 2011 at 12:41 pm

    All my email sent from my
    laptop to an ATT domain e.g. prodigy.net, sbcglobal.net are blocked because
    it thinks my outgoing mailserver (mail.escapees.com IP: 66.135.57.62) is
    spamming, or abusing.  I got your email address from a techie at the ATT
    helpdesk.  Here’s the latest error I got when I tried to send back to the
    help person at att.net:

    ==================================================

    undeliverable to np7675@att.net

    Server response to MAIL FROM:
    521-66.135.57.62 blocked by sbc:blacklist.mailrelay.att.net.
    521 DNSRBL: Blocked for abuse. See http://att.net/blocks

    ===================================================

    Other mail gets rejected as:

    undeliverable to cjsablatura@prodigy.net

    Server response to MAIL FROM:
    553 5.3.0 flph263 DNSBL:ATTRBL 521< 66.135.57.62
    >_is_blocked.__For_information_see_http://att.net/blocks

    =========================================================

    mail.escapees.com belongs to the Escapees RV club, a national RV
    organization with lots of users.  Unfortunately, there is no IT support, so
    nobody there can do anything.  I talked to serverbeach, the actual owners
    of the servers, and they can’t do anything to get this IP address off the
    blacklist.

    I got a website from the help person where I could apparently request the
    block be removed, but it appears to be invalid.
    (http://e-mail.sbc.com/cgi-bin/access.lookup?LOOKUP=MOCADV.ORG).  The only
    other thing he gave me was your address.

    There doesn’t seem to be anyone who can help me but this is really
    frustrating.  I can send mail to everyone who is not in an ATT domain, but
    to nobody who is.  Can’t you guys do something to unblock the
    mail.escapees.com IP address?

    Thanks.

    jerome friedman
    (512) 699-3101

  • Jeffrey Huckaby June 29, 2011 at 12:55 pm

    @Jerome
    Not sure why ATT gave you our email/site.  We provide paid blacklist removal assistance for Linux servers. 

    As mentioned in the tutorial, you need to fill out:http://rbl.att.net/cgi-bin/rbl/block_admin.cgi

    But you need to assure that the initial cause of the spamming has stopped.

  • Magnus July 6, 2011 at 2:03 am

    AT&T started blocking mail from my VPS, which seems to be set up tighter than their own relays (I get spam from their relays, while they can’t say they have ever gotten spam from mine). And yet, I’m blocked. I checked logs going back for a month and could count all the mails sent to an AT&T address on one hand. I’ve got all of five authorized senders, who must SASL-authenticate to send. I’m using SPF. I’m using SpamAssassin. I have no web sites running that could be exploited into sending mail. Not a single other blacklist that I can find has me listed. AT&T seems to be confused.

  • Jeffrey Huckaby July 11, 2011 at 7:51 am

    @Magnus
    You may want to check reverse DNS and confirm your SPF if working. You can send an email to Gmail and look at the headers to see if SPF passes.  If you have an issue with reverse DNS, you could get blocked.

    Also many ISPs will block ranges of IPs if they are in a bad “neighborhood”. So while your server may be good, it could be next to systems flooding out spam.

  • David Hannah July 25, 2011 at 3:47 am

    E-mail sent from our domain to att.net and bellsouth.net accounts is getting returned with a 550 error indicating abuse.

  • steveb July 29, 2011 at 12:39 pm

    Don’t waist posting I have never got a response from AT&T after 12 request

  • John 26gp July 29, 2011 at 12:41 pm

    AT&T SBC email returns are the norm there is no way of stopping..hours with AT&T yeilds nothing they can do…worse customer support ever AT&T

  • Jason November 21, 2011 at 10:17 am

    Our doamin was blocked, and I will admit it was for a good reason, we have a rouge pc that was running a open reply email server. We stopped that right away, but it has been over a week since our first round of filling out the removal form, many many calls and emails, and they are still getting blocked.

  • oth December 22, 2011 at 11:26 am

    my ip is blocked by att .net _ it gaves me this msg erreur (smtp;521 173.226.234.40 blocked by sbc:blacklist.mailrelay.att.net. DNSRBL: Blocked for abuse. See http://att.net/blocks)
    how can i remove my ip from att black list?
    is ther any msg i have to write on the msg of delesting

  • Jae April 4, 2012 at 9:52 am

    I get no bounce messages but I can’t send ordinary business email to my associate with an sbcglobal email?