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The POP3 (mail) server is not responding

The POP3 (mail) server appears to be down. Within the Sun Cobalt server Control Panel, try turning mail service off and then on again to see if this corrects the problem. If not, try rebooting the server itself. If this still does not correct the problem, contact Sun Cobalt Technical Support.

Looking in /var/log/messages I saw a fair few entries that said:

Feb 20 01:40:29 www inetd[30157]: pop-3/tcp server failing (looping), service terminated

The conventional way to teat this is to increase the /etc/inetd.conf

pop-3 stream tcp nowait root /usr/sbin/tcpd in.qpopper -R

to something like

pop-3 stream tcp nowait.200 root /usr/sbin/tcpd in.qpopper -R

But I felt this was a symptom of another problem. I looked in /var/logs/auth and saw a few entries like

Feb 20 01:31:15 www in.qpopper[30304]: [AUTH] Failed attempted login to mysql from host (216.48.29.66) 216.48.29.66

Then I greped the same IP in the main /var/logs/maillog file and saw hundreds of entries, so I headed off to /etc/hosts.deny added a line.

ALL: 216.48.29.66

Then restarted the mail server in the GUI as suggested in the warning email and all now seems well.

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