Did our spam plummet with the earthquake in Asia?

Just checked out this article (hat tip to John R. Levine… I hope I’m using that term correctly otherwise I’ll look quite the fool) about the earthquake in Asia knocking down spam volumes.  As an anti-spam fighter at Microsoft I can confirm that the overall level of volume is down substantially on Dec 27 as…


What percentage of mail is spam?

In my other post, I documented my discoveries that the majority of the mail that we see on our networks is either mostly clean (ie, senders delivering 0% spam) or primarily spam (senders delivering us 90% spam or more).  I have done the numbers for a few days and with my limited sample size they…


Looking for some Mac blogging software

A couple of months ago I downloaded Windows Live Writer.  As far as blog publishing tools go, this is the all the blogging software that I need.  I can pick which blog I want, write a post, and then click upload.  Other than editing posts later on (which the software seems to be fairly limited…


Spam traffic analysis – by volume

A little over a week ago, I posted that most of our IPs are either very spammy or very clean (as predicted by my theory on the spam curve that I wrote several months ago).  I have done some traffic analysis on the volume of mail sent versus how much spam that IP sent (as…


Spammers jumping on the Vista bandwagon

I’ve seen cheap software spam pumped over our networks many thousands of times.  Nice to see that spammers have kept themselves up-to-date with the times.  Not only are they spamming for Windows Vista, they are using image spam to do it. Nice.


The nature of email traffic

A few months ago I posted something called the Spam Curve.  The essence of the post was that most mail content was either very spammy or very clean.  If this could be represented on a chart, the chart would look like a letter U.  Most content would fall on the extreme sides of the chart….


Spammers targetting their audience

I was reading the planet antispam RSS (thanks to my friend at IronPort for putting my blog on there) when I came across this article.  In the article, the writer was mentioning that the image spam he was receiving contains some technical information in the subject line and some technical information in the hashbuster text…


Is customer feedback useful in determining spam effectiveness?

This past summer when the image-spam run began, our overall spam volume started to rise.  With the rise in spam volume came an increase in overall customer complaints and spam submissions to our spam abuse inbox (ie, when customers get a spam submission, they forward it to our abuse inbox). I used to colloquially say…


Uploaded a new avatar

I uploaded a new avatar to my user profile.  It’s an image of the most famous bounty hunter in the galaxy (but you’ll have to click the link to find out).  I think it’s a fitting representation for a spam fighter.


Be skeptical of advertised spam blocking rates

Whenever I see rival companies boast about their spam-blocking rates, I have to be a little skeptical.  I have seen some claim that they catch 98% of all spam.  My skepticism is fueled by my inability to comprehend how they generate those statistics. I am well aware of the fact that in all likelihood, I…


New spam rules of engagement finally starting to sink in

Having been a spam fighter for over two years, and having watched spam evolve very quickly over the previous six months, it is now sinking in to me that the methodology in which we used to use to fight spam is no longer valid.  Whereas before we had a single focus as our primary method…


Holiday spam a potential problem?

During the past six months, starting in July, the amount of spam we have seen over our networks has doubled.  There is the possibility that the increase has been due to signing up new customers but I tend to suspect that it probably has more to do with spammers blasting us with more and more…


Trapped on a ledge

This post is not spam-related, instead, it is the story of the time I nearly died while on a hiking trip in Fiji.  I have posted the story on my personal blog in Windows Live Spaces.  It is an incredible story, and you can read it by clicking here.  Let’s just say I am fortunate…


Return from the Southern Hemisphere

I have just recently returned from holidays, first in Australia and then in Fiji.  I have some pictures available of my trip to Australia here.  At the very least, check out the pictures of my new friends.  I will upload my pictures from Fiji later, but I have fewer of them for two reasons: (1)…


Et tu, Gmail?

I have complained in the past that Yahoo’s Spam Guard lets through a lot of spam.  I used to say to my friends “Just send me personal email to my Gmail account because I never get spam there.” Well, sadly, that has now come to an end.  I have been getting quite a few spams…