The advantages of being a PM

Here at Microsoft, we quite regularly see people rotating in and out of various divisions.  A new person will join and another person will leave.  Recently we had another anti-spam manager join the group.  Since I’ve been in the antispam product the longest in our division (who is currently still serving in the spam forces),…

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Guest blogging on Forefront

So I am now a guest blogger on Forefront’s Security blog (link in my links section).  Forefront is another division within Microsoft that provides security solutions for Enterprise. This afternoon, they came around and took some video footage of me and what I’ll be blogging about.  The stuff I blog about over there is identical…

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Sender authentication part 32: TMA Explained

As I said earlier, I needed to come up with an authentication mechanism that protected the From: or Sender: address in the message headers.  But, I did not want to replace SPF with SenderID. So, I came up with another solution which I call TMA.  I would implement a “lite” version of SenderID.  At first…

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Sender authentication part 31: TMA

I’d now like to post something about the inspiration for this whole series on authentication.  I’m not done with DomainKeys, I still have to post a little bit on DKIM and one other authentication mechanism, and then this series will be done.  But I need to boast about one of my achievements. Back in June,…

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And speaking of Facebook…

Today, Microsoft reported buying a small stake in Facebook worth $240 million, with the deal valuing Facebook at $15 billion.  That is an incredible amount of money for a website that wasn’t making money. Of course, we could have argued that when Google bought YouTube last year, profit was a challenge for YouTube as well. …

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Missed my shot

This morning at the main Microsoft Campus, I missed my chance to go and hear Hillary Clinton speak. As my American readers will know, and some of my international readers, Hillary Clinton is campaigning for the Democratic nomination to run for president of the United States.  While she was speaking, I was sitting at my…

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Naughty Facebook… they just spoofed me!

The other day a friend of mine sent me a notice on Facebook about how Optimus Prime wanted to send me a message.  I didn’t bother opening up the email or listen to the message or do whatever it is that this application wanted me to do. However, yesterday, I got something interesting in my…

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Do spammers change their tactics based upon recipient verification? Yes, they do.

Or, to be more precise, it sure looks like they do. In my other post on the publicly available spam tool, I mentioned that I came across a page that allowed people to verify whether or not an email address is actually live.  The question naturally arises: do spammers clean up their email contact lists…

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New spam outbreak: mp3 spam

There is a new spam outbreak that hit today, spam in mp3’s.  The filenames of the spam varies, and includes some of the following: Emotional ties, for example: dadsong.mp3, oursong.mp3, weddingsong.mp3 Well-known artists and songs, for example: santana.mp3, sayyousayme.mp3, smashingpumpkins.mp3, bbrown.mp3, bspears.mp3, gloriaestefan.mp3, beatles.mp3 Other "sounds" that people might want to listen to, for example:…

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Google maps vs Live maps

This post is not spam related, but I’d still like to talk about it. For the longest time, I always used Google maps as my map-interface of choice whenever I wanted to search for a location.  I thought that it had the best user interface. I think I’m switching over to Live maps, from Microsoft,…

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Publicly available spam tool

A colleague alerted me to a spamming tool available on the web at the following web URL: http://verify-email. org It’s a page that allows someone to enter in an email address and it will tell you whether or not that email address is live.  In essence, this is the non-techy spammer way of checking for…

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What does a spam fighter do all day? Part 2

Last September, I was transitioned out of my role as a spam analyst to a spam… analyst.  Except rather than looking at actual spam, I was doing a lot more analyzing of spam trends.  I compiled piles of reports and investigated all of the numerous issues that came up.  I was dealing with the crisis-of-the-week…

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What to do if you’re blocked by Hotmail

One of the things I often get asked by people who email me are requests for help.  The specific request is that the person is sending mail to Hotmail but the messages are not getting through to the recipients email inboxes.  Our divisions, Hotmail and Exchange Hosted Services, are separate but here are some of…

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What does a spam fighter do all day? Part 1b

Further to my other posts, in addition to handling false positives and processing spam (usually abuse submissions but not always), as a spam fighter we also handle IP blocklist delisting requests. For those of you who have ever run a blocklist, you will know that there is a definite art to managing it; blocklist management…

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What does a spam fighter do all day? Part 1a

Following on from my previous post, I thought I’d go into a bit of detail about how we go about creating spam rules.  Actually, to be more accurate, I’ll go into detail about how I used to create spam rules, as I stopped going through our abuse submission folder daily about a year and a…

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