Spamhaus lists Microsoft as a spam-friendly ISP – update

A week ago, the Washington Post printed an article saying that Spamhaus had listed Microsoft as the 5th worst spam-friendly ISP.  There was (an is) a link to the current top 10 worst spam friendly ISPs, and while Microsoft is no longer on there, the point has been made. Spammers have been abusing Microsoft’s free…

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Trends from 2008

I have commented that one of the major trends that I have seen this year is a steady decline in the amount of spam that we see compared to 2007.  This was certainly accelerated after McColo was taken offline, but that was also true even before that. However, while spam has been down by at…

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Do I even bother trying to save the world?

In one of my other posts, I lamented that some of our outbound mail from customers was being sent by some people who put non-resolveable domains as the envelope sender.  As a result, an ISP (among others) was throttling our mail because the sender’s domain had no A-record. Stuff like this is difficult to take…

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CBL’s take on McColo being taken offline

It’s been over a week since McColo’s operations had its plug pulled, and our spam volumes are still way down (I still haven’t figured out a way to take credit for that).  On average, it is down by around 40-50%.  The last couple of days have seen some slight upticks but not a lot. One…

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The antispam accuracy of sender verification

Three simple techniques that are used as inputs for filtering spam are the following: Check to see if the sending domain in the SMTP MAIL FROM has an MX record Check to see if the sending domain in the SMTP MAIL FROM has an A-record Check to see if the sending IP has a reverse…

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Categories of problems in outbound spam

Being a hosted service, we have a number of customers who share an outbound IP range.  If one of those customers starts to misbehave, their actions can affect everyone else. We’ve lot about outbound spam this past year.  We’ve implemented a number of solutions and incrementally have started to tighten the screws in what we…

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Some cool techniques for image filtering

In 2006, spammers started in a big way to use image spam to try to push through all of their stuff.  While this technique is still used today, it isn’t quite as effective because spam filters caught up. One technique that Microsoft developed is called Shingling.  That’s where the image is broken up into a…

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Major spam operation goes offline, spam plummets

This has been picked up by a couple of other blogs (I’m almost never the first to report on these things) but I’m going to talk about it anyway.  The Washington Post reports that a Web hosting company out of San Jose that hosts spamming organizations was taken offline.  Some excerpts from the article: Experts…

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Diagnosing a spam run

The other day, we discovered one of our customers had been compromised and was relaying outbound spam through us.  The spammer was clever in this case and was using some fake headers to attempt to trick the recipient, whoever they were, about the source of the mail.  Here’s the mechanism I use to discover that…

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Microsoft’s Security and Intelligence Report

Microsoft has recently released its Security and Intelligence Report for January – June 2008.   The report contains a lot of data from Hotmail but also from us in Exchange Hosted Services.  The full report with supporting data can be found here, and then you need to download the file named Microsoft_Security_Intelligence_Report_v5.pdf (it’s a 12 MB…

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Spam filtering and skill sets

When filtering spam from a client base that is world wide, you tend to pick up a skill set that you might not otherwise get a chance to obtain – learning foreign languages. Now, I’m already fluent in six million forms of communication, but surprisingly there are a lot of common languages that evade me. …

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Why socialism is bad

About a week or two ago, I saw then-Senator Barack Obama doing an interview on The Daily Show with John Stewart.  He was responding to some criticisms from the McCain campaign that arose in regards to his comments that we should "share the wealth."  He joked that the McCain campaign was calling him as a…

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Postini’s new features

Over on the Google Enterprise Blog, they recently posted the following with regards to some new features: (1) Our spam protection continues to evolve, this time with NDR (non-delivery receipt) filter improvements. Administrators can now more precisely deal with NDR attacks which includes the ability to distinguish between legitimate and spam NDR messages and set…

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Oh, how the mighty have fallen

A few months ago, Yahoo rebuffed Microsoft’s attempt to purchase it.  Now, this morning, I come across the following story: Now that quasi-white knight Google  is out of the picture, Yahoo co-founder and CEO Jerry Yang has some advice for Microsoft: “To this day, I believe the best thing for Microsoft to do is to…

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Obama’s victory and spammers?

So, Barack Obama is going to be the 44th President of the United States.  I was ineligible to vote, but that didn’t stop me from getting my free cup of coffee from Starbucks!  You know, I don’t even like coffee, but it’s the principle of the matter (I want my free stuff). Given how spammers…

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