Monthly Archives: June 2011

Gmail shows authentication data to the recipient

Yesterday Gmail rolled out some changes to their interface. One of the changes is that they are now showing end users authentication results in the user screen. It’s really the next step in email authentication, showing the results to the end user. So how does Google do this? Google is checking both SPF and DKIM. […]


URL Shortening and Email

Any time you put a URL in mail you send out, you’re sharing the reputation of everyone who uses URLs with that hostname. So if other people send unwanted email that has the same URL in it that can cause your mail to be blocked or sent to the bulk folder. That has a bunch […]

7 Comments gets you Blocked

URL shorteners, like, and, do three things: Make a URL shorter Track clicks on the URL Hide the destination URL Making URLs shorter was their original role, and it’s why they’re so common in media where the raw URL is visible to the recipient – instant messaging, twitter and other microblogs, and […]


Well designed email program

I so often talk about the failures of various email marketing programs that it’s only fair I mention when someone gets it right. We spent the past week with family on the east coast. Our flight back to the west coast was very, very early Sunday morning so I booked a night at the airport […]

No Comments

The frequency conundrum

What is the perfect frequency to send mail? Is it daily, weekly, monthly, hourly, minutely (is that even a word?) or randomly? Any number of experts will give you a definitive answer to this question, but I don’t believe there is a single answer. The frequency recipients will respond to depends on the type of […]


Smart email

This week I received an email from a vendor we purchased software from 6 months ago. And it was exactly 6 months to the day of our original purchase I received an email basically reminding me of what I purchased and asking me to update my contact information. Thank you for using Atlassian software and […]

1 Comment

The Real Story

We’ve heard this story before. Someone gives an email address to a company. That company sends them email via an ESP for several years. Hackers break in to the ESP and steal a bunch of email addresses. The original address owner starts getting targeted and random spam to that email address. The reality is rarely […]

1 Comment

MAAWG: Just keeps getting better

Last week was the 22nd meeting of the Messaging Anti-Abuse Working Group (MAAWG). While I am prohibited from talking about specifics because of the closed door nature of the group, I can say I came out of the conference exhausted (as usual) and energized (perhaps not as usual). The folks at MAAWG work hard and […]


e360 and the appeals court

Oral arguments in Spamhaus’ appeal were held last week. Mickey blogged about it on Thursday. I heard from him and a bunch of the Spamhaus folks about it at MAAWG, but was busy enough that I didn’t get a chance to listen to it. Mickey is not exaggerating on how badly the judges, particularly Judge […]

No Comments

New blocklisting process

There is a new type of blocking designed to interrupt the ability of users to click and visit phishing sites. DNS Response Policy Zones allows companies running recursive resolvers to create a zone that will not resolve specific domains. This is a second layer of filtering, if a spammer manages to get an email with […]

1 Comment
  • Lost in the mists of time

    Over on the Farsight Security blog Joe St. Sauver talks about some of the early days of online abuse, on usenet. Laura and I were on the periphery of early usenet abuse, mostly as users, but Usenet (and IRC) around then were the places we both started with email abuse.No Comments

  • Ongoing Yahoo delays

    I've been hearing from folks over the last few days that they're seeing an uptick in deferrals from Yahoo! The deferrals are not uniform. ESPs report they're seeing some, but not all, customers affected. Other ESPs aren't seeing any changes. It's not just you. But it would be very worthwhile to dig into engagement and other stats. It's possible this is a new normal at Yahoo! and they're tightening filters to catch mail that doesn't fit their standards but was previously difficult to filter.No Comments

  • AOL starts using Sender Score Certification

    Good news for Sender Score Certified IPs. Return Path recently announced that AOL has joined the list of ISPs offering preferential treatment to certified IPs.  1 Comment