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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 play even harder.
I came away from the conference feeling more optimistic about email than I have in quite a while. Not just that email is vital and vibrant but also that the bad guys may not be winning. Multiple sessions focused on botnet and crime mitigation. I was extremely impressed with some of the presenters and with the cooperation they’re getting from various private and public entities.
Overall, this conference helped me to believe that we can at least fight “the bad guys” to a draw.
I’m also impressed with the work the Sender SIG is doing to educate and inform the groups who send bulk commercial messages. With luck, the stack of documents currently being worked on will be published not long after the next MAAWG conference and I can point out all the good parts.
There are a couple specifics I can mention. One is the new list format being published by Spamhaus and SURBL to block phishing domains at the recursive resolver. I blogged about that last Thursday. The other bit is sharing a set of security resources Steve mentioned during his session.
If your organization is fighting with any messaging type abuse (email, social, etc), this is a great place to talk with people who are fighting the same sorts of behaviour. I do encourage everyone to consider joining MAAWG. Not only do you have access to some of the best minds in email, but you have the opportunit to participate in an organization actively making email, and other types of messaging, better for everyone.
(If you can’t sell the idea of a MAAWG membership to your management or you’re not sure if it’s right for you, the MAAWG directors are sometimes open to allowing people whose companies are considering joining MAAWG to attend a conference as a guest. You can contact them through the MAAWG website, or drop me a note and I’ll make sure you talk with the right folks.)
Plus, if you join before October, you can meet up with us in Paris.

5 comments

  1. Martijn Grooten says

    One good thing about MAAWG’s closed door policy is that I don’t get too jealous when you guys are attending the North-American conferences…
    (I think you mean “Spamhaus DBL” where you say SBL.)

  2. pgl says

    Thanks for sharing the security resources page. What does followthatlist.com do?
    You might also want to add UK CERT.

  3. Paul Kincaid-Smith says

    I agree 100% that MAAWG is going from strength to strength. There was a really good vibe at this event, and I LOVED the presentation by Hillary of Bitly. Yesterday I sorted the business cards we (SendGrid) collected during our iPad draw. I’ve got four stacks, and their relative size tells an interesting story. The biggest pile is email senders / ESPs. Next, are technology vendors. Smaller (but not by much) are ISPs and hosters. Smallest, understandably, is the stack of cards from academic researchers, lawyers and government representatives. I’ve been involved in MAAWG since 1998 (when it was called the Software.com Spam Roundtable), and I’m glad to see how the organization has attracted email senders — which helps bridge the divide between senders and receivers. Mutual understanding will hopefully lead to better cooperation and more harmony. See you in Paris.

  4. steve says

    @pgl There’s a brief intro to followthatlist.com here – http://wordtothewise.com/security/ . We’ll be rolling it out publicly once we’ve cleaned up a few remaining bugs, and switched the site out of preview mode.
    I’ll definitely add UK CERT when I tidy the list of resources up.

  5. pgl says

    @steve Cheers!

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