Spamhaus answers marketer questions


A few months ago, Ken Magill asked marketers, including the folks at Only Influencers to provide him with questions to pass along to Spamhaus. Spamhaus answered the first set in March, but then were hit with the Stophaus attack and put answering further questions on hold. Last week, they provided a second set of answers and this week they provided a third.
Nothing in there is surprising, but it’s worth folks heading over and reading.
There are a couple useful things that I think are worth highlighting.
When discussing spamtraps and how Spamhaus handles the traps.

[A]ll the emphasis on spamtraps is rather misplaced. While traps are one way to detect spam problems, the goal of legitimate mailers should be to only send to fully opt-in subscribers, not simply to avoid spamtraps. If only spamtraps received spam and user mailboxes were completely free of it, Spamhaus would have no reason to exist. Part 2

When discussing proving that senders are using an opt in process.

Most systems log email address, connecting IP, timestamp, and origin of the subscription (where the address was collected). Name and other personal info may also be collected. That’s all good for your own use, but all such evidence can also be forged so it really doesn’t help in resolving an SBL. Besides, we understand that you may not be able to share private information. The important thing to show us is not the historic logs, although they might help in some case, but a documented process of address acquisition, for example a process where we could confirm a subscription for our own test address. Part 3

The overall theme of the answers is that Spamhaus’ responsibility is to their users. They take that responsibility very seriously and use whatever tools they have available to identify mail sent without recipient permission.
On a more administrative level: July has been busy and I’ve been swamped with client work. I’m working on a couple long blog posts and hoped to have one of them done today, but the world did not cooperate. But I will have posts up later this week.

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  • Spamhaus really need to communicate with ESP’s when it comes to botnet infection issues.
    Here is an example which shows how ridiculous the current Spamhaus system is:
    An ESP has a pool of 200 IP addresses that are shared by 10,000 different businesses.
    If just ONE of those businesses has ONE computer that happens to get a botnet virus on it, then potentially many of those IP addresses can get blacklisted, and relisted over and over again, until they are permanently banned.
    Spamhaus could be helpful and actually provide logs so that ESP’s can easily locate the offending sender. Other blacklists *are* helpful in this regard. They show excerpts from their logs. This is beneficial in actually helping get rid of infected botnet computers.
    The only solution without Spamhaus being helpful is to try and slowly narrow down the group of users who *may* be infected, slowly over a period of days or weeks trying to find the one user who is causing problems with legitimate email delivery for 10,000 other businesses.
    As I say, Spamhaus could do what other blacklists do and show an excerpt of their logs for botnet related issues, to immediately put an end to the spam.

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