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Author: steve

Google and Amazon and B2B spam

Many of the operational goals of a commercial spammer aren’t related to email delivery at all, rather they revolve around optimizing ROI and minimizing costs. That’s even more true when the spammer isn’t trying to sell their own product, rather they’re making money by sending spam for other companies. Most legitimate network providers pay at […]

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Is your website up? Are you sure?

“What would you do for 25% more sales?” It’s panicked gift-buying season, and I got mail this morning from Boutique Academia, part of their final push before Christmas. They’re hoping for some Christmas sales in the next three days. They do make some lovely jewelry – ask Laura about her necklace some time – so […]

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DKIM Canonicalization – or – why Microsoft breaks your mail

One of these things is just like the other Canonicalization is about comparing things to see if they’re the same. Sometimes you want to do a “fuzzy” comparison, to see if two things are interchangeable for your purposes, even if they’re not exactly identical. As a concrete example, these two email addresses: (Steve) steve@wordtothewise.com “Also Steve” […]

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Global Suppression Lists

Global Suppression List. Pander File. Screamers List. Whatever you call it, it’s the list of email addresses you suppress from every mailing. If you’re an ESP, this is the list of people who you never, ever want to send email to – and I’m talking about ESP-wide global suppression lists here, not the suppression lists […]

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Traffic Light Protocol

If you’re sharing sensitive computer security information it’s important to know how sensitive a document is, and who you can share it with. US-CERT and many other security organizations use Traffic Light Protocol as shorthand for how sensitive the information in a document is. It’s simple and easy to remember with just four colour categories: Red, Amber, […]

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Spam, campaign statistics and red flag URLs

It’s not often spammers send me their campaign statistics, but on Tuesday one did. The spam came “from” news@udemy.com, used udemy.com in the HELO and message-ids and, sure enough, was advertising udemy.com:   Received: from udemy.com (unknown [198.20.115.217]) by … From: Udemy <news@udemy.com> Subject: The Photoshop Secret – Master Adobe Photoshop like a Pro! Message-ID: <20160706031012.1E35F28A6B081174@udemy.com> […]

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About the Hillary Clinton email server thing…

I was going to say something about the issue with Hillary Clinton using an email server provided by her own staff for some of her email traffic, rather than one provided by her employer, but @LaneWinree already wrote pretty much what I’d have written, just better than I would have done. So, I guarantee this is exactly […]

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Comodo, TLS certificates and business ethics

We run a lot of our own infrastructure at Word to the Wise. Our email and web presence runs on our own hardware, in our own cabinet in our own network space. Partly that’s because we’re all from very technical backgrounds, and can run them in a way that’s better suited to our needs than […]

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Domain transparency

An email I received this morning got me thinking about how your domain name is one of the main ways you identify yourself if you’re sending email. We talk about domain reputation quite a lot – DKIM and SPF let a sender volunteer a domain name as a unique identifier for recipients to use to […]

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Gmail / Apps authentication issues

I’ve seen several reports of unexpected rejections for unauthenticated email to Google over IPv6 today. Unauthenticated mail over IPv6 is a bad idea, but Google usually spam folders it rather than rejecting it. The Gmail status dashboard is reporting an issue “Some messages sent to consumer Gmail accounts are being rejected due to authentication enforcement” so something […]

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  • OTA joins the ISOC

    The Online Trust Alliance (OTA) announced today they were joining forces with the Internet Society (ISOC). Starting in May, they will operate as an initiative under the ISOC umbrella. “The Internet Society and OTA share the belief that trust is the key issue in defining the future value of the Internet,” said Internet Society President and CEO, Kathryn Brown. “Now is the right time for these two organizations to come together to help build user trust in the Internet. At a time when cyber-attacks and identity theft are on the rise, this partnership will help improve security and data privacy for users,” added Brown.No Comments


  • Friday blogging... or lack of it

    It seems the last few Friday's I've been lax on posting. Some of that is just by Friday I'm frantically trying to complete all my client deliverables before the weekend. The rest of it is by Friday I'm just tired. Today had the added complication of watching the Trumpcare debate and following how (and how soon) it would affect my company if it passed. That's been a bit distracting, along with the other stuff I posted about yesterday. I wish everyone a great weekend.1 Comment


  • Indictments in Yahoo data breach

    Today the US government unsealed an indictment against 2 Russian agents and 2 hackers for breaking into Yahoo's servers and stealing personal information. The information gathered during the hack was used to target government officials, security employees and private individuals. Email is so central to our online identity. Compromise an email account and you can get access to social media, and other accounts. Email is the key to the kingdom.No Comments


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