Tag: botnets

Are botnets really the spam problem?

Over the last few years I’ve been hearing some people claim that botnets are the real spam problem and that if you can find a sender then they’re not a problem. Much of this is said in the context of hating on Canada for passing a law that requires senders actually get permission before sending email. […]

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Whirlwind that is M3AAWG

It’s been a great conference, and it’s only about half done. As is common at these conferences, I write down lots of things we should do and need to publish. The difference is now that we are growing I may have the time to put the polish on them and get them published. Today’s keynote […]

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8 things that make your mail look like spam

In the comments of last week’s Wednesday question John B. asked Can you elaborate on specifics of “configure machines to not look like spam ware”? There are a lot of things that spamware does that is different from a lot of standard MTAs. Here are a list of things that may make your mail look […]


Phones part of SMS botnet

Spammers have been moving into the phone market for a long time. Just recently security firms have discovered an Android  botnet. This botnet sends viruses over SMS, and when a link in the SMS is clicked, the phone is infected with the virus which then sends more SMS. The technology for blocking and reporting SMS […]


Scam, Scam, Scam

One of the things that never ceases to amaze me about phishers is how incredibly creative they can be in writing text that encourages recipients to open their emails. There have been two separate incident recently that inspired me to talk about phishing. The first was watching viruses propagate through my local neighborhood mailing list. […]

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Anti-Botnet Code of Conduct Published

The Communications Security, Reliability and Interoperability Council (CSRIC) published a Anti-botnet code of conduct for ISPs. This is a purely voluntary code for U.S. ISPs that want to mitigate the botnet threat to follow. You can download a full copy of the final report from the MAAWG website. The FCC has published a fact sheet […]

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Government and botnets

The US government is looking at telling ISPs how to deal with compromised customers and botnets. They’re a bit late to the party, though. Most of the major commercial ISPs have been implementing significant botnet controls for many years now. Control involves a number of different techniques, but notification has been designed into the system […]

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Big botnet takedown

The Department of Justice and the FBI took aggressive action against the Coreflood botnet this week. They not only seized domain names and some hardware, they also received permission to actively respond to infected machines. This TRO allows the government to intercept and respond to infected computers. This essentially cuts off the botnet at it’s […]

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More spam graphs

Ken Simpson, CEO of Mailchannels, was kind enough to give me permission to post their graph of spam and email volumes from September 1, 2010 through Jan 3, 2011. This chart also shows the trend of declining volumes of spam. There are some differences, though, which I think highlight how you get different pictures when […]


Spam volumes in 2010

I started hearing various people comment about lower spam volumes sometime in mid December. This isn’t that unusual, spam volumes are highly variable and someone is always noticing that their spam load is going up or going down. The problem is extrapolating larger trends from a small selection of email addresses. There’s too much variation […]

  • 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