Email / Featured Blogs

Different Focus on Spam Needed

It is surprisingly difficult to get accurate figures for the amount of spam that is sent globally, yet everyone agrees that the global volume of spam has come down a lot since its peak in late 2008. At the same time, despite some recent small decreases, the catch rates of spam filters remain generally high... A world in which email can be used without spam filters is a distant utopia. Yet, the decline of spam volumes and the continuing success (recent glitches aside) of filters have two important consequences. more»

The Spamhaus Distributed Denial of Service - How Big a Deal Was It?

If you haven't been reading the news of late, venerable anti-spam service Spamhaus has been the target of a sustained, record-setting Distributed Denial-of-Service (DDoS) attack over the past couple of weeks... Of course, bad guys are always mad at Spamhaus, and so they had a pretty robust set-up to begin with, but whoever was behind this attack was able to muster some huge resources, heretofore never seen in intensity, and it had some impact, on the Spamhaus website, and to a limited degree, on the behind-the-scenes services that Spamhaus uses to distribute their data to their customers. more»

Making Multi-Language Mail Work (Part 3)

In the previous installments we looked at software changes in mail servers, and in the software that lets user mail programs pick up mail. What has to change in the user mail programs? ... The first and most obvious is that users have to be able to enter the addresses. more»

Making Multi-Language Mail Work (Part 2)

In the previous instalment we looked at the software changes needed for mail servers to handle internationalized mail, generally abbreviated as EAI. When a message arrives, whether ASCII or EAI, mail servers generally drop it into a mailbox and let the user pick it up. The usual ways for mail programs to pick up mail are POP3 and IMAP4. more»

Making Multi-Language Mail Work (Part 1)

Mail software consists of a large number of cooperating pieces, described in RFC 5598. A user composes a message with a Mail User Agent (MUA), which passes it to a Mail Submission Agent (MSA), which in turn usually passes it to a sequence of Mail Transfer Agents (MTAs), which eventually hand it to a Mail Delivery Agent (MDA) to place it in the user's mail store. If the recipient user doesn't read mail on the same computer with the mail store (as is usually the case these days) POP or IMAP transfers the mail to the recipient's MUA. more»

A Simpler Approach to an Email Deliverability Metric

The term Email Deliverability is used to describe how well a mail flow can reach its intended recipients. This has become a cornerstone concept when discussing quality metrics in the email industry and as such, it is important to understand how to measure it. Email Deliverability is considered to be affected by a mythical metric, the reputation of the sender, which is a measure of that sender behavior over time -- and the reactions of the recipients to his messages. more»

A Copycat Canadian Privacy Suit Against Gmail

In July, several people filed attempted class action suits against Google, on the peculiar theory that Gmail was spying on its own users' mail. One of the suits was in Federal court, the other two in California state court, but the complaints were nearly identical so we assume that they're coordinated.Now we have a similar suit filed in provincial court in British Columbia, Canada. more»

A Look at Mail Patterns from Legitimate Webmail Sources

For many years, I have tracked spam from botnets and reported on it. I have analyzed those botnets' distribution patterns by number of IPs, number of messages per email envelope and geographical distribution. While spam from botnets is interesting, and the main source of spam, it is not the only source of spam. What about spam that originates from the MAGY sources? more»

Report On National Online Cybercrime and Online Threats Reporting Centres

Today I released a report on 'National cyber crime and online threats reporting centres. A study into national and international cooperation'. Mitigating online threats and the subsequent enforcing of violations of laws often involves many different organisations and countries. Many countries are presently engaged in erecting national centres aimed at reporting cyber crime, spam or botnet mitigation. more»

Interoperability Testing Event for DMARC Email Anti-Spoofing Specification

At the end of January, the DMARC (Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting & Conformance) specification was publicly announced and resulted in widespread media coverage, blog posts and discussion. Since that time various individuals and organizations have been working on writing code for DMARC validators and report parsers. The dmarc-discuss list has been fairly active as various questions and issues have been raised and clarified. Now it is time to see how well the various implementations play together in live testing. more»