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Received a Questionable Email From NABP? It May Be Illegal Spoofing

Has your organization recently received an email claiming to be from NABP's Internet Drug Outlet Identification Program (IDOI)? If so, it is possible that someone is trying to trick you. The NABP IDOI team's email account has recently been illegally "spoofed" by unaffiliated persons or organizations. Email spoofing involves the forgery of an email header so that the email appears to have originated from someone other than the actual source. more

Measuring Abuse: How Much COVID-Related Abuse Is There, Really?

Like measuring COVID's impact, so too measuring the impact of COVID-related abuse on the Internet is difficult, there are those that would foolishly dismiss the danger entirely, others over-state the problem, perhaps to prompt sales of tools and services. The amount and type of abuse varies from network to network, and to declare everything is fine based on one world-view you believe to be ubiquitous, or that the sky is falling based upon another, extrapolated to 'everybody else' is simply poor analysis. more

Political Email Placement or, You're Not Special

A recent piece in The Markup called Swinging the Vote? attempts to figure out how Google decides where to deliver political e-mail. They were startled to discover that only a small fraction of it was delivered into the main inbox, and a fair amount was classed as spam. They shouldn't have been. This is an example of the fallacy We're so nice that the rules don't apply to us, which is far too common among non-profit and political mailers. more

RIP Don Blumenthal

It is with a heavy heart that we note the passing of a dear friend, colleague and member of the CAUCE board of directors, Don Blumenthal, on September 28, 2019, in Ann Arbor, Michigan. He was 67. Don was an anti-spammer for as long a there was an anti-spam community: he helped design, deploy and maintain the famous 'Spam Fridge,' the repository of junk email maintained by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). more

Spam Is Never Timely Nor Relevant

One of the ongoing recommendations to improve deliverability is to send email that is timely and relevant to the recipient. The idea being that if you send mail a recipient wants, they're more likely to interact with it in a way that signals to the mailbox provider that the message is wanted. The baseline for that, at least whenever I've talked about timely and relevant, is that the recipient asked for mail from you in the first place. more

Call Spoofing: Congress Calls on FCC, Russia and China Answer

It is both amusing and dismaying. Last year, Congress passed Ray Baum's Act telling the FCC to do something about those pesky incoming foreign SPAM calls and texts with the fake callerIDs. The FCC a couple of weeks ago responded with a chest thumping Report and Order claiming it has "extraterritorial jurisdiction" that is does not have, and promising it will do something. Don't hold your breath on that one. more

Spamtraps Are Overblown… by Senders

One of the fascinating parts of my job is seeing how different groups in email have radically disparate points of view. A current example is how much value senders put on spamtraps compared to ISPs and filtering companies. I understand why this is. In all too many cases, when a sender asks why they're mail is going to bulk or being blocked, the answer is "you're hitting spamtraps." The thing is, spamtraps are almost never the only reason mail is being blocked. more

How to Track Online Malevolent Identities in the Act

Want to be a cybersleuth and track down hackers? It may sound ambitious considering that malevolent entities are extremely clever, and tracing them requires certain skills that may not be easy to build for the typical computer user. But then again, the best defense is offense. And learning the basics of sniffing out cybercriminals may not only be necessary nowadays, it has become essential for survival on the Web. So where can you begin? more

My Domain Reputation Is Bad, Should I Get a New Domain?

Many companies have the occasional "oops" where they send email they probably shouldn't have. This can often cause a decrease in reputation and subsequent delivery problems. Some companies rush to fix things by changing domains. Brand new domains, those registered less than 30 days, have really bad reputations. Blame the spammers and scammers who exploited a loophole and sent tons of untraceable spam from newly registered domains that they then abandoned without paying for them. more

GDPR Didn't Affect Spam? Not So Fast

I have recently become aware of a blog post from Recorded Future that attempts to analyze the effects of the GDPR on online security. Unfortunately, it starts by asking an irrelevant question and then goes on to use irrelevant metrics to come to a meaningless answer. The premise of Recorded Future's article - that spammers would send more spam and register more domains because GDPR came into effect - tells us nothing useful about how GDPR affects anything. It's the wrong question... more

GDPR PII Time-Bomb? Kill it With Fire!

Hi! My name is spamfighter. I investigate spam and phish in a post-GDPR dystopia. Recently, I invented Fire, to save you millions of €uros. One day, my Boss suggested I automate some of my processes. I, for one, welcome our Robot Overlords (and a happy boss), but I can be exacting about the tools I use. Perhaps not to the degree of the infamous Van Halen 'no brown M&M's' contractual clause but I have no patience for poorly-designed software, and truly dislike typing when... more

Sorry, Not Sorry: WHOIS Data Must Remain Public

In March, I posted a call to action to those of us in the community who have the inclination to fight against a movement to redact information critical to anti-abuse research. Today, I felt compelled to react to some of the discussions on the ICANN discussion list dedicated to the issue of WHOIS reform: Sorry, not sorry: I work every working hour of the day to protect literally hundreds of millions of users from privacy violating spam, phish, malware, and support scams. more

Craigslist Gets a $40 Million CAN-SPAM Judgment

Classified ad site craigslist is famously protective of its contents. While they are happy for search engines like Google to index the listings, they really, really do not like third parties to scrape and republish their content in other forms. In 2013 craigslist sued a company called 3taps which had created an API for craigslist data. They also sued real estate site Padmapper, which showed craigslist and other apartment listings on a map, something craigslist didn't do at the time. more

Loudmouths Wanted for ICANN WHOIS Replacement Work

TL;DR? It's worth reading, BUT, if not -- ICANN has yet another group looking at WHOIS, and there is a huge push to redact it to nothing. I spend easily half my day in WHOIS data fighting online crime, losing it would not make my job harder, it will make it impossible. PLEASE JOIN THE ICANN GROUP and help us fight back against people who are fighting in favour of crime. more

Large Companies (Un?)knowingly Hire Spammers

This morning, CSO and MacKeeper published joint articles on a massive data leak from a marketing company. This company, River City Media (RCM), failed to put a password on their online backups sometime. This leaked all of the company's data out to the Internet at large. MacKeeper Security Researcher, Chris Vickery discovered the breach back in December and shared the information with Spamhaus and CSO online. The group has spent months going through the data from this spammer. more

News Briefs

Leading Domain Registries and Registrars Release Joint Document on Addressing 'DNS Abuse'

Gmail Is Blocking 100 Million More Spam Messages Every Day With AI, Says Google

Former ICANN Security VP Joins CAUCE Board of Directors

FCC to Classify Text Messaging as Information Service to Fight Spam Texts, Others Oppose the Move

Study Finds GDPR Has Had Minimal Impact on Spam and Domain Registrations

Most Abused TLDs Put Under Spotlight by Spamhaus

Microsoft, Facebook and Others Demand ICANN Take a Closer Look at Questionable Registrars

Over a Billion Email Addresses of Major Spam Operation Exposed via Unprotected Backups

'Spam King' Sanford Wallace Sentenced to 2.5 Years In Prison

Internet Infrastructure Coalition (i2Coalition) Joins M3AAWG to Reduce Hosting Industry Abuse

Plentyoffish Media Inc. Fined $48,000 for Alleged Violation of Canada's Anti-Spam Law

M3AAWG Releases Anti-Abuse Best Common Practices for Hosting and Cloud Service Providers

Canadian Regulator CRTC Issues $1.1 Million Penalty to Compu-Finder for Spamming

Spam-Friendly Registrar 'Dynamic Dolphin' Shuttered by ICANN

Arrest Made in Connection to Spamhaus DDoS Case

Massive Spam and Malware Campaign Following Boston Tragedy

Largest DDoS Attack To Date Aimed at Spamhaus Effects Global Internet Traffic

J.D. Falk: 1974 - 2011

Google Removes All Sites Under .CO.CC Over Security Concerns

Happy Canada Day from the CRTC

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