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How Not to Stop Spammers

Spam Arrest is a company that sells an anti-spam service. They attempted to sue some spammers and, as has been widely reported, lost badly. This case emphasizes three points that litigious antispammers seem not to grasp: Under CAN SPAM, a lot of spam is legal; Judges hate plaintiffs who try to be too clever, and hate sloppy preparation even more; Never, ever, file a spam suit in Seattle. more»

Polish CERT Polska and NASK Pull the Plug On .pl TLD On Malicious Registrar, Domain Silver

Today we publish an overview of domains registered through Domain Silver, Inc, a registrar operating in the .pl domain. This Registrar started operating in May 2012. Since that time, the CERT Polska team started to observe a large increase in the amount of malicious domains registered in .pl and to receive many complaints concerning domains registered through Domain Silver. more»

The Death of IP Based Reputation

Back in the dark ages of email delivery the only thing that really mattered to get your email into the inbox was having a good IP reputation. If your IP sent good mail most of the time, then that mail got into the inbox and all was well with the world. All that mattered was that good IP reputation. Even better for the people who wanted to game the system and get their spam into the inbox, there were many ways to get around IP reputation. more»

CAN SPAM Issues in Zoobuh V. Better Broadcasting

Last week a Utah court issued a default judgement under CAN SPAM in Zoobuh vs. Better Broadcasting et al. I think the court's opinion is pretty good, even though some observers such as very perceptive Venkat Balasubramani have reservations. The main issues were whether Zoobuh had standing to sue, whether the defendants domain names were obtained fraudulently, and whether the opt-out notice in the spam was adequate. more»

How to Stop the Spread of Malware? A Call for Action

On Webwereld an article was published following a new Kaspersky malware report Q1-2013. Nothing new was mentioned here. The Netherlands remains the number 3 as far as sending malware from Dutch servers is concerned. At the same time Kaspersky writes that The Netherlands is one of the most safe countries as far as infections go. So what is going on here? more»

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»

Breaking Down Silos Doesn't Come Easy

"We need to break down silos", is a phrase often heard in national and international meetings around cyber security and enforcing cyber crime. So it is no coincidence that at the upcoming NLIGF (Netherlands Internet Governance Forum), the IGF, but also an EU driven event like ICT 2013 have "Breaking down silos" and "Building bridges" on the agenda. But what does it mean? And how to do so? more»

Correlation Between Country Governance Regimes & Reputation of Their Internet Address Allocations

We recently analyzed the reputation of a country's Internet (IPv4) addresses by examining the number of blacklisted IPv4 addresses that geolocate to a given country. We compared this indicator with two qualitative measures of each country's governance. We hypothesized that countries with more transparent, democratic governmental institutions would harbor a smaller fraction of misbehaving (blacklisted) hosts. The available data confirms this hypothesis. A similar correlation exists between perceived corruption and fraction of blacklisted IP addresses. 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»

The Incredible Leakyness of Commercial Mailers (Cont'd)

Last week I blogged about the way that lots of otherwise legitimate companies leak e-mail addresses to spammers. Here's a few more thoughts. One person asked how I knew that these were leaks, and not dictionary attacks, since the addresses I use are fairly obvious, the name of an often well known company @ my domain. It's a reasonable question, but the answer is simple... more»