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Home :: Email

13 Jan 2015

When DNSBLs go bad Email
I have often remarked that any fool can run a DNSBL and many fools do so. Since approximately nobody uses the incompetently run BLs, they don't matter. Unfortunately, using a DNSBL requires equally little expertise, which becomes a problem when an operator wants to shut down a list.

See more ...


posted at: 23:47 :: permanent link to this entry :: 0 comments
Trackback link is http://jl.ly/Email/deadbls.trackback

30 Dec 2014

Dave Crocker and I try and figure out if we've solved the spam problem yet. Email

Dave Crocker, author of many of the standards documents that e-mail depends on, and I were at the M3AAWG meeting in Brussels in June when they asked us to step into an impromptu video studio and talk about how e-mail has changed over the past several decades, and whether we're winning the war on spam.

If you want to skip the muzak in the intro, we start talking at :48.


posted at: 21:33 :: permanent link to this entry :: 0 comments
Trackback link is http://jl.ly/Email/m3aawgvideo.trackback

12 Nov 2014

Does spam filtering require insecure mail? Email
A
press release from the EFF complains that some Internet service providers are preventing their users from sending mail over a private encrypted channel, which is bad. While a few ISPs do that, the story is more complex.

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posted at: 23:57 :: permanent link to this entry :: 0 comments
Trackback link is http://jl.ly/Email/tlsfilter.trackback

31 Oct 2014

Different kinds of spam Email

Someone was asking who has the largest set of spamtraps; I opined that nobody knows, since the people will the biggest ones don't discuss the details. Also, it's not a very useful metric. There are spammers who only send to specific large ISPS, so, say, Google would know all about them, and other people wouldn't see them at all.

Also, different kinds of spamtraps get different kinds of spam. I have three general kinds:

  • Addresses that were never valid, typically invented by broken scrapeware that grabbed message IDs or mangled addresses from web sites
  • Abandoned addresses and domains, that may have been valid a decade or more ago, but only get spam now
  • A depressingly large number of addresses given to well-known companies who then leaked them to spammers.

I also get a fair amount to real addresses that aren't spamtraps, but that are caught by filters or by hand.

I haven't analyzed the spam profiles in detail but they're clearly different. For example, one ESP doesn't appear on most people's spam radar, but they send me a great deal of spam (relative to my overall modest volume.) That appears to be because they have a lot of poor quality lists with repurposed addresses, from senders booted from more selective ESPs, and they're constantly hitting role addresses that aren't spamtraps, but should never be on anyone's lists.


posted at: 00:03 :: permanent link to this entry :: 0 comments
Trackback link is http://jl.ly/Email/spamflavor.trackback

08 Oct 2014

How can we do spam filtering on mail we can't read? Email
For reasons that should be obvious, a lot of people are thinking about ways to make e-mail more secure, and harder to spy on. The most likely scenario is an improved version of PGP or S/MIME, two existing encrypted mail systems, that let people publish their encryption key, which correspondents use to encrypt mail so that only the recipient can read it. While this is a significant improvement in privacy, it has the problem that spam filters at the ISP can't read the mail either.

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posted at: 23:36 :: permanent link to this entry :: 0 comments
Trackback link is http://jl.ly/Email/cryptospam.trackback

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