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13 Jan 2015
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.
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Trackback link is http://jl.ly/Email/deadbls.trackback
30 Dec 2014
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.
Trackback link is http://jl.ly/Email/m3aawgvideo.trackback
12 Nov 2014
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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Trackback link is http://jl.ly/Email/tlsfilter.trackback
31 Oct 2014
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
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.
Trackback link is http://jl.ly/Email/spamflavor.trackback
08 Oct 2014
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.
See more ...
Trackback link is http://jl.ly/Email/cryptospam.trackback
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