Terry Zink's Cyber Security Blog

Discussing Internet security in (mostly) plain English

November, 2008

  • Terry Zink's Cyber Security Blog

    The antispam accuracy of sender verification

    • 2 Comments
    Three simple techniques that are used as inputs for filtering spam are the following: Check to see if the sending domain in the SMTP MAIL FROM has an MX record Check to see if the sending domain in the SMTP MAIL FROM has an A-record Check to see if the...
  • Terry Zink's Cyber Security Blog

    Do I even bother trying to save the world?

    • 5 Comments
    In one of my other posts, I lamented that some of our outbound mail from customers was being sent by some people who put non-resolveable domains as the envelope sender.  As a result, an ISP (among others) was throttling our mail because the sender...
  • Terry Zink's Cyber Security Blog

    Postini's new features

    • 3 Comments
    Over on the Google Enterprise Blog, they recently posted the following with regards to some new features: (1) Our spam protection continues to evolve, this time with NDR (non-delivery receipt) filter improvements. Administrators can now more precisely...
  • Terry Zink's Cyber Security Blog

    Categories of problems in outbound spam

    • 3 Comments
    Being a hosted service, we have a number of customers who share an outbound IP range.  If one of those customers starts to misbehave, their actions can affect everyone else. We've lot about outbound spam this past year.  We've implemented a...
  • Terry Zink's Cyber Security Blog

    Some cool techniques for image filtering

    • 4 Comments
    In 2006, spammers started in a big way to use image spam to try to push through all of their stuff.  While this technique is still used today, it isn't quite as effective because spam filters caught up. One technique that Microsoft developed is called...
  • Terry Zink's Cyber Security Blog

    Operating system security vulnerabilities

    • 3 Comments
    A few weeks ago, Microsoft released its 2008 Security and Intelligence Report.  In it, they detail a number of interesting trends.  One is how much the Malicious Software Removal Tool removes per operating system infection. The infection rate...
  • Terry Zink's Cyber Security Blog

    CBL's take on McColo being taken offline

    • 1 Comments
    It's been over a week since McColo's operations had its plug pulled, and our spam volumes are still way down (I still haven't figured out a way to take credit for that).  On average, it is down by around 40-50%.  The last couple of days have...
  • Terry Zink's Cyber Security Blog

    Diagnosing a spam run

    • 2 Comments
    The other day, we discovered one of our customers had been compromised and was relaying outbound spam through us.  The spammer was clever in this case and was using some fake headers to attempt to trick the recipient, whoever they were, about the...
  • Terry Zink's Cyber Security Blog

    Spamhaus lists Microsoft as a spam-friendly ISP - update

    • 1 Comments
    A week ago, the Washington Post printed an article saying that Spamhaus had listed Microsoft as the 5th worst spam-friendly ISP.  There was (an is) a link to the current top 10 worst spam friendly ISPs, and while Microsoft is no longer on there,...
  • Terry Zink's Cyber Security Blog

    Why socialism is bad

    • 0 Comments
    About a week or two ago, I saw then-Senator Barack Obama doing an interview on The Daily Show with John Stewart.  He was responding to some criticisms from the McCain campaign that arose in regards to his comments that we should "share the wealth...
  • Terry Zink's Cyber Security Blog

    Trends from 2008

    • 4 Comments
    I have commented that one of the major trends that I have seen this year is a steady decline in the amount of spam that we see compared to 2007.  This was certainly accelerated after McColo was taken offline, but that was also true even before that...
  • Terry Zink's Cyber Security Blog

    Microsoft's Security and Intelligence Report

    • 1 Comments
    Microsoft has recently released its Security and Intelligence Report for January - June 2008.   The report contains a lot of data from Hotmail but also from us in Exchange Hosted Services.  The full report with supporting data can be found...
  • Terry Zink's Cyber Security Blog

    Major spam operation goes offline, spam plummets

    • 3 Comments
    This has been picked up by a couple of other blogs (I'm almost never the first to report on these things) but I'm going to talk about it anyway.  The Washington Post reports that a Web hosting company out of San Jose that hosts spamming organizations...
  • Terry Zink's Cyber Security Blog

    Obama's victory and spammers?

    • 2 Comments
    So, Barack Obama is going to be the 44th President of the United States.  I was ineligible to vote, but that didn't stop me from getting my free cup of coffee from Starbucks!  You know, I don't even like coffee, but it's the principle of the...
  • Terry Zink's Cyber Security Blog

    Oh, how the mighty have fallen

    • 1 Comments
    A few months ago, Yahoo rebuffed Microsoft's attempt to purchase it.  Now, this morning, I come across the following story : Now that quasi-white knight Google  is out of the picture , Yahoo co-founder and CEO Jerry Yang has some advice for...
  • Terry Zink's Cyber Security Blog

    Spam filtering and skill sets

    • 1 Comments
    When filtering spam from a client base that is world wide, you tend to pick up a skill set that you might not otherwise get a chance to obtain - learning foreign languages. Now, I'm already fluent in six million forms of communication, but surprisingly...
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