Terry Zink: Security Talk

Discussing Internet security in (mostly) plain English

  • Terry Zink: Security Talk

    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: Security Talk

    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: Security Talk

    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...
  • Terry Zink: Security Talk

    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: Security Talk

    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: Security Talk

    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: Security Talk

    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: Security Talk

    Apple Mail and the Bounce feature

    • 3 Comments
    The other day, I was talking with a friend of mine who owns a Mac and how he finds the Bounce feature of Apple mail very useful.  "Bounce feature?" I asked.  "Is that what I think it is?" I don't use Apple Mail anymore. ...
  • Terry Zink: Security Talk

    Stories from China - part 4

    • 3 Comments
    (Note to readers: Most parts of this story have been made up for creative license). Continuing on from my previous story, I had taken a trip to China and had gone to the Great Wall where a spammer had confronted me.  He was very angry that I had...
  • Terry Zink: Security Talk

    Stories from China - part 3

    • 3 Comments
    Continuing on from my previous story (most parts of which are embellished for creative license... including this one), I had reached the top of the Great Wall of China.  Myself and a friend I met on my trip were hot, sweaty and a little tired, but...
  • Terry Zink: Security Talk

    Stories from China - part 2

    • 2 Comments
    The second part of my story from China includes the completion of one of my lifelong dreams - visiting the Great Wall of China. One of the tours in my trip that I purchased included a trek to the Great Wall.  In case you've been living in a cave...
  • Terry Zink: Security Talk

    Notes from China - part 1

    • 1 Comments
    So I've now been back from China for a few days now.  I thought that my readers might be interested in a bizarre story that occurred while I was there.  This is loosely based on a true story, some (ie, most) parts have been enhanced/created...
  • Terry Zink: Security Talk

    Viruses on the streets of China

    • 2 Comments
    While I was in the city of Xi'an, I lost my digital camera.  Whether I lost it or if it was stolen, I am not sure.  I'm about 70% sure I lost it. Anyhow, I ended up losing pictures from about half of my trip (Beijing, the Great Wall and the...
  • Terry Zink: Security Talk

    Spamming on the streets of China

    • 1 Comments
    I just got back from my trip to China.  It was a pretty good trip, all in all, and I have some interesting stories.  Here's the first: on the streets of Shanghai, they have spammers all over the place. I visited Beijing, Xi'an, Suzhou and Shanghai...
  • Terry Zink: Security Talk

    No blogging for the next couple of weeks

    • 2 Comments
    I'm out of the country, wandering around China for the next couple of weeks (be vewwy, vewwy quiet... I'm hunting spam-muhs!).  So, no blogging until I get back. In the meantime, feel free to browse my archives of posts.  I'm sure you'll find...
  • Terry Zink: Security Talk

    The merits and hazards of redundancy

    • 1 Comments
    In an ideal world, all you would really need in order to do spam filtering is one filter - this filter would be able to do everything.  It would catch spam, keep the obvious stuff out of the network and let all of the good mail through. In the real...
  • Terry Zink: Security Talk

    To collaborate or not?

    • 4 Comments
    We're at the state now where the problem of spam has grown to the point that it threatens to ruin the Internet.  Spammers and their botnets spew out piles of mail, infect computers worldwide, sign up for free web accounts, create landing pages in...
  • Terry Zink: Security Talk

    A CAPTCHA that beats bots and spammers

    • 5 Comments
    A coworker came across the following CAPTCHA.  Finally, one that can beat spammers and their bots!
  • Terry Zink: Security Talk

    Funny spam image

    • 2 Comments
    I was surfing the web looking for spam images for a presentation and came across the following.  Very amusing.
  • Terry Zink: Security Talk

    Whose fault is it, anyway?

    • 3 Comments
    Continuing on in my theme of security, I recently asked myself the question "If you reveal to someone some information and ask them not to share it, and then that information later on leaks, whose fault is it?" Let me give you a specific example...
  • Terry Zink: Security Talk

    Security features only work if everyone plays along

    • 4 Comments
    Since Microsoft released Windows XP SP2 and Windows Vista, they have clamped down on security a bit more.  The firewall is enabled by default.  Unlike previous versions, you could format and reinstall Windows but your system would still be wide...
  • Terry Zink: Security Talk

    Stopping bots from abusing webmail

    • 6 Comments
    One of the problems of bots is that they sign up for free webmail accounts (like Hotmail, Yahoo or Gmail) and then use them to send out spam.  These services will throttle their outbound mail, that is, cut off the sender if they exceed a certain...
  • Terry Zink: Security Talk

    Wall Street could learn a thing or two from botnets

    • 3 Comments
    Well, the government is well on its way to bailing out Wall Street from its own incompetence, putting taxpayers on the hook for $700 billion.  The worst part is that as Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson puts it, "You're worried about taxpayers...
  • Terry Zink: Security Talk

    Can machines fight spam better than humans?

    • 3 Comments
    One of the ideas that floats around in my head from time to time is that of automation vs human analysis - which works better to fight spam?  In an ideal world, machines would be able to generate spam rules to fight spam and humans would be taken...
  • Terry Zink: Security Talk

    The Empire Strikes Back!

    • 4 Comments
    If you haven't been paying attention, over the past couple of weeks Microsoft has been releasing a series of advertisements designed to boost their image and tell their story.  The first commercial featured Bill Gates and Jerry Seinfeld together...
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