Terry Zink: Security Talk

Discussing Internet security in (mostly) plain English

  • Terry Zink: Security Talk

    Note to readers who send me email

    • 3 Comments
    Just a note to readers who send me email: I read all email that you guys send me.  If you send me a link with a suggestion to check it out and I don't respond, it's not that I don't think it's a good idea.  I'm simply lazy and sometimes I get...
  • Terry Zink: Security Talk

    Free spam hosting

    • 9 Comments
    Bulletproof spam hosting services (ie, internet service providers that will host your site and ignore spam complaints) are one of the techniques that spammers use to put up spam sites.  Knowing that their provider will never take them down, they...
  • Terry Zink: Security Talk

    Outbound spam mitigation - lessons learned

    • 1 Comments
    It's been around seven or eight months since I last blogged about how to mitigate the problem of outbound spam.  Hosted email filters like ourselves, MessageLabs and Postini are all kind of in the same boat - we're not ISPS, and we're not ESPs. ...
  • Terry Zink: Security Talk

    Protecting yourself from phishing, part 2

    • 2 Comments
    This is the second part of the article on the Day in the Life of a Phisher. You can protect yourself – here’s how: Never post any personal information in an Internet forum, chat room, or blog. Doing this allows programs like the one described...
  • Terry Zink: Security Talk

    A day in the life of a phisher

    • 1 Comments
    This article originally appeared on the Windows Live Hotmail Tech Support blog.  I thought I'd repost part of it here and the rest of it tomorrow. Phish – (MSN Encarta - commit fraud to get financial information: to trick somebody into providing...
  • Terry Zink: Security Talk

    5 tips for avoiding email scams

    • 1 Comments
    Windows Live Mail users (ie, Hotmail users) got a message today from the Windows Live Hotmail Team advising of tips to avoid email scams.  Since not everyone is a Hotmail user, I thought I'd reprint them here since I agree with all of them. 1) Be...
  • Terry Zink: Security Talk

    A tour of Microsoft

    • 4 Comments
    Have you ever wondered what the Microsoft campus looks like?  Or what the rest of the buildings in the Puget Sound region look like? Well, now you need wonder no longer!  I have personally visited every single Microsoft building here in the...
  • Terry Zink: Security Talk

    Snatching partial victory from the jaws of defeat... which was snatched from the jaws of victory

    • 1 Comments
    Back when I was processing spam and false positives, I quite regularly came across very interesting things.  The one thing I miss the most of the daily grind of spam analysis was that I came across so many cool things that I normally would not have...
  • Terry Zink: Security Talk

    Which platform to use?

    • 2 Comments
    If you're familiar with television, the Internet and computers, no doubt you are familiar with the Mac vs PC commercials.  They're humorous and they poke fun at some of the stereotypes of Windows/PCs. In spam filtering, I've said it before and I...
  • Terry Zink: Security Talk

    Fake charity names?

    • 1 Comments
    Spamwars reports that the SANS Internet Storm Center have reported a number of domain names containing the word "gustav" are being registered.  In case you are unaware, Hurricane Gustav is the latest hurricane that threatens to pummel the...
  • Terry Zink: Security Talk

    How much do spammers actually make?

    • 7 Comments
    Spammer X is an ex-spammer who has written book called "Inside the Spam Cartel: Trade Secrets from the Dark Side."  He's a former spammer who retired in 2004 who has shared many of his tricks of the trade. He presented at the Spam Symposium...
  • Terry Zink: Security Talk

    A bit more on spammer economics

    • 1 Comments
    Not content to let the ZDnet article go away, I still have a bit more to say about spammer economics.  Sam Masiello of MXLogic writes on his blog some estimates about how much money a spammer makes and what his potential return on investment is using...
  • Terry Zink: Security Talk

    A bit more on ZDnet's article

    • 3 Comments
    Referring again back to the article about 29% of internet users buying stuff from there spam, here's another excerpt which is less controversial: Research and Content Engineering) security team, indicates that global spam volumes doubled for the year...
  • Terry Zink: Security Talk

    29% of Internet users have bought something from their spam

    • 6 Comments
    An article on Directmag reports the following: Twenty nine percent of Internet users have purchased goods from spam emails, according to recent research by online security company Marshal. The most commonly purchased items include sexual enhancement pills...
  • Terry Zink: Security Talk

    Follow up on strengths and weaknesses

    • 1 Comments
    As a follow up from my previous post, I've calmed down a bit and started to regain my calm, Zen-like demeanor. I have not managed to get the new filter out there.  However, I have devised a scheme wherein we can monitor potential FPs closely. ...
  • Terry Zink: Security Talk

    Strengths and weaknesses

    • 9 Comments
    From time to time, I like to reflect upon my own personal strengths and weaknesses.  I may be a spam fighter, but I'm also a professional working within Microsoft and I want grow my entire asset base of skills, not just in spam analysis. You know...
  • Terry Zink: Security Talk

    ZDNet: 1.5m spam emails sent from compromised University accounts

    • 9 Comments
    Box of Meat antispam blog has a link to an article on ZDNet: 1.5m spam emails sent from compromised University accounts .  Some excerpts: “Hackers gained access to the University of Otago staff email server recently and used it to send out...
  • Terry Zink: Security Talk

    CEO of Nigeria gets a solicitation from the Fed Chairman

    • 1 Comments
    I came across this parody of a 419 while reading a financial blog.  In lieu of the current financial atmosphere of the United States, I thought it was very amusing. FROM: Dr Ben Bernanke Central Bank of United States of America 01-658-555-1234 TO...
  • Terry Zink: Security Talk

    A slightly unusual spam

    • 2 Comments
    I have a Windows Live Space blog that I update somewhat less frequently than I update this one.  I rarely get comments on that one, either.  But once in a while I do. It's linked to my Hotmail account which I have had for years.  I rarely...
  • Terry Zink: Security Talk

    Final post on interview with the spam chief

    • 6 Comments
    Following on from my previous post on my comments on Mark Risher of Yahoo, with whom there was a user interview, I'd like to respond to a couple more of his responses to users. Mindy: What are you recommendations for handling blocks due to complaint volume...
  • Terry Zink: Security Talk

    Update on CNN spam

    • 1 Comments
    A quick update on CNN spam, they have morphed their subject lines and are now breaking news alerts for MSNBC.  I haven't seen any personally (nor did I receive a phone call at 3 am alerting me to this) but others on our spam team have.  Apparently...
  • Terry Zink: Security Talk

    A bit more on the spam chief interview

    • 5 Comments
    Following on from my previous post on the interview with the spam chief at Yahoo, I thought I'd respond to a couple more things that Mark Risher said. bartonas: What is the effect, if any, other than putting it back in my in-box, of me selecting "not...
  • Terry Zink: Security Talk

    Quickly morphing CNN spam

    • 5 Comments
    The spam outbreak "from" CNN the occurred this past week has morphed into a new breed: It appears that the spammers have learned from previous mistakes because this one is a little slicker. In the body contents, just like the old one it contains...
  • Terry Zink: Security Talk

    Interview with Yahoo spam chief

    • 6 Comments
    A few days ago, Yahoo antispam chief Mark Risher hosted a Q&A session with various users and answered their questions, both pre-submitted and live questions.  I thought I'd chime in and take some selected quotes from the session and add my own...
  • Terry Zink: Security Talk

    CNN spam

    • 26 Comments
    I've been seeing some CNN spam the past few days, that is, spam in the form of breaking news stories from CNN.com.  Below is a sample: These all look like legitimate news stories, and indeed, they probably are taken straight from an actual CNN news...
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