Terry Zink: Security Talk

Discussing Internet security in (mostly) plain English

  • Terry Zink: Security Talk

    More on spam analyst performance

    • 1 Comments
    In my last post, I mentioned that I was reading Dr. Steenbarger's blog on trader performance. Dr. Steenbarger has done a lot of research in studying what makes top performers the experts in their fields. One of the things that separates the experts from...
  • Terry Zink: Security Talk

    Spam analyst performance

    • 0 Comments
    I was recently reading Dr. Brett Steenbarger's blog and started reading some of the historical research he has between peak performers and traders. If you are a stock trader I would highly recommend you read his blog, it's one of the best I have come...
  • Terry Zink: Security Talk

    If spam were a stock, I'd want to buy it

    • 0 Comments
    Since the beginning of the year, the amount of mail that we process has doubled. The ramp up in messages started this summer and has really increased since the middle of July. I'm sure they are not related but if you were to take a look at the SP-500...
  • Terry Zink: Security Talk

    Maintaining a wiki

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    Those of us in the spam team have decided to create an internal wiki designed to house all of our knowledge. Personally, I think this is a good idea as there is a lot of information buried somewhere in all of our email, and the wiki is a good place to...
  • Terry Zink: Security Talk

    Happy Halloween (tomorrow)

    • 1 Comments
    I came across this Halloween Hangman flash animation game today. Have fun.
  • Terry Zink: Security Talk

    Spamhaus woes linked to rise in spam?

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    I was browsing the web, looking to see how others were dealing with the problem when I came across this post on a discussion board. The writer mentions that the sudden rise in spam corresponds to the start Spamhaus' legal troubles. If this is true (and...
  • Terry Zink: Security Talk

    Lest it be thought we aren't doing enough...

    • 0 Comments
    During this latest spam glut, I would just like to mention that we, on the spam team, are working very hard to combat this latest threat. In the past, we used to get spam outbreaks every few months. Then it was every couple of months, then once a month...
  • Terry Zink: Security Talk

    We're not crying uncle yet

    • 0 Comments
    The month of October has been the highest ever in terms of overall volume. We set a record on on October 18, and we broke it on October 24. To put this in perspective, our volume yesterday was 47% higher than the average daily volume for all of September...
  • Terry Zink: Security Talk

    Stock spammers playing around with payload

    • 1 Comments
    This is a trend I have noticed in the past week. Over the weekend I saw that stock spam had been piling up but spammers were not just sending it as images - they were sending it as text. Normally ("normal" being a relative term), spammers compose image...
  • Terry Zink: Security Talk

    Funny line in a message

    • 5 Comments
    A friend of mine sent me a message the other day that was commenting on the Google buyout of YouTube. It was the title of an article in a newsletter: All your video are belong to us .
  • Terry Zink: Security Talk

    Gracie, gracie... that's a nice donut.

    • 1 Comments
    One of the benefits of being a spam analyst is that you get to sharpen your foreign language recognition skills. Now, normally this isn't an issue for me, as I am fluent in over six million forms of communication. Today was such an occasion when I got...
  • Terry Zink: Security Talk

    You know you've been processing spam a long time when...

    • 0 Comments
    As my faithful readers will know, I have long held an interest in stock trading and am constantly looking for similarities between trading and fighting spam. They don't always overlap but once in a while we find similarities. The classic example is testing...
  • Terry Zink: Security Talk

    More on image spam

    • 2 Comments
    This past weekend I was browsing the internet for image spam, I wanted to read a little bit about what other people are saying about it. They basically confirmed what I already knew: Image spam is on the rise It is ubiquitous (everywhere) It's getting...
  • Terry Zink: Security Talk

    What do you know? I was right (maybe)

    • 0 Comments
    I was browsing through my Oct 16 edition of Investor's Business Daily when I came across this article entitled Google Goes Into Mobile Search, But Wireless Carriers Resisting . The article is a brief snippet about how Google is planning on bringing search...
  • Terry Zink: Security Talk

    The future of spam filtering (?)

    • 2 Comments
    One of the interesting things about working for Microsoft is that it is a big company that has got its fingers in many different pies. It's main products are Windows and Office, but now it has minor players that could eventually become big players. These...
  • Terry Zink: Security Talk

    Caught in another spam run

    • 1 Comments
    As I write this (October 5, 2006) we are currently experiencing another spam storm. Unlike previous spam storms, this seems to be a multi-pronged attack. I don't know if the same spammers are flooding us with spam but the format of the spam is common...
  • Terry Zink: Security Talk

    Speak of the devil...

    • 2 Comments
    The other day, I wrote a blog post about the possibility of instant message spam filtering. I wondered whether or not there was even a need for instant message spam filtering. Well, just yesterday, I logged into Yahoo Messenger and I got spammed on...
  • Terry Zink: Security Talk

    Golden Crosses Not So Golden

    • 1 Comments
    On Friday, Microsoft stock had a golden cross. A golden cross is when a stock's 50-day moving average crosses its 200-day moving average from below. This is usually interpreted as a positive sign for the stock. Conversely, a death cross is when a stock...
  • Terry Zink: Security Talk

    Instant message filtering?

    • 128 Comments
    This is an idea that I have been thinking about for a while and that is the concept of instant message filtering. I don't get too much spam on my instant messenger (I use or have used ICQ, Yahoo IM, Windows/MSN/Live Messenger, AIM, gaim, and Office...
  • Terry Zink: Security Talk

    Don't answer the door... we know it's our neighbors

    • 1 Comments
    A couple of years ago, I can remember Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates saying that the problem of spam would be solved by using a reputation-based anti-spam system. Mail would be allowed on the basis of the reputation of the sender. This would work extremely...
  • Terry Zink: Security Talk

    And I thought we had problems

    • 0 Comments
    We here in Exchange Hosted Services get a lot of traffic over our networks, but it's nothing compared to what they see over in Hotmail. I was talking to some of the guys who do some Hotmail spam filtering and the problems they have are things that we...
  • Terry Zink: Security Talk

    Lousy blogging in the past week

    • 0 Comments
    I've been away on business the past week which is why my blogging has been sparse as of late. I hope to get back to it more consistently in the next week.
  • Terry Zink: Security Talk

    Parking a car

    • 1 Comments
    Recently, I stumbled across an email with a flash animation that challenges people at parking a car. It's a computer game and it is kind of fun. I could get to level 4 before I had to move on and get back to work.
  • Terry Zink: Security Talk

    Spam pays, but sometimes we catch up to you

    • 1 Comments
    This story reminds me of 2005 when Microsoft settled a case against Scott Richter, of opt-in real big, for several million dollars. Spamming may pay well, but if Microsoft ever brings you to court you had pretty much be prepared to give up all of your...
  • Terry Zink: Security Talk

    Can trading concepts be used in spam fighting?

    • 1 Comments
    Ever since I started learning how to trade stocks nearly two years, I am amazed at how many applications trading has to real life. Of course, when something doesn't quite fit I simply make my concepts looser until they do fit, but you get the point. ...
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