As we transition to the new year, I thought it would be fun to share with you the top five most popular posts on Spam Resource, based on number of page views in the past year. Enjoy!
#5: Godaddy blacklisted by AHBL -- October 18, 2010
This disagreement between the AHBL blacklist and domain registrar Godaddy apparently relates to Godaddy's hosting of a website involved in USENET-related spam activities. An AHBL rep mentioned that they wanted to work with Godaddy to address the issue, but that Godaddy has been unwilling to have that discussion with them. I've found the AHBL folks to be generally reasonable, myself, but I don't know if this issue is still ongoing. Also, as a result of this post, somebody decided to try to post allegations in various places that I'm a "pervert pedophile." I guess I struck a nerve. A few other less intelligent surfers suggested that I somehow had something to do with the blacklisting, which is a silly (and untrue). I guess there are a lot of people out there who don't know how spam filtering works.
#4: How to deliver mail to AOL -- Thursday, January 25, 2007
AOL recently had a pretty spectacular meltdown that inhibited everyone's ability to send mail to AOL users for most of a day. Views of this older post (from 2007) spiked when that happened, on December 21st, but the post has been fairly popular throughout the year. I guess people still struggle to deliver mail to AOL. AOL is one of the simpler ISPs to deliver mail to; so I'm surprised that people still need help in that regard. Oh well, at least I'll be forever employed.
#3: Identify anonymous domains with anonwhois.org -- Monday, March 1, 2010
Spam fighters hate domains that are configured in a way where you can't really tell who owns the domain. Why? It makes it harder to track spammers. Why? It's the opposite of transparent. If you're sending any volume of mail, why would I trust you if I can't even tell what company you really are? The popularity of this blog post about the ANONWHOIS blacklist, which allows you to identify or block mail from anonymized domains, suggests that over time, more and more sites and spam filters are likely to reject or more heavily filter mail from these anonymized domains.
#2: Backscatter: What is it? How do I stop it? -- February 4, 2007
I myself receive hundreds-to-thousands of bounces every day. Replies to mail that I didn't send, filling up my various mailboxes. It doesn't make me very happy, and it seems that I'm not the only one suffering from this annoyance. Admins! Don't accept mail then reject it later. UCEPROTECT runs a Backscatter-specific blacklist, and I get enough backscatter myself that I can understand why. If you get listed, don't cry about it -- instead, fix your mail server so that you are no longer part of the problem.
#1: Ask Al: My email address is being used in spam! -- Saturday, July 14, 2007
A whopping 23% of all Spam Resource page views in 2010 were views of this post. What does that mean? I suspect that it means that email hijacking is on the rise. Certainly, phishing continues to be a big problem in today's online world. I think it highlights how important it is that we keep our email accounts secure. Don't ever use the same password for multiple logins or multiple email accounts. And change your password at the first sign of trouble. A commenter recently pointed out that changing his password didn't stop him from receiving false bounces from mail he supposedly but never did send. That's not the point -- you can't stop spammers from forging your email address. Leave that up to the ISPs and spam filterers to figure out. What you can do is make sure that your own corner of cyberspace is secure. Would you want hackers to have access to your Gmail, Yahoo or Hotmail account? I sure wouldn't. (This post was number one last year, as well.)