North American Network Operators Group

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Re: open relays at Earthlink

  • From: Phil Howard
  • Date: Thu Aug 27 21:51:05 1998

I think ELM launched this mail already, as it didn't give me a prompt at
all.  Maybe this is a good time to find a better mail client; ELM has been
a pain (but please do not suggest PINE).

Anyway, this thread on spam has focused on whether it is appropriate for an
ISP to block access from dialups to SMTP servers beyond the ISP servers.

I recently received several copies of spam from dialups at ATT Canada on
one of my outside accounts, and I sent reports to their abuse department
about each instance.  I also told them that I block such access, and that
I recommended that they, too, block it.  I got usual responses from them,
and responded back to one of them restating my suggestion.

Today I got this response from them.  It looks like they have decided that
this is going to help reduce the volume of spam, especially via customers
of ISP using their dialup network.

| From: "S Security" <[email protected]>
| To: "Phil Howard" <[email protected]>
| Subject: Re: UCE report --- time to disable this
| Date: Wed, 26 Aug 1998 17:38:29 -0400
|
| This message is intended as an update to ISPs and individual users regarding
| the International Drivers License/University Diploma/Pheromes spam
| originating from a downstream ISP of ATTCANADA.NET.
| 
| The spammer is believed to be running a mail server on his own PC.  His mail
| never touches our mail server.  As such his mail has not subject to our own
| mail server spam controls, which strictly monitor and limit outgoing mail
| volumes.  He has evaded the controls of our downstream as well.
| 
| We also believe the effort is less so to generate sales for the rather
| dubious products they are offering but to encourage you to make a long
| distance phone call, either by calling about the products or calling Plus
| Net Marketing   The calls are most likely re-routed overseas to generate
| settlement toll.
| 
| Today AT&T Canada has taken steps to prevent users dialed into our network
| from generating SPAM on their Personal Computers. Effective immediately
| filters are being put in place so that mail from our dial-in network must be
| relayed through pre-authorized  mail servers configured with anti-spam
| software. Access to transmit mail via other mail servers on the Internet
| whether secured or otherwise has been disabled.
| 
| AT&T Canada takes the issue of spamming very seriously, and have no desire
| to profit or participate in any ongoing spamming activity.  We share in the
| Internet wide responsibility to eliminate SPAM.  Our own Terms of Service
| allow for immediate termination and financial penalties for repeat
| offenders.
| 
| Again, we re-iterate that the spammer was never a direct customer of AT&T
| Canada.  He abused good faith offers from a downstream ISP and established
| at least 15 accounts with them over the last few weeks.  He has also abused
| netcom.ca and other ISPs as well.
| 
| We expect the addition of these filters will allow us to control the flow of
| messages from our site more effectively, even from a downstream ISP.
| 
| Thank you very much for your attention.

My applause and thanks to ATT Canada for taking this brave move.

Now when a customer of some ISP in Canada not yet using ATT Canada is
impacted by their ISP being mail filtered due to spam sourcing, there
is another ISP to send them to that actually carries out an anti-spam
policy.

-- 
Phil Howard | [email protected] [email protected] [email protected]
  phil      | [email protected] [email protected] [email protected]
      at    | [email protected] [email protected] [email protected]
  ipal      | [email protected] [email protected] [email protected]
     dot    | [email protected] [email protected] [email protected]
  net       | [email protected] [email protected] [email protected]