Feeds

MSN blacklisted for harbouring spammers

Mis-configured servers at fault

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

High performance access to file storage

Microsoft's vastly interconnected ISP and portal, MSN, has become easy prey for spammers due to several poorly-protected mail (SMTP) servers to which outsiders can connect easily for a free, anonymous ride, according to a bulletin on the Mail Abuse Prevention System (MAPS) Web site.

"We have recently received a number complaints about open mail servers on the MSN system. This means that the servers will accept mail from people that do not have valid MSN accounts, and also allow them to send the mail to addresses not on MSN's domain," the bulletin says. "For obvious reasons, open mail servers are ripe for abuse by spammers."

The organisation has placed the several mail servers in question on its Relay Spam Stopper (RSS) list, until MSN can manage to correct the problem.

MAPS is a California non-profit organisation which maintains a database of spammers, which in turn has resulted in a steady accumulation of lawsuits by those who believe MAPS is interfering with their businesses.

In this case, MAPS has caused some difficulty with legitimate mail on the MSN network, which it says it can do nothing about because the RSS can't be tweaked with enough precision to avoid throwing out the baby with the bath water. The compromise here is to block all traffic from individual servers clearly associated with large quantities of spam. Unfortunately, this is the only way to defeat the offending pink substance with any degree of confidence, as rules-based filters are even less precise, often stopping a good deal more legitimate mail.

The RSS is a DNS-based list of spam-relaying mail servers for use by ISPs and others running SMTP servers. "If you run your own mail server, you can configure it to utilize our list, if you'd like to refuse mail from these types of servers. Please note that if you do this, you may also refuse some legitimate (non-spam) mail, as some 'bad' servers may also have good users on them," MAPS notes.

The organisation has already received several complaints from those whose regular mail has been interrupted as a result of adding MSN to the RSS. The organisation recommends applying pressure on MSN to get its act together quickly. "As soon as these [MSN] relays are secured, we will be able to remove them from the RSS," MAPS says. ®

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
Audio fans, prepare yourself for the Second Coming ... of Blu-ray
High Fidelity Pure Audio – is this what your ears have been waiting for?
Dropbox defends fantastically badly timed Condoleezza Rice appointment
'Nothing is going to change with Dr. Rice's appointment,' file sharer promises
Did a date calculation bug just cost hard-up Co-op Bank £110m?
And just when Brit banking org needs £400m to stay afloat
MtGox chief Karpelès refuses to come to US for g-men's grilling
Bitcoin baron says he needs another lawyer for FinCEN chat
Zucker punched: Google gobbles Facebook-wooed Titan Aerospace
Up, up and away in my beautiful balloon flying broadband-bot
Apple DOMINATES the Valley, rakes in more profit than Google, HP, Intel, Cisco COMBINED
Cook & Co. also pay more taxes than those four worthies PLUS eBay and Oracle
It may be ILLEGAL to run Heartbleed health checks – IT lawyer
Do the right thing, earn up to 10 years in clink
France bans managers from contacting workers outside business hours
«Email? Mais non ... il est plus tard que six heures du soir!»
Adrian Mole author Sue Townsend dies at 68
RIP Blighty's best-selling author of the 1980s
prev story

Whitepapers

Mainstay ROI - Does application security pay?
In this whitepaper learn how you and your enterprise might benefit from better software security.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Mobile application security study
Download this report to see the alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, as well as the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.