Feeds

Enraged AT&T spam filter eats legitimate mail

Aims too high to please

High performance access to file storage

Finding fewer emails in your AT&T spam folder? It may be a mixed blessing.

AT&T appears to have implemented new spam filters that are catching legitimate emails - but provide no warning to the intended recipients.

Over the past week, internet service providers, individual email senders and customers of AT&T-controlled email services have reported a sharp uptick in the number of non-spam messages that failed to make it into end users' inboxes. The reports coincide with a noticeable decline in the number of messages being funneled into junk mail folders, causing many users to assume the blocking of legitimate emails is connected to antispam measures AT&T has recently rolled out.

Michigan-based Deerfield.com is one of the ISPs affected. On Friday, Kevin Fortune, a technical service representative, discovered AT&T had blocked all email being sent from servers connected to its DNS2GO service.

"They just took the preemptive approach and blocked everything from one of our IP addresses, if not all of them," Fortune said. On Monday morning, he said he had conflicting information about whether email originating from his servers was still being blocked.

El Reg reader Brett Brennan, a Deerfield customer who found he was unable to send email to addresses maintained by AT&T, said his messages were no longer bouncing, but he hadn't yet confirmed that they were getting through, either.

An AT&T spokeswoman said she was investigating the reports.

Brennan and Deerfield.com are by no means alone, judging from DSLReports threads here, here and here. All these forums report a familiar pattern: people who get their email from Yahoo.com, PacBell.net, BellSouth.net, or other domain names controlled by AT&T noticed a big drop in the amount of spam beginning sometime late last week. But at the same time, many of these users also found they were unable to receive email from legitimate sources.

"I get my work via email, so to me this is not a trivial problem," an AT&T customer named Liz who declined to give her last name said in an interview. So far, she's discovered that email coming from a friend and her web host are both being blocked, but she worries prospective customers who try to contact her through her website are also getting blocked.

"If they can't reach me," she said, "I don't know it." ®

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
Obama allows NSA to exploit 0-days: report
If the spooks say they need it, they get it
Parent gabfest Mumsnet hit by SSL bug: My heart bleeds, grins hacker
Natter-board tells middle-class Britain to purée its passwords
Web data BLEEDOUT: Users to feel the pain as Heartbleed bug revealed
Vendors and ISPs have work to do updating firmware - if it's possible to fix this
OpenSSL Heartbleed: Bloody nose for open-source bleeding hearts
Bloke behind the cockup says not enough people are helping crucial crypto project
One year on: diplomatic fail as Chinese APT gangs get back to work
Mandiant says past 12 months shows Beijing won't call off its hackers
Call of Duty 'fragged using OpenSSL's Heartbleed exploit'
So it begins ... or maybe not, says one analyst
Experian subsidiary faces MEGA-PROBE for 'selling consumer data to fraudster'
US attorneys general roll up sleeves, snap on gloves
NSA denies it knew about and USED Heartbleed encryption flaw for TWO YEARS
Agency forgets it exists to protect communications, not just spy on them
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.