China spam crisis provokes researcher's ire
Name and shame campaign aims to change attitudes
A security researcher is calling for action against Chinese internet firms which are failing to protect their services from abuse by cybercrooks.
Gary Warner, director of research in computer forensics at the University of Alabama, singles out domain name registrars eName and Xin Net Technology for particular criticism for what he describes as the "Spam Crisis in China".
Warner criticises eName and Xin Net not because they are themselves criminal but because "these companies have provided 'reseller services' to criminals, and do not engage themselves proactively in stopping the criminal activities of their resellers". Furthermore, eName and Xin Net "refuse to cooperate with abuse complaints and who let domains 'live forever', even when they are involved in criminal activity".
eName, for example, has consistently failed to act on complaints to disconnect domains associated with the Waledec botnet.
More than half of all junk mail messages either use domain names registered in China, is sent via computers in China, or points back to spamvertised pages hosted in China. Warner also criticises network operators (for failing to act on complaints on compromised PCs) and Chinese law enforcement for contributing to the problem.
For years China has been a major provider of so-called bullet-proof hosting services, where cybercrooks pay a premium for internet services on the understanding that ISPs and domain registrars will turn a blind eye to complaints. Organisations such as Spamhaus have forged contacts with local ISPs, but this alone has not been enough to turn back the tide.
China's hard-pressed Computer Emergency Response Teams have also worked hard and been receptive to complaints, but this too has failed to resolve a problem that calls for the broadest possible response from local business leaders and the Chinese government.
Walker, a former activist at anti-phishing organisation CastleCops, has gone public with his criticism in the hope of persuading the Chinese internet community to act on the problem.
Previous name-and-shame campaigns have successfully achieved change in Hong Kong, where representatives of HSBC and law enforcement were able to help local internet firm HKDNR to clean up its act. As a result spam volumes dropped by 92 per cent by June 2008, 15 months after the publication of the original criticism. ®
"You only needed to try a few universities and colleges - most of them had open SMTP relays."
Yeah, back then MS Exchange 5.5 came configured out of the box as an open relay.
Paris, because no one is more open than Paris
I can support this guy in principle, but...
...I'm not holding out much hope, simply because -- based on my own experience -- the Chinese just plain don't seem to give a rat's ass.
China's in my spam shit can forever. For. Fucking. EVER.
Don't block everything from China!
Rich 2 => Please don't block all Chinese content. There are some nice chaps such as myself out there - I run a renewable energy information company in China, doing my bit to save the world, and it's a bit of a shame to get blocked by very strict Europeans.
Mind you, I do receive 200 spam mails every day from mostly Chinese sources... :)
It would be nice for the authorities to crack down - I'm not sure how many more hundreds of spam emails I can put up with. McAfee doesn't recognise much of the spam from China, 95% of Chinese spam gets let through as normal mail.