Feeds

AOL Mail locks down email servers to deal with spam tsunami

Security problems like it's 1995

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

If you've been getting a lot of spam from AOL emails recently it's not because you've fallen into a time rift and it's the nineties all over again – the company has confirmed that it has been under an intensive spoofing attack.

The problems started three days ago when large volumes of email, apparently from AOL Mail's servers, started popping up in inboxes. The spoofed emails included links to the usual spam sites selling diet fads and nostrums, and have been found in very large volumes, so AOL has moved to try and stem the tide.

"Today we moved to change our DMARC policy to p=reject. This helps to protect AOL Mail users' addresses from unauthorized use," the company said in a blog post.

"It also stops delivery on what previously would have been considered authorized mail sent on behalf of AOL Mail users via non-AOL servers. If you're a bulk sender on behalf of AOL addresses, that probably includes mail sent from you."

AOL said the shift might impact some listservs and email-forwarding services, as well as email service providers who use AOL. Yes, there still are some, apparently.

But there have been reports that the problems extend beyond spoofing. AOL has reportedly admitted that some of its email account holders may also have been hacked.

"AOL takes the safety and security of consumers very seriously, and we are actively addressing consumer complaints," the company said in a statement. "We are working to resolve the issue of account spoofing to keep users and their respective accounts running smoothly and securely." ®

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

More from The Register

next story
FYI: OS X Yosemite's Spotlight tells Apple EVERYTHING you're looking for
It's on by default – didn't you read the small print?
Russian hackers exploit 'Sandworm' bug 'to spy on NATO, EU PCs'
Fix imminent from Microsoft for Vista, Server 2008, other stuff
Edward who? GCHQ boss dodges Snowden topic during last speech
UK spies would rather 'walk' than do 'mass surveillance'
Microsoft pulls another dodgy patch
Redmond makes a hash of hashing add-on
NOT OK GOOGLE: Android images can conceal code
It's been fixed, but hordes won't have applied the upgrade
'LulzSec leader Aush0k' found to be naughty boy not worthy of jail
15 months home detention leaves egg on feds' faces as they grab for more power
China is ALREADY spying on Apple iCloud users, claims watchdog
Attack harvests users' info at iPhone 6 launch
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.