February 03, 2003

A SPAM DoS Attack and Corporate Responsibility

Craig points to a K5 article about SPAM DoS Attacks, or what happens if a spammer forges your address on thousands or millions of mail messages.

The result is that you'll get a ton of bounces, complaints, and a gernal flood of e-mail traffic. It's a flood you may not be able or willing to deal with.

I find this rather timely. Just last week, several of us were having a discussion at work about the SPAM problem. One of the ideas tossed about was to implement a system that would make it easy for any MTA (Mail Transfer Agent--the programs that deliver e-mail on the Internet) to verify that a message that claims to be from somebody@yahoo.com really is from a yahoo.com user.

This is technically doable. And it might be a good idea. Especially, as I argued, if one of the other big players (AOL or MSN/Hotmail) jumps on board and uses the same technique. If either one began to do the same, I expect that a domino effect would follow. Boom. Instant adoption.

That'd go a long way toward ending the perception that Yahoo Mail accounts generate lots of SPAM. (Yes, they'd still attract SPAM, but that's a different problem.) However, one interesting objection was raised during the debate...

Wouldn't that just cause spammers to prey on domains that are less equipped to "swallow a few million bounces per hour without breaking a sweat"? (To paraphrase a co-worker.)

Maybe it would. But maybe that would simply be necessary (in the very short term) while other ISPs and companies worked to adopt the same techniques that we'd use? (They're not difficult at all.) Or maybe when Yahoo was no longer "shielding" the small guys, users would truly be outraged by the sheer size of the SPAM problem and finally motivate the govenment to do something about it?

You can argue either way, but the core issue seems to be one of corporate responsibility vs. technological evolution.

What's Yahoo's responsibility? Or MSN/Hotmail's? Or AOL's?

What would you do? What do you think?

Posted by jzawodn at 08:45 PM

Porno and Stalking

A google search on my previous entry led me to an entry on The Avocado Couch that made me laugh.

The Internet was made for two purposes: porno and stalking; and blogging was made for one purpose: unlimited, uncensored bitching and moaning, 24-7. Not your business? I'll make it your business. Just one right click, one Control-V, and I have pasted my catharsis into a Moveable Type entry and shared it with the universe.

Funny stuff. And rather accurate in many ways (if you read the whole thing).

Posted by jzawodn at 08:26 PM

Joel and MySQL

Excellent. Joel's software now works with MySQL in addition to SQL Server. Why he linked to his own content only and not the MySQL home page is beyond me.

Anyway, it's good to see more software adding MySQL support on the back end. There's a lot of interest in moving from Oracle or SQL Server to MySQL to save money. It comes up all the time.

Posted by jzawodn at 08:13 PM

htm vs. html

I know it doesn't matter, but I still cringe every time I see a .htm extension on a public web site. I still remember the first time I saw a .htm file. I had been working with web content on Unix machines for a while and had always used .html. It never occurred to me that anyone would need to bastardize it. But then came Windows 95.

Ever since then, I haven't been able to get rid of that feeling. I instinctively lose respect for folks who publish .htm files. (Yes, you'll find a few on my site, but they are just that: few.)

Anyway, I don't know what I thought to blog this, but I have. So there.

Posted by jzawodn at 08:09 PM

A Case of the Mondays

I just have to provide a link to Russell today. His blog quotes one of my favorite movies.

If you don't know the movie, I'm not telling. Everone needs to see this one.

Posted by jzawodn at 07:48 PM