[SEDXC] [SECC] Fwd: Comcast Subscriber Problems

Bill Coleman aa4lr at arrl.net
Tue Sep 12 23:04:54 EDT 2006

On Sep 12, 2006, at 1:29 AM, Ed wrote:

> Unsubscribing RTTY and then unsubscribing doesn't work. Oh yes, you
> get
> the email saying you are unsubscribed and then subscribed but Comcast
> is the block.
> Which is why I may just change DSL service before the week is over.
> Hopefully, BellSouth will be more reasonable.

Don't count on it.

Here's what happens.

1) The blacklist folks set up an e-mail address on the internet. They  
call it a SpamTrap or sometimes this technique is called a  
"honeypot". The idea is to set up something attractive to the flies  
(eg spammers)

2) They intercept the spam they receive, and then work backwards to  
figure out which parts of the internet it came from. They find the  
addresses of the mail servers that originated spam.

3) They create a list these "spam" e-mail address servers, with the  
implication to other ISPs that people can simply reject all main from  
these servers - and voila, no spam.

However, this scheme doesn't work, everyone knows it doesn't work,  
and yet they continue to perpetrate it.

The problem appears in step 2. The assumption is made that any ISP  
that is e-mailing spam must be complicit with the spammer. These  
days, most spammers use a "bot" network of compromised computers that  
they control remotely. Someone puts an unprotected computer out  
there, the spammers install their remote control software, and they  
have it send the spam. Most of these computers become "owned" by the  
spammers due to sheer ignorance of the people setting them up.

It's not surprising that a large ISP like Comcast or BellSouth gets  
blacklisted with great regularity, because it is very easy for  
someone to be careless when setting up a computer. That's why the  
blacklist guys should just clear their lists.

Blacklisting is a dumb idea. It does nothing to the spammers and only  
hurts legitimate internet users. I hope one day, one of them gets  
sued for unfair restraint of trade for blocking e-mails and loses big  
time. Maybe that will put an end to that nonsense. (Of course, I hope  
the same fate awaits the spammers, too)

Bill Coleman, AA4LR, PP-ASEL        Mail: aa4lr at arrl.net
Quote: "Not within a thousand years will man ever fly!"
             -- Wilbur Wright, 1901

More information about the SEDXC mailing list