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Re: OT: Armor-Plated Email Server

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Bill Polhemus wrote:

This will probably have absolutely no interest for most of you; I'm just looking for a place to crow.

And I hope this won't be seen as "hubris" by the powers-that-be. If I'm knocked of the 'net for a considerable period of time soon, we'll know why.

No reason to get knocked off for this one - it is a valid discussion for most of us as we are all hit by more than 80% of our incoming as being malicious e-mail. Even today I received a letter from an ISP that the DDoS Blaster worm was attached to an e-mail originating from me to one of their subscribers. However, the e-mail address was GTE.Net which was changed three or four years ago when Verizon bought out GTE. Now GTE.NET still works as a domain address, but no one sends mail to me using this domain name unless it is spam or traced back to someone else address book that was scanned by the Blaster worm.

Most of us who are at least somewhat computer savvy understand the need for protection. While I don't run my own server, my ISP and Web host both use some spam detection software (including my free MSN account), but still most of it gets through. My firewall and Zone Alarm software catches most of the threats, but when many attachments get through it is picked up by Spy Sweeper or by the spyware detection built into Mozilla's Thunderbird (I too switched over to Mozilla for my e-mail client and Firebird Browser which is superior to Internet Explorer).

Microsoft announced a free security protection from malicious attachments such as the blaster DDoS (Denial of Service worm) and is offering it free in its current Beta Format. Still, I currently stay away from any browser that uses ActiveX controls since these seem to be the source of how the worms infect and spread.

CPU Magazine also addressed the problem with inordinate amount of spam on the Internet and how, while we are catching most of it, the shear amount spreading is taking up serious bandwidth that may have implications in the next generation of broadband aware home devices (such as the Microsoft Home systems that are hitting the market to combine TV viewing with online and automated services).

We have a problem here that needs to be resolved. CPU believes convincingly that the worms and spam are created for financial gain (but who's and how). Blaster has become the basic code for hackers creating denial of service attacks that go by various different name and each with some insidious purpose.

I am not in favor of Government control as this is a global issue. Even the "Do Not Call" issues on our telephones no longer seems to work as I am seeing an increase of telephone solicitation regardless of government restrictions. The problem has to be dealt with at the ISP level and it appears that this is the only way to stop an ISP from distributing spyware, spam or worms and viruses. In the mean time, we pay for it by having to support annual fees that require precious memory on our computers to install firewalls, Spam software and other spam collectors.

FWIW, the best software I found that did the same as the one you recommended but worked specifically in Outlook was Qurb. It too learned as you used it to isolate spam and attachments. Over time, my acceptable mail started appearing five a day or in the case of this list - I was able to direct the e-mail to a specific folder. The spam collector in Thunderbird is far from perfect, but the more you use it the more it learns and isolates. Still, you have to check the quarantined messages so that you don't miss the good one that you needed from someone who may not have written you before and is not in your address book.

One thing that is currently needed is a replacement from Mozilla for the MS services that are used on Pocket PC's. I've never been hit on my Axim but now that I am using Mozilla's software, I can't synchronize appointments, tasks or e-mail messages without engaging Outlook. I hope that there is a plug-in coming soon to help with this.

Good topic - worth discussing since it affects the way we do business by the time we waste when we use the Internet as a search tool or to obtain information needed for work.


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