Thursday, November 13, 2008

Company involved in spam distribution is taken off Internet

Today, Nov. 13, the Washington Post reports on p D1 (Business) that a company allegedly involved in much of the spam sent in the United States everyday has been connected from the Internet.

Technology and security topics writer Brian Krebs has a story in the print and online versions, “Web Host of Groups that Traffic Spam Kicked Offline”. But more interesting is Krebs’s own blog entry “Spam Volumes Drop by Two-Thirds After Firm Goes Offline,” with all kinds of colorful charts and graphs (enough to please Jake Gyllenhaal’s “pie chart” character in “Rendition”), link here. Kreb’s blog entry gives a link to another detailed story explaining how a spam provider can get cut off. The company is McColo, in San Jose, CA, and the two ISP’s that took action are Global Crossing and Hurricane Electric. An Atlanta security consultant, SecureWorks, commented that McColo could have been involved in as much as 75% of all spam in the U.S. It’s important that the cutoff occurred as a result of actions within the private sector, not the government or FBI.

The story notes that companies are held responsible for acting on legal infractions of customers in limited circumstances, such as with the DMCA takedown provision, or specifically if they learn credible evidence of child pornography on their servers.

I checked my own AOL spam folder and haven’t noticed a significant drop since Tuesday yet.

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