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Walling off Asian E-mail to Prevent Spam

timothy posted more than 12 years ago | from the one-of-the-trends-in-my-filter-list dept.

Spam 665

SomeoneYouDontKnow writes: "Seems there's been lots of spam news lately. This piece from Wired describes how frustrated sysadmins in the West are responding to a torrent of Asian spam by simply refusing all e-mail from that part of the world. As anyone who's ever reported spam to Asian ISPs can attest, getting a response of any kind is almost impossible, so some ISPs are simply giving up on receiving any mail from them. Setting up barriers like this is regrettable, but when the originating ISPs refuse to take responsibility for the actions of their users or close their open mail servers, there would seem to be no other choice. Has anyone ever had any kind of constructive conversation with one of these ISPs to see why they are unable or unwilling to do anything?"

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is this a .... (-1)

The_Fire_Horse (552422) | more than 12 years ago | (#3037423)

Oh, my god... could it be... a ....

... First Post ?

Gee Wizz , I sure hope so.. this will make me a LEGEND with the other trolls.

Man, I can see it now - book signings, photo shoots, bong fillings - yep... I've finially made something of my life!

Re:is this a .... (-1)

neal n bob (531011) | more than 12 years ago | (#3037452)

while you did manage to follow rule number one - deny fp to the dirty ac's; your first post was poor. Please include one of the following in your future frost pists:

dead penis birds
katz=pedophile
bsd is dying
invitations for the entire homosexual open sores community to service your wang

Anything along those lines is acceptable. Be creative.

Re:is this a .... (-1)

The_Fire_Horse (552422) | more than 12 years ago | (#3037558)

Thanks for the feedback - I apologise for the lameness of my first post, but .. gosh darn.. I was just so exited that I got it - that I damn near blew my load.

Anyway - on my way to my VERY FIRST POST I saw a dead penis bird laying on the road. I walked up to it and said "Hey - what's up?"
It said 'Jon Katz had his way with me, because he thought I was an underage student'. I couldn't believe it - he then said 'I tried to stop him, by saying "BSD IS DYING" but he just kept mumbling 'no shit' as he fucked my anus goatse.cx style

shudder - it was just horrible

fp? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3037424)

Nope!

Re:fp? (-1)

real_b0fh (557599) | more than 12 years ago | (#3037434)

no, AC nofpforya.

better luck next time.

damn... (-1)

neal n bob (531011) | more than 12 years ago | (#3037426)

I may have been denied fp by the stupid 2 minute rule - but you dirty linux hippies can still suck it down like katz.

Re:damn... (-1)

The_Fire_Horse (552422) | more than 12 years ago | (#3037441)

he he - I WIN - (at last)

Come Baby! (-1)

Mike Mentalist (544984) | more than 12 years ago | (#3037429)

Come on babeeeeeeee!

Be mine, you whore! WHORESZZZZ!

A Beouwolf cluster of the 20 second delay would be deadly

Is it there? It IS!!!!!!!!!

I tried... (-1, Troll)

Indras (515472) | more than 12 years ago | (#3037432)

Has anyone ever had any kind of constructive conversation with one of these ISPs to see why they are unable or unwilling to do anything?

I tried, but couldn't understand them. So I just sent Godzilla over to take care of the problem.

bukkake! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3037468)

But... how will I get my hot bukkake newsletters??? I need my daily tentacle rape story!

Ban Asia??? (5, Funny)

Markvs (17298) | more than 12 years ago | (#3037433)

Sure, why not. Heck, I blocked France on principle!

Re:Ban Asia??? (1, Insightful)

Niadh (468443) | more than 12 years ago | (#3037523)

Some good things CAN come out of Asia. I have 2 Asian friends I ICQ. They're pretty cool and good c coders but hate where they live. Won't argue with you on France thou. Banning them is just plain common sense.

Re:Ban Asia??? (1, Redundant)

Xxooss_Gemfyre (560256) | more than 12 years ago | (#3037552)

France? Yes France is banned

Re:Ban Asia??? (4, Funny)

Jay L (74152) | more than 12 years ago | (#3037572)

I don't block France... I just refuse to let them fly over my airspace.

I can't disagree more (5, Interesting)

MicroBerto (91055) | more than 12 years ago | (#3037435)

As the Ex-AbuseDesk admin at a local ISP, I must say that I wanted to do that VERY badly, but wasn't allowed to. There's simply no way to get a response from them. I have absolutely no qualms about cutting communication off from them. It's just so frustrating for EVERYONE.

On the other end, if many of those domains are in the Orbz [orbz.org] or other blacklists, maybe just using those would be better.

Re:I can't disagree more (2, Funny)

rope (231419) | more than 12 years ago | (#3037590)

i saw this on alt.freeware:

after i tried removing myself from a mailing list, this is what i got:

--------
This Message was undeliverable due to the following reason:

The following destination addresses were unknown (please
check
the addresses and re-mail the message):

postmaster@i.com.cn

Please reply to postmaster@i.com.cn
if you feel this message to be in error.
--------

um, i guess they don't know they don't exist ?

day old article from wired (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3037437)

it is nice how people keep submitting and slashdot keeps posting day old articles from wired.com

Easy solution around the spam (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3037438)

use peek-a-booty!

Increase your ejaculation by 581% (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3037440)

Is most of the english spam from Asia as well? Do American companies hire Asian spammers? What's going in?

Re:Increase your ejaculation by 581% (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3037464)

Do a search on open relay. That should answer your question.

Sadly, this is the only way to go (5, Insightful)

InterruptDescriptorT (531083) | more than 12 years ago | (#3037442)

I feel bad for the legitimate Asian users of e-mail trying to communicate with their comrades in the West, but it has been proven that this is the only way that ISPs will finally own up to the task of stopping spammers abusing the networks. Look what just the mere threat of the Usenet Death Penalty did to @Home--they have cleaned up their act significantly.

Strange as it is to say, this 'denial of service' is one that I think may actually have some future positive effect. The way the world seems to work is that no one will bother to do anything unless you threaten them with the loss of their service, and then they take action. Sad, but true.

Re:Sadly, this is the only way to go (4, Insightful)

jellybear (96058) | more than 12 years ago | (#3037474)

The sort of denial of service that you suggest is unlikely to motivate reform unless each ISP is banned on an individual basis, and can be reformed on an individual basis. The carrot of being reinstated must exist. If the whole region is banned whether regardless of that particular ISP's behavior, then that ISP will have no incentive to correct its ways.

Re:Sadly, this is the only way to go (5, Insightful)

#if 0 (127774) | more than 12 years ago | (#3037494)

It may be necessary to eventually threaten those ISPs with being blocked, but still there are a lot of *constructive* steps that could be used to help the situation.

**Like actually bothering to translate your contact messages into various non-English languages. After all, when was the last time You, as a sysadmin, responded to an informative message to postmaster@your.org that was written in an Asian language?? I didn't think so...

Re:Sadly, this is the only way to go (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3037550)

English is universal language of technology, it used to be German (once upon a time), but no more... Sooooo... E N G L I S H.

No response to complaints after receiving spam ... (4, Insightful)

CyberQ (304799) | more than 12 years ago | (#3037443)

is one thing. Not getting any cooperation when your own e-mail address is used as a false sender in the header of "enlarge your {certain male bodyparts}"-spam mails is a another thing. Ask me, it happened to me two weeks ago. I didn't even get a mail back from the provider.

Setback for the net? (1, Insightful)

cstrommen (254974) | more than 12 years ago | (#3037447)

Isn't this a huge setback for the net? If everybody in Asia that has an Asian email-address won't be able to send mail to most of the western world, then can we really call internet for a global phenomen (yes, I know there's still the web etc etc. But email is one, if not the one, most important parts of the net).

What about getting laws that say that unsolicitated mail is illegal? Shouldn't that do the trick? Anybody got some good reason for why laws like this shouldn't come true?

Re:Setback for the net? (1)

HCase (533294) | more than 12 years ago | (#3037476)

For any law like that to work it has to both be enforceable and accepted in the country the mailings are coming from. We can ban unsolicited email as much as we want, it won't stop them from spamming unless they agree with it, and it doesn't seem like their to worried.

Re:Setback for the net? (1)

sqlrob (173498) | more than 12 years ago | (#3037537)

Most of my spam is now from Asian countries.

How much of it advertises an Asian service? Absolutely none.

Most of it is bounced through open relays.

Re:Setback for the net? (3, Interesting)

Zathrus (232140) | more than 12 years ago | (#3037486)

No it's not a huge setback. Eventually the various Asian admins that are causing this will get the clue and fix their mail systems.

I get roughly 100 messages or so of SPAM a day on my Hotmail account -- I can't give an accurate number because I keep blocking entire domains (some jackhole, and I think I know who, decided to add me to various coupon and ad sites, which becomes a deluge as they share mailing lists). Of the 150 or so blocked domains, about 10% of them are Asian (surf to xyzzy.net and note that entire webpage is in a font I don't have installed).

Make a law? Sure. In which country? Or do you mean you want to outlaw SPAM in the US, and then somehow think you're going to be able to prosecute a company located entirely in North Korea under US Law? Things just aren't that easy. I'd like to see a reasonable way to legislate SPAM to be illegal, even if it only did affect the US, but I'm yet to see anything that has teeth AND makes logical sense.

Re:Setback for the net? (2)

GigsVT (208848) | more than 12 years ago | (#3037488)

There are laws in a lot of states.

Where are you going to pass the law, and how are you going to enforce it in Asia? The only hope would be an international treaty, and even then, it's up to the participating countries to pass and enforce laws dictated by the treaty, and even then, nothing's forcing them to even sign it, and it would also present an opportunity for power grubbing government types to steal even more rights.

There is no good solution, except maybe a good international asskicking. (Not like war, I mean like physical asskicking of the people involved.)

Re:Setback for the net? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3037495)

On the other hand, maybe it's time to realize that our differences are far deeper than skin color. Asians grew up in a different culture, far different from the Euro/Judaeo-Christian milieu of us Westerners. Westerners have a different sense of what is "right" and "wrong". Truthfully, the overriding philosophy of most Asian cultures is "looking out for number one". Those sending out the spam have no clue that what they are doing is wrong. They are merely "looking out for number one".

Re:Setback for the net? (2, Insightful)

TwinkieBoy (548172) | more than 12 years ago | (#3037502)

They can still use something like hotmail if they want to...

Re:Setback for the net? (1)

RazzleFrog (537054) | more than 12 years ago | (#3037504)

There are laws in some areas but enforcement is a bitch. If an American spammer is using an open-relay in Asia somewhere it is very difficult to find and fine them.

"unsolicitated mail is illegal" (2)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 12 years ago | (#3037517)

Plan, that way every time I send an email to a college professor asking about one of his papers or send an email to someone who posts on Slashdot I'm gunna get carted off because it is unsolicited email. Probably best if people like you dont draft laws.

Re:"unsolicitated mail is illegal" (0)

morbid (4258) | more than 12 years ago | (#3037533)

Mod this guy up.
He speaks sense.

Re:"unsolicitated mail is illegal" (0)

crow_t_robot (528562) | more than 12 years ago | (#3037566)

i think this person means "commercial" e-mail. next time the world comes around, jump back on.

Re:"unsolicitated mail is illegal" (2)

GigsVT (208848) | more than 12 years ago | (#3037585)

So it's OK for the non-profit orgs to spam the hell out of me? It's OK for "charity collection" scammers to spam me?

Commercial email isn't the problem, bulk, untargeted email is the problem.

Re:"unsolicitated mail is illegal" (1)

Compenguin (175952) | more than 12 years ago | (#3037584)

Plan, that way every time I send an email to a college professor asking about one of his papers or send an email to someone who posts on Slashdot I'm gunna get carted off because it is unsolicited email.

Attaching your e-mail adress to a /. comment is soliciting e-mail replies. If a professor gives you an e-mail adress, he's soliciting questions, unless he specifically states otherwise.

Re:Setback for the net? (3, Interesting)

wakebrdr (13565) | more than 12 years ago | (#3037524)

What about getting laws that say that unsolicitated mail is illegal?

How much time do you expect a Chinese bureaucrat to spend prosecuting a fellow countryman because he made 1000 foreigners delete a bothersome message?

I hate spam, but the last thing I want is a bureaucratic solution. The free market will find a way grasshopper....

Re:Setback for the net? (2)

kerrbear (163235) | more than 12 years ago | (#3037526)

What about getting laws that say that unsolicitated mail is illegal? Shouldn't that do the trick? Anybody got some good reason for why laws like this shouldn't come true?

We could pass all the laws in the West we want but they would be completely unenforceable in Asia.

Perhaps an international body of enforcers could be set up similar to the WTO where fines or punishment could be meted out with the full backing of each nation. But that's not likely to happen seeing as there is little money involved- unlike trade.

Re:Setback for the net? (2, Informative)

doubtless (267357) | more than 12 years ago | (#3037531)

Well, it's a shame when that happens. I am from Asia, and when I was there I didn't even have the confidence to use local ISP email account. Anybody can still use yahoo, hotmail or any other free services to contact their western friends.

I guess this affect Asian businesses more than the local folks. When businesses start to complain to their ISP why they can't send any mails to their western counterparts, maybe the ISP will start to listen.

Some ISPs there have very under qualified admin (the good ones moved here to the US ;-), heck, some of them can't even understand english very well. ISPs there have a habit of hiring a contract person to set up everything and leave it.

Re:Setback for the net? (2)

(void*) (113680) | more than 12 years ago | (#3037535)

Why is this a setback? In the 1994 days, when the net boomed, lots of people got onlne and there was a chaos of newsgroup/email spamming. These people have largely learned. Then MS internet users got online in 1995. Same thing. Then AOL users. Each one of them will learn, so why can't Asian's countries? Have some faith in the smartness of SysAdmins!

Re:Setback for the net? (5, Funny)

Skirwan (244615) | more than 12 years ago | (#3037568)

What about getting laws that say that unsolicitated mail is illegal?
That's brilliant! Then, we can make a law that outlaws terrorism! And then fascism! And rudeness, and poor driving, and taking the last donut! Hell, we could just make a law that outlaws 'being mean' in general!

And while we're at it, we should make it illegal to respond sarcastically to extremely simplistic solutions to complex problems! Yeah!

--
Damn the Emperor!

My favorite part... (2, Insightful)

CoffeeJedi (90936) | more than 12 years ago | (#3037449)

"It's not under our control." to any message you send to China Telecom. Hmmm, if nothing is under their control and they're a Chinese government controlled organiation........

Happy Negro Month (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3037450)

This post is dedicated to all the Negroes.
Here is wishing you a safe and sane Negro Month.

Remember: February is Negro Month.

I've considered doing the same thing but... (4, Insightful)

rc.loco (172893) | more than 12 years ago | (#3037451)

...you basically are letting the spammers win when you close off one of the biggest open communications medium known to human kind. Perhaps I'm overly sentimental about it and goodness knows I'd love to prevent about 80% of the spam I see (that seems to be about the ratio in terms of TLDs involving Asian netblocks) - still, I cannot really bring myself to doing it yet.

"let the spammers win" (0, Troll)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 12 years ago | (#3037473)

Yes, because they're some kind of email terrorists that are trying to shut down the legitimate communication because it is the work of satan. Think before you type.

Re:"let the spammers win" (0, Offtopic)

bulbul (1999) | more than 12 years ago | (#3037591)

Yeah, e-mail terrorists working for Satan and Hello Kitty!

Re:I've considered doing the same thing but... (1)

coliva (311680) | more than 12 years ago | (#3037519)

you basically are letting the spammers win when you close off one of the biggest open communications medium known to human kind

Actually, the irresponsible ISP admins are the ones letting the spammers win.

Re:I've considered doing the same thing but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3037544)

...you basically are letting the spammers win

The spammers win when they find an open mail relay. The users lose when they get gobs of spam.

The only ones who have no consequence either way is the ISPs. However, when theISPs apathy causes the users to lose service they (the ISPs) will lose as well. Let the USERS win for once (on the net anyway, personally I keep punting my users )

Yeah right (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3037456)

Has anyone ever had any kind of constructive conversation with one of these ISPs

How can you have a constructive conversation with someone who barely knows english, and from their apparent intelligence, knows very little of their own language.

I'm sick of these fucking chinks ruining everything, selling broken junk computer hardware, trying to scam people out of money, and sell worthless products. I say, "Fuck Em" and you can quote me on that.

Re:Yeah right (1)

thedungbeetle (469500) | more than 12 years ago | (#3037556)

I'm sick of these fucking chinks ruining everything, selling broken junk computer hardware, trying to scam people out of money, and sell worthless products. I say, "Fuck Em" and you can quote me on that.

Right, give us your name and we will.

Filtering email (5, Interesting)

johnburton (21870) | more than 12 years ago | (#3037458)

Well blocking whole areas is a start, but not an ideal solution. I'm going to start filtering my email so that unless it meets one of the following conditions it gets rejected and sent back to the sender :- 1. The mail claims to be From someone I have pre-approved. 2. It's from a mailing list I've registered with. 3. It's sent To: a special purpose address within a couple of days of creating that address. (So I can post to newsgroups with addresses like jb10202 which will be valid for a couple of days for replies only) 4. The email contains a special approval code to bypass the checking. The purpose of 4) is that when I get an email that is rejected it will send it back to the sender with an apology and a 4 digit random code which is valid only for a single mail from that address and only for 48 hours. They can simply forward the mail back to me and it will contain the code and get through. I get *so* much spam, and 99% of my real email is from the same few address that I need to block the junk, and I think this scheme will annoy relativly few people, and not too much but should cut ALL the spam. I've not implemented this yet, but it shouldn't be too hard to write.

Re:Filtering email (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3037518)

any you're posting your non-spam-armored email addy here??? Good luck.

Watch out with that scheme (5, Insightful)

phr2 (545169) | more than 12 years ago | (#3037529)

I've been doing something like that for a while (periodically changing addresses for news posts). The trouble is that every address you use gets on spam lists and gets spammed forever. By having 100's of addresses, you get 100's of times more spam than you otherwise would. Even if you can filter it on arrival so you don't have to see it, it's still clogging your bandwidth and you can always filter a legitimate email.

I don't generate unique reply addresses per news post, but change addresses a few times a year. I have a bunch of old addresses that mostly get spam, so my filters dump incoming mail to them into a mailbox file that I look in every now and then. That's much less annoying than seeing the spam as it arrives, but still, it's better to keep the volume down.

I think I'll completely stop putting replyable email addresses on news posts. I'll just have a URL for my web site where people can leave me messages through a CGI. That lets me make another political statement too, since my web site runs SSL so any incoming messages I get from the CGI will be encrypted while in transit. We tell people to use ssh instead of telnet--we should also try to avoid sending email in the clear without a reason.

Re:Filtering email (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3037577)

So what all powerful email client do you use then? you are talking about a rules or filter nightmare.

Culture differences, etc. (2, Redundant)

Alien54 (180860) | more than 12 years ago | (#3037459)

As seen in the article:
Cultural issues also contribute to the problem. Many spammers in Asia say they do not understand why spam is a problem.

"It's a sign of respect that someone sends you an electric business card. It means he wants you as a customer," said Zhao Peng, owner of a computer store in Hong Kong.

Of course what is a sign of respect there, may be a sign of disrepect in the here.

never mind the chinese open relay problem, which is also a real hassle.

Re:Culture differences, etc. (1)

Salsaman (141471) | more than 12 years ago | (#3037492)

"I send you this file in order to have your respect..."

Block 'em! (2, Insightful)

jlower (174474) | more than 12 years ago | (#3037461)

I get tons of Asian language spam - it wouldn't break my heart to block them all.

I'm actually looking forward to my @home email address dying at the end of this month because that's where nearly all of them come to. Hopefully they won't be smart enough to simply replace @home.com with @comcast.net.

An interesting counter point... (5, Interesting)

Amarok.Org (514102) | more than 12 years ago | (#3037462)

I run a small mail server, mostly providing mailing lists to the automotive community. While my lists weren't affected (I have reasonable anti-spam rules in place), a server in Taiwan was spamming every address it could find in my domain with dozens of unique spam per day.

The usual ip tracing ensued and I tracked it back to a small ISP. Hoping that I would reach someone who spoke (or wrote) English, I sent a copy of my logs and an explanation to "postmaster@", "abuse@", "webmaster@", and any other address I could think of. Amazingly enough, after about 12 hours, I received a reply (in somewhat broken English) asking for more logs, and a confirmation of the time zone I was using in my logs (UTC, for what it's worth). After I replied, I received an appology that one of their "clients" had bothered me and assured me it would be taken care of.

To this date, I have not received another piece of spam that I have attributed to that ISP. I realize that this is the exception and not the rule, but I thought it was worth noting that there really are reasonable sysadmins "over there".

Re:An interesting counter point... (5, Funny)

CodeMonky (10675) | more than 12 years ago | (#3037536)

what you don't know is that the client was hunted down and shot.

Remember UUNet's "Death Sentence" (5, Interesting)

biomech (44405) | more than 12 years ago | (#3037466)

The first parallel that came to mind was the "death sentence" proposed against UUNet a few years ago for their fostering spamming activity.

The action represented the response of a group of responsible internet members that had finally tired of both the activity and the lack of response from a greedy company who seemed to have no respect for bandwidth and privacy issues.

It seemed to work then and maybe it's just what's needed now.

It's about time that some of these ISP's discover what happens when the fecal matter hits the oscillator.

Never get a response (1, Interesting)

kill-hup (120930) | more than 12 years ago | (#3037467)

From spam floods to network attacks, I have never gotten a response in 5 years. To be fair, I don't always get responses from everybody, but at least other areas of the world have a better track record.

I have resorted to blocking the offending network or ISP temporarily (until they get tired of getting no response from my networks and move on), but I really can't see blocking an entire segment of the world just to stop spam. It just goes against the grain of an "open" 'Net. I'd rather try something like SpamAssassin (no affiliation - I've just used it and it works great) than block nations for the actions of albeit many bad apples.

In other news... (4, Insightful)

somethingwicked (260651) | more than 12 years ago | (#3037470)

Los Angeles took action to prevent automobile accidents by closing all incoming roads.

Obviously, nothing useful comes from Asia, huh?

Even in its simplest form=Those cheap DVD players will never get sold to Best Buy when the Asian maker can't reply back to the buyer. Geeks everwhere revolt...

Re:In other news... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3037539)

Obviously, nothing useful comes from Asia, huh?

I've never received legitimate e-mail from Asia.

Re:In other news... (1)

sqlrob (173498) | more than 12 years ago | (#3037561)

Chances are Best Buy has its own e-mail servers. Why would they block the country on their servers when they do business with them?

Sure, it's a troll, but... (1, Insightful)

mblase (200735) | more than 12 years ago | (#3037475)

Setting up barriers like this is regrettable, but when the originating ISPs refuse to take responsibility for the actions of their users or close their open mail servers, there would seem to be no other choice.

A good thing when you're trying to stop spam, a bad thing when the MPAA is trying to stop piracy [slashdot.org] . Depends on what you do for a living, I guess.

kix.ne.kr (1)

Trracer (210292) | more than 12 years ago | (#3037477)

I've got alot of spam recently which comes from open relays which probably are home/ADSL users, a network below kix.ne.kr .
I've tried to contact Kix, but no response yet. I think I'm gonna blacklist them.
Not seen much other Asian spam yet, tho.

Its a conspiracy! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3037479)

The Chinese gov't WANTS the west to block Asian email, that way they dont have to try so hard to stop the dissadents from getting the truth out from behind the wall.

Like western ISP's are any different... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3037480)

... try and see.

Constructive dialogs (5, Interesting)

buss_error (142273) | more than 12 years ago | (#3037482)

I turned in a complaint to hinet.cn, I think it was, about a system with Code Red banging away at one of my web servers. I included a snip of the web server log, along with a note that my servers are NTP sync'ed.

The response was "without full e-mail headers, we can't do anything."

Hmmm. It's not e-mail.
I am discussing with my employer the option of blocking all 202/8 203/8 210/8 211/8, all of Road Runner but the MX'es, *.cn, *.tw, *.ru, *.pl, and *.mx domains too. I don't know the ip range assigned to the domains, so if you do, post a follow up! (I have Road Runner netblocks, there are just too many to put them here.)

Walling off .com (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3037484)

I'm not comfortable with the idea of walling off a whole domain. If there is one domain that it would pay to wall off, that would be .com, because most injection points for spam are still in that domain.

List of spamming asian countries (1)

quackPOT (100330) | more than 12 years ago | (#3037487)

I'd like to see a list that has some statistics as to which countries have the most open relays. MAPS was my solution till they started charging. A free, non-contract signing MAPS replacement would be preferable to blacklisting entire countries (for those of us who admin mail servers for business).

I did this 2 YEARS ago (1)

bmcdonou (560255) | more than 12 years ago | (#3037489)

I have had my own domain since 1996. I started firewalling asian IP blocks in 1999 from port 25. Sometimes whole /8! So this is nothing new. I've been doing it for years. From Seinfeld - "Stop short? That's my move!"

It's not just Asia (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3037499)

Take qwest for example. I *once* got an actual reply to one of numerous abuse mails regarding spam that was trivial to backtrace to a few locations (eg TX, FL) Most likely it were the same (few) spammers each and every time. It took me weeks of filtering and automatically have the spam bounce back to such addresses as abuse@ postmaster@ and even their DNS contact address. Needless to say the spam didn't stop though...

Admins *will* block entire IP blocks or even entire top level domains if nothing else helps. It's their good right, but it sucks for legitimate users of said ISPs of course.

And opt-out laws in some US states has certainly helped the spammers as well. I don't expect this to change unless spammers will get charged instead of (ultimately) you, the recipient.

Walling off Asian email?! (4, Funny)

qurob (543434) | more than 12 years ago | (#3037500)


Is this why my mail order bride isn't writing back to me?

Screw Asia... I blocked Hotmail (5, Interesting)

ellem (147712) | more than 12 years ago | (#3037506)

in fact for a few months I blocked:

Hotmail
Yahoo
MSN
USA.net

When those folks learn how to close their relays and strip a virus then we can deal with the Asians....

Over reacting (2, Insightful)

ksw2 (520093) | more than 12 years ago | (#3037507)

Spam, while annoying, is not the end of the world. If it really gets on your nerves, use a program like Vipul's Razor [sourceforge.net] , and help add spammers to its database.

Just because I don't like getting junk mail credit card offers, doesn't mean I refuse all mail from Delaware to teach them a lesson. Here's a tip--throw it away. I get nowhere near enough spam in my inbox to interfere with legitimate mail (although I don't doubt there are exceptions that do....) and I don't even use a filter!

Lucky bastard (4, Insightful)

wiredog (43288) | more than 12 years ago | (#3037541)

I get nowhere near enough spam in my inbox to interfere with legitimate mail

At one time I was spending a couple hours a week configuring filters and deleting spam. Now I have a list of known addresses I accept mail from. Everything else goes into the spam folder. I check that once a week, takes about half an hour to go through it and move real messages to the appropriate places. Then I delete the rest.

I like this quote: (5, Interesting)

mESSDan (302670) | more than 12 years ago | (#3037513)

While some spam being transmitted by Asian servers appears to be sent by the locals, Western spammers are exploiting Asian mail servers and using them to relay mail.Many Asian systems often run old software or software that hasn't been configured securely or patched properly, experts say.
Well, if people can exploit the problem and get a response from the sysadmins saying "I can't do anything about it", maybe instead of us blocking their servers (quite easy to do), someone should put on a blackhat and go patch some of those holes. (This came up and was heavily discussed during the Code Red and Nimda attacks.)

I dunno, but I think a moral hacker would find it quite rewarding to screw up a spam creaters cash cow.

I have done my bit for mankind! (5, Insightful)

doctor_oktagon (157579) | more than 12 years ago | (#3037515)

In November 2000 I spent 1 month in Hong Kong sorting out the Spam problems one of the largest ISPs was having, in my job as security consultant.

The situation was dreadfull, with no abuse department and no way of detecting/stopping abusing customers, or even stopping customers being abused.

I killed 99% of the Spam by warning all customers we were testing for open relays, and offering to actually help them if they didn't know.

I then spent 2 weeks trying to configure about 30 different mail servers I had never even heard of, and one which didn't even return 1 result on Google!!

We got there in the end, especially once we firewalled port 25 for those customers who didn't want to listed.

The next step was to write belt-and-braces Terms of Service for the client and ensure the abuse@isp address was checked and actioned on a daily basis by a full-time member of staff. If abuse went unchecked, then we pulled the plug on the customer and banned them from coming back, or we'd prosecute (sometimes tricky in HK)

I *always* check who sends me spam, and I'm pleased to say none has originated from that ISP since I did my work there.

We tried to re-sell the solution to all other ISPs in the region, but they didn't bite due to a) expensive consultant fees, and b) not really caring.

I pointed out they were large ISPs who fully deserved their .net addresses, but were rapidly losing face amongst their peers for continuing to ignore the problems. *sigh*

Sorry... (1)

BayStealth (137271) | more than 12 years ago | (#3037520)

...I don't buy the argument about the docs being in english is a problem. In my experience the docs are many times confusing or hard to understand simply because they are written by someone whose primary language is not english. I have not yet had a problem finding help on the net when I don't "get" some aspect of the docs. I think that anyone using this argument is either ignorant, or thinks that I am.

okay, fine - so we block (5, Insightful)

hrieke (126185) | more than 12 years ago | (#3037521)

But what else can be done to solve this problem with China and other Asian countries?
I agree that the 'no response' from many of these places is frustrating, but has anyone offered to train[1] some of these people in setup and configuration of their servers?
Has anyone who is bilingual offered to translate the user manuals into Japanese, Chinese, or Korean?
Has anyone taken the time to explain to them that by lax secuitry / improper setup on the EMail server usually points to more problems with in their network?
Education is the answer to this problem, and we need to take the lead.

[1] Okay, it might be impractial to fly halfway around the world to train someone in server configurations just to stop spam, (although a cost /benfit analysis might prove otherwise if the volumn is extream!) but has anyone offered to train someone from Asia on this side of the globe?

Re:okay, fine - so we block (1)

NOCRic (556035) | more than 12 years ago | (#3037551)

Actually, I've had several conversations with folks in the Asian sector of the Net. (Never when I needed it, mind you, such as during a complaint investigation.) While they say they understand the problem and they tell me they'll fix it, they never seem to. Spam, DoS attacks, port scans, obvious hack attempts - we may as well be talking to the wall for all the help we get from them. Blocking them appears to be the only way. When enough of them are blocked, perhaps they'll begin true cooperation.

Re:okay, fine - so we block (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3037564)

But what else can be done to solve this problem with China and other Asian countries?

Well, there is one Final Solution.

The ISP I work at blocks .kr... (1)

Ardax (46430) | more than 12 years ago | (#3037522)

...and amazingly, we've never received a single complaint about not receiving mail from S. Korea.

Given, this is Northwestern Pennsylvania, so there aren't many Koreans up here.

"Cultural Issues" (2, Funny)

suss (158993) | more than 12 years ago | (#3037527)

Cultural issues also contribute to the problem. Many spammers in Asia say they do not understand why spam is a problem.

"It's a sign of respect that someone sends you an electric business card. It means he wants you as a customer," said Zhao Peng, owner of a computer store in Hong Kong.


So what does it mean when they hammer your firewall all day long?
They're just being considerate in checking you for exploits? (Most scans originate from asia in my logs.)

Re:"Cultural Issues" (0)

doubtless (267357) | more than 12 years ago | (#3037575)

It doesn't mean the exploiters must be asian when the log suggests so. Those boxes could be used only as a bridge.

Never hear from 'em... (1)

NOCRic (556035) | more than 12 years ago | (#3037532)

I do NOC work for one of the major backbone providers and we are forced to try to work with several of these ISP's who promote the spamming. We never hear back from these folks in problem investigations. Blocking them appears to be the only answer.

Another way to approach this one.... (0, Flamebait)

MikeP42 (560259) | more than 12 years ago | (#3037538)

As I understand it, the Chinese are just victims of the rampant capitalism of everyone's favourite superpower. US spammers take advantage of lax system management in foreign countries to promote their products and services using spam. Thus, surely a more effective way to elimiate spam would be to cut the US off from the Internet. Fight the problem at it's source! This would have a number of other side benefits for the rest of the Global Internet as well.

I'm torn... (1)

dasspunk (173846) | more than 12 years ago | (#3037540)

I have a hard time rationalizing the expulsion of an entire cultures email rights in the states because of some bad seeds... but MAN do I hate SPAM.

Does this mean free email accounts (like Yahoo or Hotmail) will get a bunch of the email refugees from these afflicted regions?

Yes, but... (1)

SurgeMaster (547850) | more than 12 years ago | (#3037545)

"Setting up barriers like this is regrettable, but when the originating ISPs refuse to take responsibility for the actions of their users or close their open mail servers, there would seem to be no other choice. "

Do we really want ISP's taking responsibilities for the actions of their users? I can think of some downsides to that: if I find out an ISP is censoring e-mail based on what it's customers are sending, I might be more successful when I sue that ISP over content that appears on the sites it hosts which I find objectionable (Not that I would, but do you agree with the point in principle?)

Sad but true. (2)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 12 years ago | (#3037546)

The 2 servers I manage and what I reccomend to many is to set up filters to block or auto-delete anything from that country's TLD. .kr is the biggest problem lately. It is too bad that it has to happen, but I at least tell people to set up their filters in such a way to make their maillists first and anything that is really wide like banning a country last. That way real email from somone about PicoGUI that is in the .kr land I will see, but the junk that goes to my inbox dies.

I think we've just found the first... (3, Funny)

Mikesch (31341) | more than 12 years ago | (#3037549)

legitimate use of a DDoS attack. I know it is wrong on so many levels and immoral and all that, but doesn't it just make sense on a primitive level that if they are unwilling to shut down their open relays, someone else should shut them down for them? 24 hours notice, then hit them until they promise to shut it off. Make there be direct consequences for them not playing nice on the net.

Like I said, I know this is inherently flawed, but it is nice to dream. Mmmmmm, vigelante justice on the net...

Shut them down (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3037569)

I say SHUT DOWN any and all Human Rights violating Asian countries. Lock those bastards out of the real world! Fuck those geek assholes.
Systematically lock them bastards out forever! Fuck the SPAMMERS too!

my ISP just did this (5, Interesting)

option8 (16509) | more than 12 years ago | (#3037570)

the place where i colo is just now doing this after tracing the bulk of the spam coming into their own network from chinese ISPs and most especially china.com

rather than refusing email from the offending ISPs, they are going to the rather extreme measure of refusing connections entirely (at the router, i guess, though i'm not certain how the network is set up...) from the entire IP ranges of a number of the offenders.

so, now all my domains (and all those colo'd at my ISP) will basically be inaccessible to anyone in china. big deal. all the traffic i get from china is either spam or nimda requests. woo friggin hoo.

it has yet to go into effect, but i expect it will make a big difference in my monthly bills, as i pay for bandwidth, even if it's spam sent to people on my mail server.

as some folks are bound to say, it's more than a bit presumptuous to basically say "play by my rules or get off the field" where "my rules" are typically those of the mostly american, english speaking internet population, but in this case it's more a case of "play nice or go home"

Chinese ISPs need to think globally (5, Insightful)

mblase (200735) | more than 12 years ago | (#3037579)

The article says:

Some Chinese and Korean systems administrators said documentation for the software they use is often available only in English, which complicates securing their systems.

This is an honest problem, because it's not the the ISP's fault that they can't get native-language documentation for the software. But if they're running the software at all, it becomes their problem. Why would any responsible system administrator install software when he can't read the documentation? Educated English speakers aren't such a minority in the far East. It's the ISP's responsibility to hire them, or else get software documented in their own language.

Cultural issues also contribute to the problem. Many spammers in Asia say they do not understand why spam is a problem. "It's a sign of respect that someone sends you an electric business card. It means he wants you as a customer."

This is just willful naivete on their part. If they think that sending an electronic business card is a "sign of respect", that's fine. But they need to understand that in the West, unsolicited advertising is an overwhelming inconvenience and is not welcome by the vast majority. Cultural relativism swings both ways.

Piracy is free and open and common in the far East, which irritates Western corporations and makes poor Western college students and hackers giggle with glee. It's rampant and unpoliced because the notion of information ownership and copyright just don't exist over there. But here's the flip side to that coin: unrestricted dataflow from the West into the East also means unrestricted dataflow from the East to the West. As music, movies and software comes in, spam goes out. Like it or not, they're both travelling through the same door.

If the Chinese ISPs want to provide their people a gateway to the free world, then it's their responsibility to cooperate with how the free world works and act responsibly within that setting. If they don't, then they get blacklisted like this and lose their right to be a gateway.

Rather than 1/4 of the world (3, Informative)

Moderation abuser (184013) | more than 12 years ago | (#3037582)

Why not use a domain hitlist? Get more than a couple of spams from a domain, bounce everything from the domain[1]. It's less arbitrary than closing off everything from Asia on the basis of a few spammer ISPs.

[1] Bye bye Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail for a start.

Re:Rather than 1/4 of the world (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3037594)

Yeah, because NOBODY uses those systems for legit mail....you fucking nimwit.

The only way to go... (3, Interesting)

toupsie (88295) | more than 12 years ago | (#3037586)

I was surprised when I read this article on Wired yesterday. I thought I was the only one doing this. About two years ago, I cut off all of China from my mailserver at work -- we don't do business there. We were being flooded my SPAM on Chinese open relay servers. It got to the point where some users were getting more SPAM than legit mail. Once China was cut-off, the SPAM dropped off to a trickle. Then Korea became the next SPAM hot spot for us and I cut them off as well. Granted its some of the SPAM is from "white folk" that are using these open relays to SPAM Americans. If I could track them down and actually do something legal to them as opposed to beating them with a 2 by 4, I would. So far, the US Government has been pro-SPAM with the only legislation being introduced as "opt-out" systems.

The Asian nations would not be in this situation if they understood the proper way to run a mailserver and dropped the insane cultural notion that obnoxiously shoving a business card in someone's face is courteous and expected. I worked in Asia during the early 90s (mainly Singapore, Hong Kong and Taiwan) and from my experience of working with Asian businesses, this problem will not go away. Unless it's not hurting their bottom line, it doesn't matter if its hurting ours.

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