Spam wars and the gmail, yahoo, hotmail free email services

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Spam wars and the gmail, yahoo, hotmail free email services

Postby Kevin » Wed Jun 24, 2009 12:11 pm

As the DesignCommunity forums are popular and highly-visited, with great metrics in terms of Alexa ratings, Google page ranks, and such, we have increasingly become the target of massive automated spam-bot attacks.

These attacks are now regularly blasting hundreds of spam postings at a time toward these forums. Behind the scenes - as much as we can keep it there - the arms war between Internet abusers and the defense of legitimate public use has been escalating rapidly. Perhaps economic desperation is helping to fuel the recent forum spam crescendo.

At the same time, we have long received a constant trickle of inquiries from users of the gmail, yahoo, and hotmail free email services, who received an error message trying to create a user account.

Quite a while ago we blocked account creation with gmail, yahoo, or hotmail email addresses, because the great majority of accounts from those domains have been spammers.

Considering that with the current economy more and more design professionals are losing company email and landing in a free service, we have tried an experiment for the last few weeks in re-allowing DC account activation with gmail, yahoo, and hotmail email addresses.

We were hoping that upgrades and tighter maintenance in our spam filtering system could handle the load of bogus material that would come in from the major free email services.

Today that experiment in extra openness closes down. Enabling accounts from gmail, yahoo, and hotmail has loosed an enormous additional flood of spam, which causes unacceptable problems for every legitimate forum participant.

Please, think for a moment before getting mad at Artifice for blocking account activation from gmail, yahoo, and hotmail.

Consider the irresponsibility of three giant public corporations, with market values in the tens of billions and more, which are allowing their free services to function as huge pipelines for Internet abuse.

If Google, Yahoo, and Microsoft managed their email services so that an address in the system corresponded with reasonable reliability to a legitimate user, the companies would be responsible corporate citizens and their email accounts would provide a functional level of authentication. That would really help Internet participation.

Instead, they have allowed their email services to become dominated by abuse, at least from what we see in terms of what we see at the forum activation gateway. At present, abusive accounts created from gmail, yahoo, and hotmail email addresses vastly outnumber legitimate accounts activated from those origins.

Much as we want to help serve a clean and open Internet, we really can't afford here to police the email systems that Google, Yahoo, and Microsoft run as wide-open cesspools.

Please let them know how their short-term market-share maneuvering is contributing to a breakdown of the basic social contract of the Internet.

Please let us know if there's more that we might afford to do that can help.
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Kevin
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Location: Eugene, Oregon

Postby Kevin » Wed Jun 24, 2009 12:15 pm

Spam email just received, typical of an Internet system under severe stress.

----- Begin forwarded message -----
From: Felix Matheu <redacted>
Date: Wed, 24 Jun 2009 21:41:20 -0700
To: Artifice
Subject: IP registration for spammers, malvare, doorway.

Tired of constant movement because of problems with hosting? Botnet is unable to send all your spam mails? Registration of IP with the ability to respond to the complaint. It is very easy!

Visit our site to get additional info about our services.

Direct URL: redacted
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Kevin
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Posts: 1886
Joined: Tue Apr 13, 2004 6:59 pm
Location: Eugene, Oregon


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