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Yahoo SPAM & MARF – RFC 5965

By Dale Reagan | December 3, 2010

12/1/2010 – Yahoo no longer accepts email abuse reports from ‘humans‘… Hmm, who is else it getting SPAMmed by YAHOO email accounts? (other computers without users/real people?)

Automation can be a great solution – but what happens when real people are entirely removed from the loop?

My normal approach for SPAM that reaches my server/inbox:

I have been reporting SPAM to Yahoo whenever it arrives (thankfully it is not a frequent problem.)  I usually get an email back indicating that ‘research’ is under way or perhaps ‘appropriate action’ has been taken.  Today, I get an email saying that Yahoo will no longer accept my SPAM report. For messages that reach my email server that arrive from YAHOO IP space that are flagged as SPAM I would be happy to oblige (Where are the tools to do this? I did not locate any on Yahoo’s help search…)

Ok – Time for Google & Blekko Search – Along with more RFC docs and comments not appreciating Yahoo’s approach I find this:

“You can report spam from yahoo via spamcop.net – there are scripts available. As extra “report destinations” you may use knujon.com and DNSWL.org.” [ I have not explored these sites. ]

For messages that reach my Inbox this is a bit much.  It is the same thing as IGNORING SPAM reports.  Who-ya-gonna-call?

If Yahoo does not want to deal with THEIR problem then, in theory, their ISP should be contacted.  OK, who is their ISP?  Hmm, they are…   Ok, only thing left is government reporting.

“If you get spam email that you think is deceptive, forward it to spam@uce.gov. The FTC uses the spam stored in this database to pursue law enforcement actions against people who send deceptive email.”

While reporting SPAM to the FTC may be helpful it is essentially a ‘black hole’ from which you will most likely not get a response from Yahoo; I do suppose, however that this is better than not reporting the problem at all…  I think that Yahoo is missing the boat with this new approach/position.

Research items/Topics

Tools – From a Company Coding Email Tools/services

http://wordtothewise.com/resources/arf.html

ARF Sender Tools [code from ~2005]
Right now most ARF senders are ISP feedback loops using in-house developed code; there aren’t any packaged ARF generators. Some of the developer tools and sample code may be useful to report senders.

From Geak IT (UK): [ Mini-summary on FBL – Feedback Loops ]

If a recipient using AOL, Yahoo! Or Hotmail (see here for a full list) deems your email to be spam may click on the “This is Spam” button. This generally logs a black mark against the sender’s domain/IP and also sends a detailed notification to the sender’s abuse@ email account (assuming the sender’s signed up to the FBL). The accepted practise is that then the sender unsubscribes the recipient. If the sender then sends further emails to that recipient then bigger black marks are logged against them and their reputation falls. It’s a good system and if you’re handling your own email broadcasts in-house then you’ll want to sign up and configure them. Word to the Wise has a comprehensive list of all available email FBLs with their respective signup pages.

Note:  you can surf to http://abuse.yahoo.com to MANUALLY report SPAM; this requires a Yahoo email account and you must login.

Blocking all Yahoo Email is not a solution (at least for me, it is not.)

This entire ‘experience’ has me thinking that somewhere along the line Yahoo seems to have forgotten that real people are involved with all things Internet – it’s not just a bunch of cool APIs…  🙁

Topics: Media and Communications, System and Network Security | Comments Off on Yahoo SPAM & MARF – RFC 5965

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