Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Estonia / Russia Cyber Attack Update

Items in the May 28, 2007 edition of the International Herald Tribune have confirmed the spam attacks played an early roll in the cyber disputer between Estonia and Russia.

While later attacks on the Estonian Internet Infrastructure involved hacked websites and Denial of Service assualts, this early flood of spam crippled servers, reducing the ability to communicate easily via email.

This is why "Country of Origin" email filtering makes so much sense. If you don't have business dealings with a country, who expose your servers to floods of spam email that could arise within its borders. Easily stop email from ever reaching your servers by analyzing the IP address of the originating server.


Thursday, May 17, 2007

"Country-Of-Origin" eMail Filter Could Have Eased Cyber Attack

According to news reports, the world has entered into a totally new realm with the possibility of the first state sponsored cyber war. Estonia has accused Russia of waging Denial-of-Service and spam attacks on Estonian computers.
  • “Estonia hit by 'Moscow cyber war” -- BBC
  • “Russia accused of unleashing cyber war to disable Estonia” -- Guardian UK
  • “Estonia recovers from massive DDoS attack” -- ComputerWorld
According to these articles, initially Russian computers were the point of origin but have since spread to the United States, Canada, Brazil, Vietnam and others.
  • “Our mail server was absolutely inundated with spam e-mails as well" -- Aet Suvari, Estonian journalist.

  • "The largest part of these attacks are coming from Russia and from official servers of the authorities of Russia" -- Urmas Paet, the Estonian Foreign Minister.

  • “However, analysis of the malicious traffic shows that computers from the U.S., Canada, Brazil, Vietnam and others have been used in the attacks” -- Hillar Aarelaid, chief security officer for Estonia's Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT).
Country-of-Origin” email filtering could have been used to ease the severity of these cyber attacks by instantly reducing the spam email portions of the assault. The flood of malicious email could have been blocked before ever reaching the Estonian servers.

Even without coordinated attacks, the Russian Federation is consistently among the top spam originating countries in the world. If you don't do business there, why receive email that originates there?


XE-Filter - Filtering Spam eMail by Its Country-of-Origin

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Singapore Follows USA and Aussie Spam Law

Well, Singapore just passed an anti-spam bill based upon the American and Australian models and apparently, they expect it to the just as effective in the prevention of unwanted email. (Note the touch of sarcasm there)

The Spam Control Act, passed by the Singapore Parliament in April of 2007, does not apply to all email, only those messages arising in Singapore. As cited in the article, “enforcement against foreign spammer would be costly as well as highly uncertain”. We’ve heard statements similar to this a lot, mostly from countries that try to legislate away the spam problem.

What is the reason for doubts about Singapore’s antispam measures? Well as usual, with the new law that is only relevant to spam within Singapore borders, foreign email is not under control. As stated in the article, “four out of five spam messages originate overseas”.

The conclusion… Even in Singapore, with 80% of their spam email originating on servers outside of the country, “Country-of-Origin” email filtering would be highly effective. In fact, “Country-of-Origin” email filtering would be more effective than Singapore’s legislative actions and that is pretty much true anywhere in the world.