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12 June 2007, 11:56

Attack on anti-spam services

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Anti-spam services Spamhaus, SURBL and URIBL, which list computers known for sending spam and their IP addresses so they can be added to mail filtering black lists, have been exposed to a distributed Denial-of-Service attack (DDoS) since the middle of last week. During the attack last week, the services successfully introduced countermeasures and were often still available. Currently, however, the web pages of Spam URI Realtime Blocklists (SURBL) and Realtime URI Blacklist (URIBL) are no longer accessible and nor is the Rules Emporium with the up-to-date rules for the spam filter SpamAssassin.

In a thread in the newsgroup, Steve Linford from the Spamhaus project explained that the server was not accessible from time to time because of a DDoS attack. Linford speculates that the attack has come from the botnet which was set up at the beginning of the year using Storm Worm. Spammers already launched successful DDoS attacks last year. As a result, a start-up company, Blue Security, closed down its anti-spam service under the pressure of a sustained attack.

This sort of DDoS attack could be an act of desperation on the part of spammers, which is an indication of the efficiency of the filter. One only hopes that the attackers are not successful this time.

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