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14 December 2009, 10:30

Free reign for spam from climate summit

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Despite spam taking its toll on the environment and, potentially, impacting climate change, it appears that the organisers of the climate summit have taken no precautions to prevent malware-infected computers brought along by summit participants from sending spam emails all over the world. Some of the IP addresses of the internet connection used at the conference venue, Bella Center in Copenhagen, have already appeared on anti-spam blacklists such as Spamcop and Spamhaus.

When prompted by iX magazine, whose blacklist also includes some IP addresses from the UN conference on climate change, an employee of the Computer Sciences Corporation (CSC) answered for the security of the conference network. The employee said that while every effort was made to identify infected computers which access the network, it's impossible to remove all viruses from the PCs of more than 3,000 new conference participants each day.

Unlike the technicians at Bella Center, companies and other organisations tend to block port 25 on their firewalls, which is used for email relaying, to prevent clients from directly sending spam and other emails to external recipients from within the network. For security reasons, those who travel with their own notebooks usually have encrypted access to their own employer's email servers and need to log in with a password in order to send emails. As a result, conference participants with secure email settings are unaffected by the blacklisting. Blocking port 25 of the conference network would create no restrictions for them, but it would create less strain on spam recipients and on the environment.


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