Tag Archives: ISP

CDM snowshoes to the top of the world in May 2012 SpamRankings.net

In addition to snowshoe spam taking 7 of the top 10 U.S. SpamRankings.net for May 2012, one of the snowshoe spamming companies, CDM, outspammed every other organization in the world! CDM’s AS 6428 outspammed even chronic world winner Vietnam PT.

In this graph, you can see CDM leap up from zero in March to 15.7 million spam messages in April and 48.8 million in May, and of course that’s just the messages caught by a few spamtraps.

The same spamtraps never saw more than 56 hosts sending all those messages. That was on 11 May 2012, when they saw 1,989,762 spam messages, for a ratio of 35,531 spam messages per sending host. That’s not exactly the old botnet low-and-slow technique. Snowshoe spam: it’s already in prime time!

And remember, CDM is not a hosting center: it’s an ISP. CDM continues to illustrate that snowshoe spam is no longer confined to the traditional profile of infesting hosting centers.


An ISP snowshoes ahead in spamming

Continuing the question of Ogee snowshoe: black swan or new strategy? let’s look at Ogee snowshoe spam in the first week of May 2012.

The two dotted lines trending down together in the middle are AS 29131 and AS 28178, and they both fit the traditional profile for snowshoe spam hosting sites, because they advertise hosting or colocation as their main services. AS 29131 is registered to RapidSwitch, which advertises dedicated servers, cloud solutions, and colocation. AS 28178, registered as Network Operations Center (NOC), which keeps on rolling waves of snowshoe spam, appears to be operating under the name BurstNet, which offers managed servers and co-location as its first two services.

However, the dotted line rising to the top right that pulled the solid overall snowshoe volume line back up is not a hosting center: it’s an ISP. CDM’s AS 6428 appears to be operating as Primary Network, whose first services are T-1 Internet access and metro Internet. And Primary Network is not alone. We’ve pulled out a list of all the ASNs affected by Ogee snowshoe so far, and quite a few of them are ISPs, some of them very well known ISPs.

Snowshoe: it’s not just for hosting centers anymore.


Transparency in Rome

Here’s my presentation, Transparency as Incentive for Internet Security: Organizational Layers for Reputation, from RIPE 61 in Rome. This presentation summarizes the two previous RIPE Labs papers about proposed new organizational layers and outbound spam ranking experiments.

RIPE-NCC is the oldest of the Regional Internet Registries (RIRs), and RIPE is the deliberately unorganized association of interested parties that meets twice a year and holds discussions online in between. It’s a mix of operations, research, and socializing. Topics range from obscure details of deploying IPv6 to organizational proposals such as what I was talking about. 430 people attended the meeting in Rome, which was quite a few more than the dozen or two of the first RIPE meeting I went to many years ago.

Interesting questions were asked. I may blog some of them.


Route Hijacking: Identity Theft of Internet Infrastructure

Peter Svensson gives an old and quite serious problem some mainstream press in this AP story from 8 May 2010:
On April 25, 1997, millions of people in North America lost access to all of the Internet for about an hour. The hijacking was caused by an employee misprogramming a router, a computer that directs data traffic, at a small Internet service provider.

A similar incident happened elsewhere the next year, and the one after that. Routing errors also blocked Internet access in different parts of the world, often for millions of people, in 2001, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2008 and 2009. Last month a Chinese Internet service provider halted access from around the world to a vast number of sites, including Dell.com and CNN.com, for about 20 minutes.

In 2008, Pakistan Telecom tried to comply with a government order to prevent access to YouTube from the country and intentionally “black-holed” requests for YouTube videos from Pakistani Internet users. But it also accidentally told the international carrier upstream from it that “I’m the best route to YouTube, so send all YouTube traffic to me.” The upstream carrier accepted the routing message, and passed it along to other carriers across the world, which started sending all requests for YouTube videos to Pakistan Telecom. Soon, even Internet users in the U.S. were deprived of videos of singing cats and skateboarding dogs for a few hours.

In 2004, the flaw was put to malicious use when someone got a computer in Malaysia to tell Internet service providers that it was part of Yahoo Inc. A flood of spam was sent out, appearing to come from Yahoo.

The Pakistani incident is illustrated in the accompanying story and video by RIPE.

This problem has been known for a long time. Why hasn’t it been fixed? Continue reading

3FN + FTC = Some Less Spam From Some ASNs

A research project I’m assisting at the University of Texas at Austin notes that:
On Tuesday 2 June 2009, the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) took legal steps that shut down the web hosting provider Triple Fiber network (3FN.net).

Looking at Autonomous Systems (ASNs) listed in the spam blocklist CBL, Continue reading

VZ Port 587: Good Try

Back in February, Verizon announced it would start requiring outbound mail go through port 587 instead of port 25 during the next few months. It seemed like a good idea to squelch spam. Most other major ISPs did it. People applauded Verizon for doing it.

Unfortunately, it seems that if it had any effect it was short-lived. Looking at anti-spam blocklists on a daily basis, a couple of Verizon Autonomous Systems (ASes), AS-19262 and AS-701, do show dips in blocklist listings on the blocklist PSBL in March. But they don’t last.

Spammers are very adaptable, partly because the botnets they use are adaptable. Good try, Verizon.

This information is from an NSF-funded academic research project at the University of Texas at Austin business school. Thanks to PSBL for the blocklist data.