The Spam Diaries

News and musings about the fight against spam.
 by Edward Falk

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Verizon Business spam support

From monitoring the news.admin.net-abuse.blocklisting newsgroup, I see that UUNet (now known as Verizon Business) seems to have moved Atriks from their old block of IP addresses (65.217.154.0 - 65.217.204.255) to a new block (65.246.138.112 - 65.246.138.127). See Usenet article Re: SPEWS: S2955 IP range attributed to an entity no longer hosted. The move came to light when an innocent third party was given the tainted IP range vacated by Atriks, and found themselves listed in SPEWS.

If true, this is pretty serious stuff. It means that UUNet is still engaged in active spammer support, despite having been purchased by the formerly white-hat Verizon. It also indicates that UUNet is using innocent third parties as "human shields" — that is, deliberately placing them into tainted blocks of IP addresses in the hopes that the maintainers of DNSBLs will drop the listings. This may have the opposite effect of causing SPEWS to expand the listing rather than playing a constant game of where-did-UUNet-hide-the-spammer.

The most disturbing thing here is that it shows that Verizon is either unwilling or unable to clean house with UUNet. The most ironic thing is that according to the original post, Verizon.net is now blocking Verizon Business. This isn't the first time an ISP has blocked itself for spamming, but it's always interesting to see.

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