I woke up this morning to find Taiwan's Yahoo server rejecting emails that were supposedly sent using my server.  I originally figured it was the regular old spammer trick of using invalid return addresses until I noticed that it was one of my servers who was reporting the failure, rather than an external machine.

It turns out I had configured one service in sort of a test mode (ie. accept all logins, without checking the password) years ago, presumably when the computer was still in my house, and at that point, I didn't have a checklist of things to configure when setting up new servers, and so never got around to locking it down appropriately.  Since then, customers are using that server, but never noticed that the password didn't matter.  It is strange that it took so long for the spammers to find it, and fortunately for me, most of the mails (~2500 of them) were blocked by the receiver temporarily, and so gave me time to stop it and fix the bug.

After I fixed the problem, I went looking for who did it, and called up the ISP where the machine is located.  They have an 800 number which when you call it directs you to call a 10-10-XX number. At the end of the message they mention that it costs $5 to call that number.  Kind of steep!  I wonder if just my misdialing some digits on your phone, and you end up calling that number if you automatically get charged, or if there if you have to agree to the charge once you place the call.

In any case, I won't be calling it, and I assume that "Managed Solutions Group" if that is even their real name, are spammers, or at least don't mind having spammers on their network, which is pretty much the same thing in my book.

Posted by Jon Daley on March 18, 2008, 11:55 am | Read 5048 times
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