A Weblog About Topics and Issues Discussed in the Book Spam Kings by Brian McWilliams

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June 22, 2005

AOL also an abuse@ renegade

OK, so Microsoft isn't the only 800-pound gorilla that's stopped offering an industry-standard abuse@domain alias for reporting spam.

Around March of 2000, America Online abandoned abuse@aol.com as its spam reporting address and replaced it with TOSEmail1@aol.com. According to AOL, it made the changes "in order to serve the Internet community with increased efficiency and speed."

(For some reason, AOL decided it was efficient and speedy to stick with abuse@compuserve.com and abuse@CS.com.)

Not exactly RFC 2142-compliant, but at least AOL enables you to report spam via email. By contrast, Microsoft.com now insists that you use a general purpose web form.

Fortunately, the companies atop the Spamhaus list of the biggest spam havens all seem to maintain the standard abuse@domain alias. (Whether they take action on spam reports sent there is another matter.)

When in doubt, you can always query the Abuse.net contact database to look up the spam reporting address for a domain. Then again, Abuse.net is still erroneously showing abuse@microsoft.com and abuse@aol.com as valid contacts.

UPDATE: John Levine of Abuse.net informs me that, contrary to the AOL Postmaster Info page hyperlinked above, AOL's postmaster is quite happy to receive spam reports at abuse@aol.com.

As for Microsoft's retirement of abuse@microsoft.com, John says, "Since 99.9% of MS spam comes from Hotmail, and the other 0.1% comes from Listbuilder, both of which have their own abuse addresses, it hardly matters."

Posted by brian at June 22, 2005 9:50 PM


this man in midland mi a one jerry arnie,suspect in hacking my computer,some time a go,last nite used my computer to check his e mail,took him about 15 min,when i got my computter use back from him,i had lose of browser control,anddd lose of memory,none my programs were working,this morning aol informs that a violation of tos had taken place and i had to change pass word,the man who did that is a one jery arny of 611 grove st midland mi 48640-this man is takeing advantage of many none suspecting people,i thought he was my friend,caused me and aol many problem last nite i had wittness to this man being on my computer and in the mail rm,he was soppose to just checking his mail,i know know he sent bulk mail out with my id no.i confronted this guy allso because i knew he had messed with my computer,please help stop this person,he tell none suspecting people hes computer tech,his cell ph no.513-0868,ty

Posted by: kgmidland at July 19, 2005 7:37 PM


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