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Plus.net spam warnings

mssystems
Rising Star
Posts: 269
Thanks: 33
Fixes: 1
Registered: 10-08-2007

Plus.net spam warnings

A client of mine has recently received a warning from Plus net about sending SPAM, with a threat to suspend their account.. This is the second such warning in the last few months.

This client has a very public presence and an international reputation to protect. Spam prevention is considered a very high priority. Strict working procedures and technical measures are in place to prevent spam being sent or received. To be honest, despite them being a primarily volunteer organisation they take spam prevention far more seriously than most of the commercial companies that I work for.

We can be certain that the mail that has caused the complaint did not originate with my client.

There is a scenario where the SPAM could have passed through my clients servers. They maintain a forwarding service for volunteers and members. The server forwards mail addressed volunteer@organisation.com to the volunteers personal e-mail address personal@myaccount.isp.net So a spammer could pick up the advertised volunteer@organisation.com and the spam would eventually end up in the volunteers personal mail box with my clients IPs in the header.

To combat the possibility of spam relay, all e-mail is passed through a leading Spam and AV filtering service. The clients firewall only allows SMTP traffic to and from the filtering service. Unfortunately, due to the niche market nature of my client's organisation, there is sometimes a delay before spam is identified by the filtering service.

To comply with the recent legislation an audit of all configured forwarders took place recently. Every volunteer that has a forwarder configured has agreed to a usage policy.

So I think it is fair to say that my client is taking every possible measure to act responsibly and prevent spam.

Now the problem. When Plus.net send the SPAM warning, they do not provide any details. The mail headers and the message which caused the complaint are withheld. So my cllient recieves a warning and a threat of account suspension without being able to do much about it. Each one of these warnings requires a detailed reply which takes time and costs money. Apparently the last conversation with plus.net ended with no response from plus.net

Can anyone suggest how this situation could be avoided without having to move to another ISP?

Regards
Matt
3 REPLIES
N/A

Re: Plus.net spam warnings

Quote

We can be certain that the mail that has caused the complaint did not originate with my client.


From this statement alone, I would say your clients e-mail address has been spoofed and the only resolution I can see, is to change to using another e-mail address, and delete the old one e-mail address. Spoofing e-mail address is common and there is little that can be done about it.

Your client should also contact Plus Net via a ticket to explain the suituation and ask them for advice. I'm assuming that they hold a PN account, as you mentioned they were threatened with suspension.

I feel this whole topic really needs to be raised with Plus Net staff, rather than within the forums. I know you've said you've spoken to them before but really they are your best recourse for this issue.
mssystems
Rising Star
Posts: 269
Thanks: 33
Fixes: 1
Registered: 10-08-2007

Plus.net spam warnings

Thank you for the advice Gadget Boy but I don't think you quite understand the problem.

We are not talking about one email address, but around 100 of them. The volunteers that sit behind these e-mail adresses need to be contactable by the general public. The e-mail addresses are advertised in magazines, letterheads, business cards etc. Of course spammers are amongst the general public so we can't avoid them getting hold of these addresses.

What we would like to do is contact the volunteer that has made the complaint and explain that the message is from outside the organisation. We would also offer them the choice of having the forwarding service to their account discontinued. But we don't know who made the complaint, or even the message they recieved.

We are in contact with plus.net support via contact us. The reason to raise it in a wider forum is that other plus.net customers operating their own mail servers may experience the same problem. I am also aware that some of the more senior people in plus.net read these fora. What we don't want is to be told, ok no problem, this time and have to go through it again next month. I suspect that may be what happens if we keep the matter private.
N/A

Plus.net spam warnings

Hello,

Yes I see your problem, although for Plus Net to give out the details on the user who made the complaint, I'm pretty sure would be a breach of the data protection act.

Yes, senior people within Plus Net do read these forums but I would also expect any tickets raised to be viewed by the same people, if it was required as well.

I still maintain that your best course of action is in speaking to Plus Staff as your already doing. I'm not sure I have anything further to add that would really help you resolve this issue.

Hopefully someone else might. Cheesy

Aaron