To Russia With Love, So Long As It’s Not Email

By | March 8, 2004

Russia’s image as Spam (And Other Bad Stuff) Central is beginning to hurt.

CNET reports thats customers of high-speed Internet service provider Comcast were unable to email anyone in Russia for four days last week after the company’s spam filter blocked any emails to an address with the Russian suffix ‘ru’.

Although CNET called the block a malfunction, I can’t quite believe that. Russia is one of the main conduits for email spam, since most of its ISPs either turn a blind eye to spammers, or else collect fees for allowing the huge volume of spam to pass through their servers. Could a spam filter automatically exclude every email with a domain suffix? Or could someone have flicked a switch in frustration? And while the story only refers to outgoing email, what happened to email coming from Russia to Comcast customers?

CNET said that “Comcast implemented the filter to thwart spammers who were using the ISP’s servers to send spam with spoofed return addresses ending in .ru, which is the Russian top level domain.”

I could find no reference to the outage on the Comcast website.

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