Monday, May 31, 2010

Today's spam

I've blogged before about the experience I got when my blueyonder mailbox was migrated off the old Microsoft mail platform and onto the Google Apps one - and now that I aggregate all my e-mail accounts into my Google one I've been spotting some interesting trends in terms of spam.

A few weeks ago I was inundated (and I mean really inundated, with hundreds an hour at one point) with microcap pump & dump spam, and the trend from the last 24 hours is also interesting - something like half of the spam mail in my spam folder are being sent 'from' me:Although it's good to see one knighted me - I presume it wasn't for sponsoring the project to move customers onto the Google platform with all it's great spam and virus filtering?

On a serious note, it's a clear sign for me of spammers adapting and trying different techniques as spam filters take counter measures to whatever their latest attack approach is.

Incidentally, I'm no longer sponsoring the Google project but I did catch up with the product owner and project manager last week - the 'first pass' of the last round of migrations ( to the Google platform has been completed and they're now working on fixing the 'complex' migrations (where the first attempt to migrate failed, for whatever reason - the failure not being customer affecting) and re-migrating those mailboxes over to Google ... after which we'll launch the ability for customers to move to e-mail addresses if they wish to and the project will be over.

It seems that things are going well too, with the inbound contacts to technical support being well under what was forecast - meaning that the team have been able to migrate higher volumes than was originally planned on a daily basis, with us being ahead of plan accordingly. That's no mean feat with mailbox volumes being in seven figures.

For anyone looking for help on the migrations, they might want to check out the migration FAQs, the help site and the help & support forums.

So with my mailbox now on the Google platform too it'll be interesting to see what other techniques spammers try to get around the filters.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Early Christmas in Surrey

I was amused by seeing this on my way home on Friday night - looks like Arriva Buses need to do some work on their generic 'Bank Holiday Timetable' messages in Surrey:

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Twitter Cull

Yesterday I did a cull of my followers on Twitter as well as those I was following, using the following criteria:
  1. Spam accounts - most of which are pretty obvious
  2. Those who only tweet from automated services (and are hence not 'active' in my mind) such as those terrible Twittascope horoscopes and people telling me how far they've run today
  3. Those who have never tweeted
  4. Those who have not tweeted for >6 months
  5. People who don't engage with others (including engaging with me!) on Twitter
And the results were significant - I purged 519 followers, hopefully not getting anyone I didn't mean to but I did try to err on the side of caution:
[Graph from TwitterCounter - see here]

With Twitter having got a lot better at dealing with spam hopefully it won't be too much work to keep on top of followers in future, although I'm having to make a resolution to review & decide as new followers come in from now on.

In the end I only ended up stopping to follow 45 accounts, as I have tended to keep up housekeeping on that on an ongoing basis.

Does it show that I'm having a long weekend and off 'til Tuesday?