[email protected] contacts

Joe Greco jgreco at ns.sol.net
Tue Dec 7 13:25:55 CST 2010

> On Tue, Dec 07, 2010 at 04:39:54PM -0000, Gavin Pearce wrote:
> > How many of you (honestly) actively manage and respond to [email protected] contact
> > details listed in WHOIS? Or have had any luck with [email protected] contacts in
> > the past? Who's good and who isn't?
> Inbound: wherever I am, I try to make it a point of emphasis that
> incoming mail to abuse very likely represent someone trying to help
> us by doing the job that we failed to do, and as such, it deserves
> very high priority, and -- if correct -- our gratitude.
> Outbound: mixed.  I've had excellent response from academic institutions
> (most recently Indiana University) and from some commercial operations
> (e.g., mail.com).  I've had responses somewhere between "non-existent",
> "miserable", and "random" from major freemail providers.

Having watched this issue for years, I'll say that there's a large body
of good abuse desks you'll never need to talk to, because the very 
qualities that cause a network to host a responsive abuse desk are in
many cases the same things that drive engineering and other processes
that minimize the chances for abuse in the first place.  For the best
networks, the abuse desk exists entirely as a fire alarm, never meant
to receive any volume of meaningful complaints, because there should be
no abusive traffic originating.  This includes many corporate networks.

Middle ground are many schools, where policy is to run a clean network,
but practical realities of students and faculty result in some problems.
They truly appreciate abuse reports, because so few people bother to 
send them in this era, and doing so helps make the Internet a nicer 
place to be.  On the other hand, other schools have clearly given the
issue no thought, or don't wish to deal with the problems...

Commercial service providers are more of a mixed bag.  Many are very
clueful and want to run a clean network.  Others look at the abuse desk
as a money-losing black hole that serves mainly to cause customer churn.
Cheap webhosts and the like are typically under pressure to keep costs
low.  You may end up with an abuse desk that overreacts, or that doesn't
care until the volume of complaints becomes deafening.

... JG
Joe Greco - sol.net Network Services - Milwaukee, WI - http://www.sol.net
"We call it the 'one bite at the apple' rule. Give me one chance [and] then I
won't contact you again." - Direct Marketing Ass'n position on e-mail spam(CNN)
With 24 million small businesses in the US alone, that's way too many apples.

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