Dear RIPE: Please don't encourage phishing

Dan White dwhite at
Fri Feb 10 17:37:52 UTC 2012

The line gets crossed when you send an unsolicited message that includes a
clickable change password link, that a phisher would find interesting
to emulate.

After the fact, if a phisher gets one of your customers to click on such a
link, you'd like to tell them them in response, or preemptively, that your
company never asks for sensitive information via email.

With good policies in place, the customer should not be receiving clickable
links via email that ask them for a password, except for a scenario where
they've actively generated that email in response to an "I forgot my
password" link on a website.

On 02/10/12 09:18 -0800, Richard Barnes wrote:
>So because of phishing, nobody should send messages with URLs in them?
>On Fri, Feb 10, 2012 at 8:56 AM, Steven Bellovin <smb at> wrote:
>> I received the enclosed note, apparently from RIPE (and the headers check out).
>> Why are you sending messages with clickable objects that I'm supposed to use to
>> change my password?
>> -------
>> From: RIPE_DBannounce at
>> Subject: Advisory notice on passwords in the RIPE Database
>> Date: February 9, 2012 1:16:15 PM EST
>> [Apologies for duplicate e-mails]
>> Dear Colleagues,
>> We are contacting you with some advice on the passwords used in the RIPE
>> Database.  There is no immediate concern and this notice is only advisory.
>> At the request of the RIPE community, the RIPE NCC recently deployed an
>> MD5 password hash change.
>> Before this change was implemented, there was a lot of discussion on the
>> Database Working Group mailing list about the vulnerabilities of MD5
>> passwords with public hashes.  The hashes can now only be seen by the user
>> of the MNTNER object.  As a precaution, now that the hashes are hidden,
>> we strongly recommend that you change all MD5 passwords used by your MNTNER
>> objects in the RIPE Database at your earliest convenience.  When choosing
>> new passwords, make them as strong as possible.
>> To make it easier for you to change your password(s) we have improved
>> Webupdates.  On the modify page there is an extra button after the "auth:"
>> attribute field.  Click this button for a pop up window that will encrypt
>> a password and enter it directly into the "auth:" field.
>> Webupdates:
>> There is a RIPE Labs article explaining details of the security changes
>> and the new process to modify a MNTNER object in the RIPE Database:
>> We are sending you this email because this address is referenced in the
>> MNTNER objects in the RIPE Database listed below.
>> If you have any concerns about your passwords or need further advice please
>> contact our Customer Services team at ripe-dbm at  (You cannot reply
>> to this email.)
>> Regards,
>> Denis Walker
>> Business Analyst
>> RIPE NCC Database Group
>> Referencing MNTNER objects in the RIPE Database:
>> maint-rgnet

Dan White
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Ph  918.366.0248 (direct)   main: (918)366-8000
Fax 918.366.6610            email: dwhite at

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