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Fix an SBC Yahoo outgoing email issue with .Mac
Authored by: unclecal on Mar 02, '05 04:44:39AM

Blocking outgoing email on port 25 does nothing for the Macintosh user.
It does little for the PC user for that matter.
It's true it might protect the ISP from getting emails from infected Windows machines, but that won't last long.

Most experts agree, it's a weak stop gap measure at best. It hasn't even been adopted by Comcast or AOL which make up more then 50% of the broadband market share. So, it will do little to stem the Windows-propagated spam tide.

For the mac user it's just an annoyance.
No reason we should be inconvenienced by Microsoft's security flaws.

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Fix an SBC Yahoo outgoing email issue with .Mac
Authored by: kchrist on Mar 02, '05 02:42:01PM

Port 25 filtering is not meant to benefit end users directly, it's meant to inconvenience spammers and keep them from abusing the networks of the ISPs implementing the filter. The indirect benefit that end users get, regardless of OS they're using, is that is makes things harder for spammers, and therefore causes less spam to be sent out. I can assure you, widespread port 25 filtering put a serious crimp in spammers' activities.

AOL *is* filtering port 25 traffic, at least on some of their dialups. They were at the time anyway, and while they may have stopped, I find it unlikely. One of the reasons for this is that some of the backbone providers, UUNET for example, began requiring it of the ISPs that used their network. UUNET's requirement affected Earthlink, MSN, AOL, and probably dozens or more smaller ISPs that leased their POPs.

Please don't try to turn this into a Mac v. Window thing. This has nothing to do with Mac users, or Windows users, or the security flaws of any OS. While it does also help with spam sent from compromised Windows machines, the intended consequence was that it would stop spammers using throwaway dialup accounts and spamming through open relays. It accomplished this in a big way. Sure, it still happens, but not nearly as much as it did.

Unfortunately the spam war is an arms race. Spammers have since come up with other methods of getting their junk out. First they used insecure proxy servers, and then they started installing their own proxies delivered via e-mail viruses. Steps have been taken to deal with this, but their evolution does not invalidate the steps we've taken previously.

I agree that we need to find a balance between causing problems for spammers and as little inconvenience as possible for end users, but port 25 filtering affects an extremely small percentage of the internet-using population. Of that percentage, another very small percentage have a problem with simply using their ISPs SMTP servers. This is why use of the SMTP submission port (587/tcp) has become common over the past few years.

The point is, there's no reason to be upset about it. There are at least two trivial solutions to anyone affected by this problem.

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