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- The Gobbling Goblin
May 31, 2007, 1:03 am
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Spammers have knocked out the e-mail service for many of the customers
of internet service provider (ISP) Tiscali, the firm has said.
Users e-mails have not been delivered to their intended recipients as
other ISPs block e-mail traffic from Tiscali.
Tiscali has not said how many of its 1.8m UK customers are affected by
the outage which started eight days ago.
It said engineers were "taking urgent action" to block spammers using
its e-mail service to send messages.
A statement on the Tiscali website read: "We have been targeted by
spammers using our service, which in turn has meant other ISPs have
taken measures to block mail sent by Tiscali. This is not affecting
all delivery addresses. Some mail continues to be delivered as
The ISP said it was currently installing new hardware and updating its
"This work will be complete today. It is likely to take seven to 10
days for these changes to take full effect across receiving e-mail
But some spam experts have expressed surprise that Tiscali has said
its current problems are the result of spammers.
"There have been major problems in the past," said Richard Cox of
Spamhaus, a not-for-profit organisation of IT professionals that
tracks spammers and publishes free real time databases of offending
addresses used by many big businesses and ISPS.
"Spamhaus is certainly not seeing anything that would justify major
blocking, unless it is being targeted at one or two specific
The organisation uses a network of anonymous e-mail addresses to
"These are on most spammers lists so as soon as spam starts hitting
those traps we know its happening," he explained.
Spamhaus does not use services such as hotmail, Yahoo or AOL for their
spam traps so if these alone were being targeted they would not appear
on the Spamhaus radar.
Mr Cox speculated that the problem could be the result of a technical
failure at Tiscali, something the ISP denies.
Tiscali advises customers sending important mail to use an alternative
free email service.
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