Alphabet attacks

Following my last post which was on security I was sat in the Timico NOC today and interestingly watched a SPAM attack in progress.

It was an alphabet attack. This is one where someone’s email server is compromised and used to send out SPAM by rotating through the alphabet for email addresses (eg [email protected] – the SPAM algorithm works its way through every combination of alphabetical variants. In this case it was targetting Italian .it addresses.

Our network monitoring picked it up and we immediately blacklisted/shut down access to that Exchange mail server. We also contacted the customer to let him know and so that he could take remedial action and remove the offending SPAM.

Apart from being interesting to watch it in action, a bit like standing on the edge of a battlefield watching the fighting, it again highlighted the need to have secure passwords. In this case we tried accessing the offending server and were able to log on using a simple admin/password combination of credentials.

When I started this blog I didn’t think that security would become such a mainstream subject but I was wrong

Published by Trefor Davies

Liver of life, father of four, CTO of trefor.net, writer, poet, philosopherontap.com

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