Heads-up: AT&T apparently going to whitelist-only inbound mail


AT&T and a number of other large companies have seen a marked
increase in the amount of incoming SPAM in recent days. A team of
experts that includes members from AT&T Labs, Network Services,
and Corporate Security has implemented a number of procedures to
remediate this situation and minimize its impact on those trying
to send e-mail to "att.com" addresses.

As of this morning - Wednesday, October 22nd - the level of incoming
e-mail messages is returning to normal and the situation appears
to be well in hand. Although all AT&T e-mail servers are fully
operational at this time, some incoming messages are experiencing
intermittent delays as SPAM filtering continues at all network

Customers who received e-mail bulletins from AT&T Monday and Tuesday
requesting specific information are advised to disregard those
messages. They were inadvertently sent out in error and we apologize
for any confusion or inconvenience they may have caused.

Network reliability is one of our top priorities at AT&T, so for
obvious reasons we will not be providing more detailed information
regarding the specific security procedures implemented to curb this
SPAM attack. We have no intention of helping those who generate
this type of computer and Internet mischief.

That reminds me of the time the new head of security at Apollo announced that they were going to be saving money by turning off the power and locking the buildings on weekends. That afternoon on the way out there were fliers that sounded almost exactly like that paragraph. It was just a misunderstanding.

However, what AT&T was trying to do, however clumsily, isn't that different from what companies like AOL and MSN do, where certain IP addresses get red carpet treatment through the mail servers, while others are more closely examined. It doesn't surprise me that non-ISP companies are starting to look at the same kind of things.

See similar statements from other service providers such as Telstra (which
gave its subscribers a $25 million service credit) in Australia and
Sympatico in Canada.