Blue Security Goes Under
Posted on May 18th, 2006 at 7:40 pm by Brandon Phillips
The anti-spam company Blue Security closed their doors yesterday. Just one week after a spammer launched a DDoS attack against them and began actively punishing members of the Blue Community through the misuse of the scrubbing tools which the company made available.
Although not surprising, it’s sad to see them shut down like this. Their plan was really sexy, but sadly it was flawed and this was just a matter of time. No one knows how suppression files and scrubbing tools can be misused more than LashBack. We watch that type of thing every single day.
You Should Sell Too Soon
Posted on May 16th, 2006 at 11:14 am by Brandon Phillips
I own a
small, attractive business and we’re presented with acquisition opportunities
from time-to-time. I’ve really stressed over
the fear of selling what I’ve created too early and kicking myself later down
the road. Recently a very successful
entrepreneur gave me some good advice. He said “you’ll sell you business too soon and then start something else. Then once that next business matures you
should sell that too soon also”.
of selling at the exact moment in time as it peaks in value isn’t healthy. Those that invest your vision and buy you out
should be given something which they can continue to grow and I shouldn’t be
bothered by that. It’s healthy process and
it rewards those that believed in you so maybe they’ll do it again the next
I hadn’t considered
this perspective and I must say it’s very comforting. Thanks M.K.
Posted on May 15th, 2006 at 5:23 pm by Brandon Phillips
For your enjoyment today we’re publicly releasing a couple of our LashBack wallpapers. To install click on image to download a full size version Once downloaded right click on the image and press "Set as Background". If you need further instructions, just forget it.
If you like these let me know and I’ll post more.
LashBack: Black LashBack:Red
Want to be a SPAM fighter, Really? (Part 1)
Posted on May 13th, 2006 at 3:27 pm by Brandon Phillips
lured in by an adrenaline pumping ad campaign or the idea of getting college
paid off has lured many unsuspecting citizens to enlist to
become part-time soldiers. Then all
of a sudden something unexpected happens and you’re asked to go to the
front line and fight a battle you never saw coming. Well, that’s
what happened to the nearly half million citizens that enlisted with the
Israeli anti-spam company, Blue Security earlier this month. According to Blue Security a
Russian outlaw spammer (who they say is in great distress over the
realization that Blue Security’s opt-out model is the one and only true
solution to spam) has misused the company’s unsubscribe scrubbing tools and is
sending "Blue Community" members tons more junk email. In
addition they attacked Blue Security servers with a Distributed Denial of
Service (DDoS) Attack which took down their corporate website last week.
here’s how it works; tools are provided to the outlaw spammer which allow them to
remove email addresses on their lists that match those addresses from people
who’ve registered with Blue Security. Then the outlaw spammer is left with a new send list which has
all the "Blue Community" email addresses removed. That’s supposed to be the end of it, but it’s
not. Now the outlaw
spammer takes his new list and compares it to the pre-scrub
list. What do you get? You get a list that contains the email
addresses of those in the "Blue Community" ready and waiting to be
misused. It is really no surprise anyone in the anti-spam industry
or Blue Security that their services ended up being misused. “It something we expected to happen” Said
Blue Security CEO Eran Aloni in regards to the email attack being sent to
his "Blue Community" who was hoping to see decrease the
amount of junk mail coming into their inboxes.
we have about a half million people who’ve just been called into active duty
with the Mossad to fight in the front lines of a SPAM war against an
outlaw ghost enemy that can disappear and reappear with no rules
or laws to abide by. Their are lots of
true SPAM Fighters out there who don’t mind fighting and to them this is a
welcome battle. I’ve been reading their
posts in all the blogs and listening to Eran motivate his troops for over a
claim that they have the enemy on the run, talk about their success, but I bet most of the half million people who
signed up with Blue Security were just trying to get less junk email and had no
intention of going to the front line. That’s enough talking for now scumbags! Pack up and head out!
Check out the CallingID toolbar
Posted on May 12th, 2006 at 12:17 pm by Brandon Phillips
I first started using a free toolbar service from a company called CallingID about 4 months ago and immediately felt as though I’d just stumbled upon something really great. The CallingID toolbar displays a verification and the complete contact details for owner of the domain your currently viewing. They’ve done a really great job assembling data from a kluge of various who-is registries to bring together a solid service to protect users from phishing, fraud and other bad things. In fact, I called my bank the other day to confirm those random deposits need to configure your Pay Pal account and the customer service rep I spoke was using the toolbar to help and suggested I do the same.
I’m writing about this today because CallingID has now begun using LashBack’s domain level unsubscribe reputation data to block those with the toolbar installed from submitting there unsubscribe request on a website which has a history of abusing those requests. This is a really exciting new way to protect consumers and we’re happy to be a part of it. Currently the CallingID toolbar used by over 100,000 clients and growing by 3,000 per day.
Download the latest version of the CallingID toolbar:http://www.callingid.com/version/callingid.exe
MAKING THE AD NETWORK, WORK.
Posted on May 3rd, 2006 at 3:16 pm by Brandon Phillips
Currently email acquisition or affiliate marketing in large fails to safely manage and enforce the consumers’ right to safely unsubscribe. The infrastructure required to safely and consistently transfer suppression lists from advertisers to Ad Networks and their third party list owns does not exist. As a result of this void in control and accountability in the acquisition space most major brand advertisers have chosen to avoid or discontinue email acquisition marketing efforts. Those remaining in this space, generally 2nd and 3rd tier advertisers are left continually fighting to avoid CAN-SPAM related issues, and other regulatory fog which might confuse their well intended marketing strategies are illegal as unwanted spam.
The acquisition model by its very nature marries advertisers with new consumers via 3rd party list owners and Ad Networks. The secure, timely and constant transfer of the advertisers suppression file between those third parties if fraught with logistically complex technical challenges. As a result consumer unsubscribe requests are often ignored or mishandled and with the Ad Network model playing such a critical role in the acquisition marketing model advertisers who rely on networks to drive traffic and revenues can’t simply choose to avoid using all Ad Networks without jeopardizing their ability to sustain the revenues required to remain viable.
In this current model Ad Networks and the advertisers and affiliates who continue to use them without implementing the proper controls will become increasingly burdened with legal obstacles as well as decreased deliverability.
LashBack has developed relationships with the worlds leading Ad Networks to implement the infrastructure required to bring accountability and control to the Ad Network model. This new breed Ad Network is referred to as a “SafeHarbor” Network. By utilizing emerging technologies to implement the controls required to insure suppression lists are safely and consistently transferred from the advertisers to third party list owners Ad Networks can insure compliance, increase deliverability and offer an environment which is safe for tier 1 brands.
Steps you can take today to be ready for tomorrow:
Implement the tools required to:
1) Monitor to insure your affiliates scrub against the suppression file before each send to prevent Failure-to-Honor CAN-SPAM violations
2) To prevent suppression list Abuse/Misuse networks must securely manage the distribution of suppression files by requiring affiliates to authenticate each time a suppression file is transferred and placing unique seed addresses on each affiliates suppression file
3) Networks need to pressure advertisers to only work with other Safe Harbor Networks and strictly avoid insecure networks.
4) Ad Networks need to monitor the reputation and association impact of all advertisers and affiliates within their network.
5) Contact lashback to get the tools you need to succeed