Canada Drops Off the Spam Dirty Dozen

Good news today from Sophos as their quarterly report on the top 12 spam relaying countries did not include Canada.  This marks a major shift as Canada ranked as high as second only a couple of years ago.  While Sophos apparently attributes this to "the continued regulatory efforts as well as increased Internet safety vigilance by Canadian consumers," neither of those factors have much to do with it.  Instead, it is the practice of most large Canadian ISPs who now block Port 25 that has led to the dramatic reduction in outgoing spam.

While this is an important milestone, it is important to note that the Sophos list only tracks the source computers of spam, not the actual sources of the spam.  Canada remains home to several large spam groups that are likely sending their spam through other countries.  With many other countries implementing tough anti-spam legislation, Canada is in danger of landing on another dubious list – those Western countries without anti-spam legislation –  just as it exits the Sophos list.

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  1. Port 25 Blocking
    Unfortuately, the ISPs are blocking all port 25 access, and make no mention in their TOS, or their AUP. I had to go through the hassle of switching ISPs because they refused to provide the full internet access I was paying for (*cough* Primus *cough*). These companies need to update their TOS and AUP, and provide a mechanism for technically savvy users to access external-network mail servers.

  2. Internet Utility
    When Rogers started blocking port 25, I ended up having to send email via the Rogers SMTP server instead of the SMTP server at my webhost. It was annoying because I have never used any of those Rogers services (email, webhosting) I ended up having to call tech support to have my password reset so I could access their servers. The worst part is that although blocking port 25 stops spambots from sending email, it does nothing to actually help their customers whose computers have been compromised, nor does it help customers from getting compromised.

    The port blocking experience was annoying enough to get me thinking about ISPs. I decided that ISPs should start charging by the byte instead of selling “unlimited” packages. If anyone is interested I wrote an article with my ideas. You can access it here.

  3. Paul Godin says:

    It’s about leadership
    People need someone to lead and we need people of your knowledge to show the way.

    Thank you for doing the correct thing, that of guiding us all


  4. Sadly, the blocking of port 25 has turned into a potential stream of new revenue for Telus, who will with certain ‘business’ accounts allow port 25 access for mail usage. I think the monthly access is about double the price of their regular residental service.