This morning it was brought to our attention that no external mail was reaching us (UCT) and instead was bouncing back to its senders with the message of the UCT mail server being blacklisted. Obviously this meant that the guys at UCTs main IT support department needed to spring into action (mainly to avoid being blamed for the problem like they always do whenever something goes wrong). Well at least this time is appears that it wasnt their fault. In fact, it appears that the problem doesn’t even lie with UCT’s servers for a change.
Thank you hackers for once again making the ordinary mans life more difficult than what it should be :(
This is the notice message that was sent out:
What has happened?
Companies around the world subscribe to spam blocking lists to reduce the amount of spam entering their organisations. – These spam blocking lists show known spammers. – Companies who subscribe to the spam block list will then prevent the delivery of mail if it comes from one of the known spammers shown on the block list.
However, one of the well-known spam block lists has been compromised (hacked) and a number of major email service providers have been falsely added to the spam block list. – These service providers include for example, mweb.co.za, is.co.za, wits.ac.za, vodamail.co.za, absamail.co.za, hotmail.com, gmail.com, yahoo.com. – This means that mail being sent from those service providers is being bounced as potential spam, even though the majority of the mail is not in fact spam. – This is affecting mail delivery world wide.
The problem is NOT caused by UCT, nor can UCT do anything to correct the problem.
What is ICTS or UCT doing about getting mail into the organisation?
In order to accept as much legitimate mail as possible, we have reduced the spam security on our email system. Unfortunately, this will inevitably cause more spam to be accepted as well. – It also increases our vulnerability to attack by malware that can now enter the organisation. – Please make sure that you follow the normal safety guidelines about opening mail and attachments. – (See: “Protect yourself from Phishing attempts” on the ICTS website homepage (www.icts.uct.ac.za) for tips on what to look out for.)