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TSTT Anti-Spam Measures TSTT Anti-Spam Measures

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Posted 12 February 2009 - 12:02 PM

SPAM or unsolicited email is a universal problem that is getting worse
every day. At TSTT, like most responsible ISP's and companies we
subscribe to spam filtering software which screens incoming software to
remove SPAM. The way that this works is our antispam software gets lists
of the IP addresses of users suspected of generating the SPAM, and then
blocks that mail from going into our customers regular mailboxes, it may
go into a SPAM mailbox or just be dropped.

The problem that we have been having lately is that these SPAM checkers
have been noticing a large amount of SPAM coming from some TSTT
customers. They have warned us that this has to stop or they would put
all of TSTT's IP addresses on the list to block, which would mean that
other ISPs who subscribe to antispam software would block ALL mail
originated from a tstt.net.tt account, or for that matter any email
server at a company served by TSTT. This of course is a drastic step and
to counteract this TSTT had to make immediate moves to stop this.

There are several reasons why SPAM could be originating from TSTT
customers. The first and most likely one is that several of our
customers' PCs may have been affected by a virus, and may be sending out
these SPAM emails without the owners even knowing about it. These PCs
may also be spreading the virus to other PCs which are unprotected, so
that this would continue to escalate. The second reason is that there
may be malicious customers who are either doing it for "fun", or getting
paid to originate this SPAM.

Most individuals do not have mail servers in their homes or businesses,
and those that do need one, should have a special type of internet
address (IP Address) that caters for this, it is called a Static IP
address which never changes. The normal kind of customer uses a dynamic
address which is only theirs for the time that they are online for that
session. Then it is assigned randomly to someone else.

TSTT has had to immediately block non tstt.net.tt emails coming from dynamic addresses. If we did not do that then all of the mail originating from TSTT or its customers would have been added to the spammers list and blocked by thousands of email servers all over the world. This block does NOT affect the vast majority
of our customers. There are a limited number of cases where this could
have an effect and we are putting things in place to deal with these.

The cases are:

1. A company which may have an email server on a dynamic IP address.
The solution is to get a static IP address. This is the standard solution
throughout the world.

2. A company which is hosting mail outside of TSTT and uses an
email client to access that mail. In this case receiving email will not
be affected. If a web based client is used it will not be affected. If
however a SMTP client is used this will not work. There are two
solutions to this. You can contact TSTT at 824TSTT Option 5, suboption 2,
suboption 2. and we will discuss.

The solution is to

(i). Have the email server put on an allowed list,
(ii). If you are doing this from a company with many users, get
a static IP address, or
(iii) Change the port that is used for SMTP. This last one
is a little technical and will require the cooperation of your email
hosting company, it also may just be a temporary solution as if SPAM is found
to be coming from this address and port, it will be blocked.

3. A person who is using an email client with SMTP to send email from
an email host not with TSTT. The solution to this is to either use a
tstt.net.tt account to send email or solution 1 or 2 above.

Please note that any user using tstt.net.tt, google.com, hotmail,
yahoo.com or any web based email program will not be affected in any

TSTT had to do this in an emergency mode to avoid the drastic action
that was threatened by the anti spam organization. This current configuration
is the way that most responsible ISPs are operating and we will do what
is possible to help our customers to adjust to this.

Please call 824TSTT Option 5, suboption 2, suboption 2. for further help.

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