Phil Quesinberry

How I unraveled and solved an email subscription bombing attack in one-hour!

Do thousands of unsolicited subscription confirmation emails bombard you in your inbox? You may be experiencing an email bomb attack!

This morning, I received an email and an even more desperate voicemail from a new customer regarding what he called a “subscription bombing” attack.

I called the customer and asked him to forward six or seven emails so I could see what was going on. Sure enough, he had been signed up for thousands of email newsletters and was getting subscription confirmations and other weird emails from all over the world. When I spoke to him early this morning, he had already received over 1000 emails, and he could not work since his inbox was full and filling back up as fast as he could delete items.

Within 30 minutes, I had this customer’s MX records changed to a custom email server, and I set up a custom email filter to catch all garbage coming in. Now there were still a TON of emails that had been delivered. Still, in the next few hours, I blocked almost 1000 new emails from reaching the customer’s inbox. I created some custom rules for my proprietary email filtering service to help catch more emails originating from overseas.

Also, my new customer had set his domain provider to host his email. This was worrisome as many free email services bundled with other services from a domain provider are sometimes not very full-featured and be subject to data limits to the point where the account can be suspended.

The customer still uses the same service, but my custom email filter is now between the Internet and my new customer’s email inbox, which I monitor.

Are you having email issues yourself? I can set you up with a best-in-class email hosting provider and create a custom SPAM filtering solution to help manage all the traffic that is trying to land in your inbox!

Thanks to my friend Dana Stibolt at MacMedics, who referred this customer to me!

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