We wanted to give all our shared hosting customers a notice that mail servers at Own Web Now Corp will be undergoing and update tonight, Tuesday, November 28, 2006. The maintenance window is scheduled for 07:00 – 08:00 GMT. This translates to 2–3AM EST, 11PM-Midnight PST, 6–7PM Syndey, Australia. This maintenance window is scheduled to occur during the off peak hours where our network experiences the least amount of traffic. Having said all that you should not experience any outages or any downtime.
- Brand new load balancing infrastructure
- Additional global replication servers for archiving
- Additional webmail options for mobile workers
- Optimization of the mobility components to allow Windows Mobile 5 users to recive similar Push Mail technology via our POP3 servers
- Upgrades to antivirus and antispam infrastructure
Two important notes: This maintenance window does not affect ExchangeDefender customers.You will not experience any downtime. Your users will not see any changes to the interfaces they are currently used to.
Update: Tuesday, November 28, 2006 – 2PM GMT – The upgrades to our hosted mail server network have been completed. No downtime our outages to report. Everything went a according to plan and performance is within expected parameters. We are continuing to monitor the changes and stand by to respond to any unforseen problems. So far there are none to report but if they are they will be announced on this blog.
Spam wars tend to evolve over time. Initially, SPAM looked just like the offers you still find in your fax machine – direct, informative, actionable. You’re almost pushed to buy something with countless incentives, promotions and reinforcement of just what a great deal you’re getting. We eliminated a bulk of this years ago through use of Bayesian analysis, or text patterns, found in the SPAM messages. Notice how when you get a spam you can tell within seconds that it is garbage just by glancing at its formatting?
The second evolution of SPAM was when it became convenient to make a purchase. No longer were you sold and promoted to but just asked to click on a link and proceed to buy that latest watch or drug. We eliminated those easily through the use of URIBL, specific blacklists of URL (web site addresses) and additional HTML analysis.
The latest evolution of SPAM has been the most difficult to isolate by far. You’ve seen dozens of these in your inbox nearly every day: Image SPAM. The email is very easy to characterize, it has a big gif or jpeg image followed by paragraphs of garbage text. At first, there was just an image – which contained text that used to be a part of the SPAM you’ve been receiving for years. Except because it was stored in an image it bypassed all SPAM filters. Fine, we easily discarded messages that contained no text. Then spammers started adding text. No problem, we eliminated them by calculating the ratio of the screen being taken up by text vs. image. Think about how often you get an email message that starts with an image that takes up most of your screen? Easy solution. Following the natural evolution of the spam war, image spam became harder and harder to detect.
We have finally come up with a set of solutions that effectively eliminates nearly all known strains of Image SPAM:
- All inline JPG and GIF images are OCR’ed. By using optical character recognition we can convert the image into plain text and determine whether it is SPAM or not.
- Parsing JPG and GIF image info. Each picture has series of image attributes, such as the Camera maker, model, F-Stop, Max aperture and so on. Dynamically generated image spam does not.
- Finally, we have spent the past month developing an image footprint database.
Image footprint database is something exclusive to ExchangeDefender. We strip known SPAM messages from our honeypot (public email addresses that only exist to collect SPAM) and store the known images in spam into a database. We then run analysis on them and compare all new incoming messages against the known samples of SPAM.
OCRing images is very expensive in terms of processor cycles and as expensive as it is for us to analyze each incoming message it is even more expensive for the spammers to create these images for each SPAM they send out. They create a single SPAM message that is then broadcast millions of times – and we’re ready for it!
So thank you for your continuing support of ExchangeDefender and as always, we’ll keep your mailbox clean for you.
For well over a year we have been beta testing Microsoft’s next operating system – Microsoft Vista. At first we did not like what was on the table and we lost many computers scratching our head, wondering just what this new OS is going to do for us. Year later, we’re very excited about what is coming out and want to give you the opportunity to try out Vista and Office on your own turf.
Starting December 1, 2006 we start shipping 1000 PC’s with the latest release candidate of Microsoft Vista Ultimate Edition with Microsoft Office 2007 Beta 2 Technical Refresh to our managed sites. Here is what’s coming:
Intel Pentium D 930 (Dual Core) 3.0 GHz LGA 755 Processor
2 GB DDR2 SDRAM Desktop Memory
2x 80 SATA II Western Digital Hard Drive
Storage Fault Tollerance (RAID 1 / Mirror)
NVIDIA GeForce 6200 128MB DDR Video Card
NVIDIA nForce 590 & Marvell Gigabit NIC
7.1 Surround Sound
USB, USB 2.0 & Firewire Connections
These workstations will be fully supported by Own Web Now Corp free of charge to give you an idea of what the new OS can do for your company. You will have them in your office for 6 months to try out your line of business applications, experience the productivity benefits of the new Office and Vista first hand and get the support from a team that has been running it for over a year.
The cost? Free. If you’re on our managed services plan, you’re getting one! Yes, really. There is no catch, no gotcha, no naming your first-born Vlad. As a part of our Vista launch we’re sending all our managed site clients a free PC for six months to experience Vista/Office combo because we know that once you try it, you’ll love it. Six months later the software will expire and we can talk about the best way to implement Vista, Longhorn and Office to work for your business.
One of the most common Exchange questions we get is “How do I export all the SMTP addresses on my Exchange server?”
First of all, SMTP addresses are part of the User object in the Microsoft Active Directory. Active Directory is an LDAP-based database and by using LDIF (LDAP Data Interexchange Format) you can run queries against this database. You can use ldifde to accomplish this.
The following ldifde syntax will export the proxyaddress list for each user object in the directory on the server SERVERNAME.DOMAIN.TLD:
ldifde -f C:\DATA.ldf -s SERVERNAME -d “dc=DOMAIN,dc=TLD” -p subtree -r “(objectClass=user)” -l “cn,proxyaddresses”
The data is then dumped in C:\DATA.ldf. But suppose your server name was SBSBOX.MYDOMAIN.LOCAL. The syntax changes to:
ldifde -f C:\DATA.ldf -s sbsbox -d “dc=mydomain,dc=local” -p subtree -r “(objectClass=user)” -l “cn,proxyaddresses”
If you open it up with notepad you’ll see a number of entries in this file:
proxyAddresses: X400:c=US;a= ;p=MYDOMAIN;o=Exchange;s=Administrator;
Nothing very private in here, just the display name and a few containers along with the proxyAddresses. Now another interesting bit – notice how there are both SMTP and smtp addresses here? What is the difference you may wonder? SMTP is the default SMTP address and smtp are the additional addresses and aliases.
The process is quick and convenient but unfortunately it does not export proxyAddress attributes from other objects such as distribution lists and public folders. For that you can use a third party script, such as this one that our friend emailed over. Simple vbScript that will create a list of users and addresses in C:\EmailAddresses.txt.
Pick your way but as you can tell, exporting SMTP addresses in Exchange is a piece of cake.