From Good to Great: Elevating Our Outbound Spam Detection

In the rapidly changing world of tech, being reactive is no longer an option; proactiveness is the game-changer. For us, this involves consistent reinvention. Recently, we took a close look at our outbound spam detection feature and worked hard to make it even stronger. 

The Initial Release: Hopes & Realities

When we released the first version of our outbound spam detection module, we had specific expectations: it should identify suspicious email-sending batches, pinpoint the domains from where they were sent, provide protection against these domains, and block harmful automated email requests when protection was activated. On these fronts, the system delivered impressively.

However, due to the functioning of the system's other modules, blocked incidents weren't logged into the system. This meant that the IPs from where the malicious requests originated weren't added to a challenge list. Consequently, if the protection was turned off, they could go right back to spamming.

Adapting to Challenges

In response to this oversight, we made several changes. This week, we're proud to announce that these issues have been addressed. On servers with the updated BitNinja agent, activating spam protection for a domain will not only block malicious email sendings but also log the incident and add the calling IP to the challenge list. These modifications ensure:

- IPs remain blocked even if protection is deactivated unless they are put on allow list.

- IPs attempting malicious activities across multiple servers will be globally challenged.

- A clear trace can help determine the script being used for the email sending, revealing whether it's a result of unknown malware or unprotected website modules/components (like contact forms, comment forms, forum engines, etc.).

Our initial analysis of the blocked incidents revealed no malware yet, but only exploitable website modules/components. Interestingly, none of the blocked IPs have been cleared yet, but they persist in their email-sending attempts - thankfully, now to no avail. Therefore, if there's even a hint of suspicion that spam emails are being sent from our servers, it's worth activating spam protection temporarily and examining the ensuing incidents.

We're still in the process of evaluating these initial findings to understand the methods spammers employ and to detect any new email-sending malware.

Be proactive and activate our updated Spam Detection module!
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The Way Forward

We hope more of you will use our improved spam shield. And if you haven't yet, consider turning on the WAF module. This will provide us with more data to further refine and perfect our spam detection operations.

We currently examine email sendings on servers solely based on EXIM log analyses on potential future developments. Hence, we lack data for our spam protection function on servers where outgoing emails don't get logged into EXIM. However, should we identify a demand, extending this capability seems feasible.

In conclusion, at BitNinja, while we recognize the complexities and challenges the digital landscape throws at us, our primary commitment remains unwavering - to adapt, evolve, and provide the best protection for our users.

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