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Six Days in June

June 11th, 2007  · stk

For the past few days, Randsco.com has suffered through a series of server problems, even accused of overloading the server! Read about our love of shared hosting companies

Shared Hosting Problems Beleaguer Randsco

It may very well be that we have outgrown any sort of shared hosting plan. We have grown weary of suffering through server problems, poor loading speeds, high server loads and sharing a server with 543 "who-knows-what-they're-up-to" others.

For six days in June, we waited for SiteGround.com (our shared hosting provider) to fix a server that was on the fritz. During those six days, our site was up and down more times than even Paris Hilton has experienced (well, maybe I'm exaggerating a tad, but you get the picture).

We monitor server loads and we witnessed loads in excess of 150% (how is that even possible)?

In desperation (and by using MSDOS FTP) we posted a warning to our main page - "Watch out! Slow loading site because of crappy shared server. Stay tuned for details."

At the end of the day, after a new server was obtained and Randsco.com (along with the other 543 other sites) moved to this fancy new, high-speed, better-than-sliced-bread server, we received an email saying that our site was using too many resources. :-/ Gee, were we somehow responsible for the greater-than 150% server load on the old server? I don't think so.

To our host's credit, they worked with us to optimize our website and we're hoping that our server woes are now behind us.

To read all about the sordid affair ... press continue ...

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Updated: 11-Jun-2007
Web View Count: 13901 viewsLast Web Update: 11-Jun-2007

April's Fools

May 24th, 2007  · stk

Randsco SPAM statistics for the month of April. SPAM-free record blemished by a single SPAM message. Not bad, considering how many were turned away! When will these SPAM fools learn? Randsco has a zero-SPAM policy and wide open commenting. Take your SPAM elsewhere.

A Month of Mirth, Courtesy of SPAM Fools

April marks our second month of public SPAM reporting. In our first report, we revealed that 17,209 SPAM attempts were made on the website, during March, and that ZERO were successful. We also posted a nifty excel graph that reveals some insight about how the SPAM attempts are made. (Many one-off SPAM attempts are made using disposable IP addresses and there's a pesky bunch that keep on trying, over and over, using the same IP address).

How does April compare?

Suffice it to say that Randsco staff are laughing at the SPAM fools who attempted to SPAM the website, during April! In this month's report, appropriately titled "April's Fools", we reveal how foolishly persistent a couple of our favorite SPAM fools can be. No graphs, this month, but we do reveal the IP addresses of the top SPAM fools, so that you can be sure to add them to your own list of SPAM fools that you don't want around your website. (We recommend a dose of htaccess and a fat 403 forbidden message for these top SPAM fools).

And without further ado, on with the April's Fool show...

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Updated: 1-Jul-2007
Web View Count: 14537 viewsLast Web Update: 1-Jul-2007

March Madness

April 18th, 2007  · stk

Blog SPAM is a pain. Our stats for March: 17,209 attempts from 6,001 unique IP addresses. ZERO successful. Our comments are open to anyone, we allow links, no CAPTCHA, no htaccess black-lists, no moderation. We're here to say that having wide-open commenting and a SPAM-free site is NOT an oxymoron. Find out more

"Wash that SPAM Right Outta Yer Blog"

It rained a lot, on Vancouver Island, in March. It rained on our web site too, as we logged 1.5 million hits and over 200 thousand page views, during the month. That's a lot of visitors!

Not all visitors are interested in the articles we write, our lives or the pictures posted. Many try to redirect visitor traffic to another website or collect 'inbound' links so that their website-of-choice rises higher in search engine rankings (appearing more "popular"). Yes, we're talking about spammers. That lovely breed of individual who leeches bandwidth, clogs blogs with unwanted and sometimes offensive material - porn, pills, sex, easy loans, penis enlargement promises, weight loss wonders, work at home offers, get rich schemes, easy college degrees - it runs the gamut.

March marks the first time that we've decided to share our SPAM statistics. Read on for more spammy details ...

 

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Updated: 6-May-2007
Web View Count: 15309 viewsLast Web Update: 6-May-2007
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Site News

Writing an SPF Record

February 7th, 2007  · stk

Spammers are forging sender email addresses to make it look like their SPAM comes from our domain! ACK!! SPF to the rescue! Learn what it is, how it works & how to write your own SPF record.

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A Case for SPF Records

Nearly a month ago, we reported that our Randsco domain had been hijacked by spammers. They were sending their SPAM email, around the world, using bogus sender addresses from randsco.com. To anyone receiving the SPAM, it would look like it was coming "From: randsco.com"! 88|

The cure for this was to add a Sender Policy Framework (SPF) record to our DNS. For mail servers that check, the SPF record tells them if the email is really from randsco.com or not. Spammers will quickly learn that their "From: Whoever<at>randsco.com" emails won't get through and quit trying to forge the randsco.com domain.

Every domain owner should publish an SPF record.

If you own a domain, you should publish an SPF record. Even if you never send email from that domain, spammers can hijack it, which may result in your site being blacklisted and it also erodes people's confidence in the email medium.

Publishing an SPF record is easy. Knowing what the SPF record should contain can be confusing, depending on your email situation. Here is what I learned in publishing ours. Hopefully, it will be of value to you.

To learn about how SPF works and how to publish your own, read on ...

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Updated: 3-Jun-2008
Web View Count: 122668 viewsLast Web Update: 3-Jun-2008
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Randsco Hijacked

January 11th, 2007  · stk

Would you like spammers using your domain for their activities? If it happened to randsco.com, it can happen to you. Find out more ...

Been spammed by a randsco.com email address?

We apologize. A few days ago, spammers began using bogus randsco.com email addresses in the "From:" field of their spammy messages. We discovered it's easy for spammers to fake (or spoof) email addresses and that we're relatively powerless to stop it.

spam

Randsco.com does not condone SPAM. Quite the contrary. We make every effort to eliminate it - see here, here, here or here - for proof. We hate SPAM!

Unfortunately, there's very little one can actually do to stop spammers from making it look like their SPAM is coming from your domain. They just use a bogus email address, from your domain, in the "From:" portion of their spammy emails. It turns out, we're not completely defenseless, but the best apparent remedy requires the cooperation of every mail server, across the Internet.

How did I find out that spammers were spoofing randsco.com email addresses? Are spammers giving your domain a spammy reputation? What can you do to help stop these spammy attacks?

To find out ... read on ...

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Updated: 8-Feb-2007
Web View Count: 11029 viewsLast Web Update: 8-Feb-2007