ACCC promotes global antispam campaign

Australian business has been invited to take part in an international antispam campaign dubbed Operation Secure Your Server.

The operation urges organisations to close open relays and proxies to avoid unwittingly sending spam. Spearheading the initiative is the Australian Competition and Consumers Commission (ACCC) which is the body charged with implementing Australia's antispam legislation that comes info force on April 11, 2004.

The ACCC chairman Graeme Samuel said Australia is working with 36 international agencies including the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) as part of the operation. To participate businesses should go to

Open relays and proxies are servers that allow any computer in the world to route e-mail of other organizations disguising the real origin of the e-mail.

Spammers often abuse these servers to flood the Internet with unwanted e-mail and Samuel said such tactics not only overload servers, but could "damage the reputation of a business if it appears they sent the spam".

Operation Secure Your Server provides business with inexpensive ways to protect their computer systems from misuse and the ACCC recommends companies consider the following questions to assess vulnerabilities:

* Does your proxy allow connections from untrusted networks such as the Internet?

* Are you using the most current version of your proxy software and hardware?

* Have you applied the latest patches or upgrades available?

* Are you using proper access controls for your server?

* Is someone regularly checking for unauthorised uses of your proxy server?

* Do you have and monitor an abuse@ e-mail account where people can report abuses of your proxy server?

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