USTX E-mail Problems
- From: Gregory A Greenman <see@xxxxxxxxx>
- Date: Wed, 25 Jan 2006 18:00:04 -0600
USTX runs on a computer on my home network, connected to the
Internet via a cable modem. The ISP is Comcast. Neither I nor
USTX use Comcast's mail servers. All outbound mail is relayed
through spencersoft.com's mail servers, which is hosted by a
Earlier today, I received the following e-mail from Comcast:
Subject: Comcast Policy Notice - Comcast has taken steps to
secure your broadband connection
Dear Comcast High-Speed Internet Customer,
We have determined that your computer has been used to transmit
unsolicited e-mail, an activity that is in violation of the
Comcast Terms of Service Agreement.
If you cannot account for this activity, the e-mail being sent
from your computer may be due to a virus, Trojan infection, or
other compromise to the security of your computer.
To prevent further transmission of these e-mail messages, we have
taken steps to secure your Internet connection by blocking
outgoing communication on TCP port 25 from your cable modem. This
will prevent your system from sending unsolicited e-mail to
remote computers. It will not disable any other Internet
communication and you will still have full Internet connectivity.
The security update has been applied to your cable modem, MAC
Address: xx:xx:xx:xx:xx:xx . When replying to this email, please
include xx:xx:xx:xx:xx:xx in your message.
Please note that web-based e-mail functionality, such as Comcast
Webmail through www.comcast.net will still work, but e-mail
programs such as Outlook, Outlook Express, Eudora, and Netscape
will be unable to send e-mail. If blocking outgoing
communication on TCP port 25 does not disrupt your Internet
experience, Comcast will keep this security feature applied to
your cable modem unless you request that it be removed.
Comcast strongly encourages that you take additional steps to
help secure your system by installing a firewall. Please note
that the block on port 25 cannot guarantee that your computer
will not be compromised in the future nor can it prevent current
viruses or Trojans from causing additional harm to your computer.
Please follow the steps outlined below if you wish to have this
1. Take action to secure your system. For assistance securing
your computer, please reference the Frequently Asked Questions
section of this message.
2. Reply to this e-mail. Include your cable modem MAC Address,
xx:xx:xx:xx:xx:xx , in order to ensure that your email is handled
in the quickest manner possible.
3. In your reply, please note what steps you've taken to
secure your system and what, if any, viruses, Trojans, and/or
Spyware you may have found.
Once Network Abuse has received your email, a removal of the
security update will take place.
Frequently Asked Questions:
What do I need to do?
o Disconnect your computer from the internet.
Please temporarily remove your computer from the Comcast Internet
service if you cannot immediately determine the cause of the
problem and correct it. This action will protect your computer
from being further compromised and protect the Comcast network
from receiving further complaints about your computer.
o Contact a computer professional for support.
Repairing a computer problem often involves editing or deleting
sensitive system files, therefore, we recommend contacting a
computer professional for support, such as your computer.s
manufacturer or a third-party computer technician.
o Use anti-virus software.
There are many software products that can be used to scan the
computer on a regular basis and clean any present viruses. One
free and simple product you can use now can be downloaded from:
Stinger is a one-time scan and clean utility. It is also
recommended to use a full version of anti-virus software. For it
to be as effective as possible, the software should be configured
to update itself on a regular basis and scan the entire contents
of your computer at least once a week.
Please note: Many viruses block or disable antivirus software,
making automatic detection and removal unlikely. We recommend not
relying solely on antivirus software to correct an existing virus
o Patch, update and configure software for security.
Make sure that any software running on your computer is not
accessible from the Internet. If this cannot be done, then we
recommend disabling or removing the software completely. Some
installed software maybe open to the Internet by default,
including newer operating systems such as Windows XP. We
recommend installing any patches or critical updates that the
software manufacturer may provide.
How do I prevent this from happening again?
o Set anti-virus software to automatically update.
Install an antivirus product and keep it up-to-date. Antivirus
software needs to be regularly informed of any new viruses that
have been released. Most antivirus software can be configured to
automatically update. If yours cannot, we recommend updating it
on a weekly basis. Any questions about this should be directed to
the antivirus vendor.
o Set automatic updates for Windows.
Running Windows Update will ensure that your system is fully up-
to-date. Microsoft will often release fixes to vulnerabilities
that are discovered. Windows Update can usually be configured to
automatically download and install updates by using the Automatic
Updates control panel. If this option is unavailable, we
recommend manually running Windows Update at least once a week
Any questions about this should be directed to your computer's
manufacturer or Microsoft.
o Install firewall software and/or a hardware router.
A firewall is a good tool for protecting your computer, because
it allows you to filter both incoming and outgoing traffic. When
used in combination with antivirus software and an updated
operating system your computer will be reasonably protected.
There is a certain amount of education that comes with running a
firewall, so please be sure to read any documentation that comes
with the product.
o Avoid spyware.
Spyware and browser hijacks are programs that run in the
background and perform certain activities. These activities
include numerous pop-up windows, changing your homepage, and
adding additional buttons to the browser. There are many good
programs available for finding and removing these issues. Like a
firewall, a spyware removal tool should be used in conjunction
with these other suggestions to minimize the chances of having
your computer compromised.
If you would like to speak to someone by telephone concerning the
steps we have taken with your modem, please call 856-317-7272 and
leave a voicemail with your name and contact information. The
Network Abuse and Policy Observance team will respond to all
voicemails within 24 hours.
Thank you for your time and consideration in this matter.
Comcast Network Abuse and Policy Observance
I have no idea why they've turned off port 25 for me. I am not
now and I have never been a spammer. My computers are not
infected with any viruses or spyware. The only mail sent from my
account is a limited amount of personal mail from both me and my
wife, a limited amount of non spam business mail from me, mail
from USTX and mail from my version of the openings list.
I have Norton Antivirus 2005 running on my computer and it has
never reported a problem. It does a full scan every Friday
morning. My wife has a corporate version of Norton running on her
computer. I had it do a full scan earlier today and it found
nothing. I downloaded the latest version of Spybot Search and
Destroy and ran it on both computers. It flagged a bunch of
cookies, but no actual spyware. The only other computer on my
system is the computer running USTX. It runs on Linux. Since the
only things it is used for are USTX and the openings list, I
don't see how it could be a problem.
I think they made a mistake (and I'm extremely annoyed that I'm
being accused of sending out spam without the accusers even
bothering to present me with some evidence), but just to be safe,
if anyone has any other suggestions that I should follow to make
sure my computers are safe, I'd appreciate it.
I've responded to their e-mail (using their crappy web based e-
mail system) and asked to have this block removed. Until it is,
USTX cannot send out mail. USTX is up and running normally
otherwise. It is receiving mail. I suggest that all GMs extend
deadlines in their games
Anyone that contacts me at my JK address or my personal address
should keep in mind that I cannot reply until this block is
greg00 -at- spencersoft -dot- com
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