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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2004

    One more reason to dislike AOL

    Hey everyone,

    Have any of your had experience with the new "no-tolerance" type AOL policy whereby if a virus is sent to one of their customers the email server where the virus originated from is blacklisted. Then when you try to send an email to an AOL customer you get back something about your server may be compromised.

    So now despite whether or not you run Linux you must now start running some type of antivirus scanner on your outgoing email to prevent win32 viruses from being sent to AOL.

    Also seems that after the first time they unblock you (by calling them and going through a process then waiting 48 hours for the block to lift) they will be harder on you if you are blocked again.

    This is especially bad for web hosting companies who host 100's if not 1000's of customers (any of which could get infected with a win32 virus which ends up sending itself via your servers).

    We are now using ClamAV I'm just wondering if anyone else is having a problem with all this? I understand AOL wants to protect it's customers and all but It annoys me to think that Win32 viruses are now a Linux issue as well. How hard is it for the end user to run Anti-virus considering their the ones running software at risk for the viri in the first place.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Bohemia, NY
    I haven't heard anything about this from AOL's feedback loop. Do you have a link? Technical Support

  3. #3
    Peter M. Abraham
    LinkedIn Profile

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Saint Paul, MN
    Our policy has been, and remains, that virii, even virii as email attachments, aren't an email issue per se. I also personally think that people should accept responsibility for keeping their own machines secure and infection-free, and not blindly put faith in their ISP or service provider. AOL obviously disagrees.

    On one hand, given AOL's bottom-of-the-barrel (in every sense) target market for users, expecting them to install and update their own virus scanners is pretty laughable. On the other hand, considering how much completely useless crap AOL permenantly installs on customers' computers, tossing in an antivirus app that auto-updates would seem strangely logical and sensible. - offering amazingly competent email, dns, and web hosting since 2002... because someone has to!
    Because Simple Things Should Be Simple - YouCANHasDNS

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    I have to disagree. Just like people who arent savvy enough to lock down their computers help spread malware (what exactly is virii?), Admins who dont think spread of email based malware is there problem are part of the problem.

    When i was consulting I set up a system to do nothing but filter mail. Of my clients who used that system, none of them got any of the viruses of the time (kournakova probably being the biggest at the time that I remember) Of the ones who did not, most of them did get it because guess what, no virus definition for a new virus. Guess which group were overall happier? So yes, it was a little more time trouble and work for me, but very worth the end result. Though I didnt blacklist the servers the mail was coming from, if those are the measures it takes to get admins up to snuff, so much the better.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2001
    I feel bad for you, I mean, why should you install virus-scanners on your server? I don't want to kill virii and I dont want to see you zapping them either. Virii are living things, and virus scanners are immoral.

    The above was sarcastic.

    I applaud AOL for taking such steps - EVERY ISP should do everything possible to ENSURE that no virus is sent from their servers and that their customers are not transmitting virii. You and I may know enough about computers to avoid getting scammed into opening Virii, or to protect our computers from Virii which automatically will infect your computer just for being connected to the internet... but your mother or my mother may not be... and we, every ISP, should be doing EVERYTHING possible to stop the flow of virii and phishing attacks.
    Avi Brender
    Reliable Web Hosting by Elite Hosts, Inc
    CPANEL Reseller Hosting - Fantastico - Rvskins - ClientExec

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    I still want to know what 'virii' are...

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Lake Arrowhead, CA
    Originally posted by Tekerz
    any of which could get infected with a win32 virus which ends up sending itself via your servers
    You said the key words yourself: via your servers. As far as general internet welfare is concerned, this issue is very much like spam. Just because it doesn't originate from your system doesn't mean you are absolved of it. If you run a publicy accessible mail server and facilitate virus transmission due to lax administration, then you are part of the problem. Since highly functional anti-virus scanners have been readily (and freely) available for all well known MTAs for years, there is no reason not to expect competent administrators to utilize them. While I'd agree that AOL has some poorly planned "no tolerance" policies in some areas, this isn't one of them. The fact that you were apparently able to be removed from their black-list more than once says a lot for them.

    Yes, the burden of protecting one's own system should fall squarly on the end user, however when the safety and usability of the entire net is at stake (viruses sent through your server infect your customer's systems, which then spam everyone), I think everyone from home user to mail server administrator has a responsibility to control (to practical and non-invasive extents) what passes through their own systems.

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