May 2017 in Spamtraps: ESPs

ESP mail seen in spamtraps, May 2017

ESP mail seen in spamtraps, May 2017

The percentage of ESP sent mail vs all mail seen in the spamtraps is 2.4%, up 50% from last month, but it is mostly explained by the amount of all mail being down nearly 30% from last month.

The Nordic (Finnish, Swedish, Danish, Norwegian) porn/dating spammers went to the Danish ESP MySMTP in April and stayed until the beginning of May, so they made #3 this month as I predicted. They went to Dyn when MySMTP terminated them, causing over 70% of Dyn’s contribution this month. Dyn termed them quickly, at which point they went to SendGrid and got out maybe a handful of mails before SendGrid’s automatic scripts terminated them. They were also on Mailgun at the same time as on MySMTP.

Bubbling under this month: Dyn (3%), AWeber (2.5%), IBM Marketing Cloud (2.2%). AWeber is only down in the charts because everybody else is up; the same problems stay month after month.

0 All others 39.9%
1 SendGrid 9.6% (3.7%)
2 SalesForce Marketing Cloud 8.5% ExactTarget Kohls (2.5%)
3 MySMTP 8.1% Nordic porn dating spammers (88%)
4 MailChimp 6.3% (5.7% Mandrill) (1.1%)
5 Experian 5.5% Walgreens (7.2%)
6 Constant Contact 4.6% Advisor Perspectives (48%)
7 Mailgun 4.3% Nordic porn dating spammers (66%)
8 Digital Metrics 4.1% Everything they send is the same garbage (100%)
9 Oracle Marketing Cloud 3.2% Responsys, Eloqua and RightNow Nordstrom (11%)
10 Amazon SES 3.1% (24%)

Here’s the “relative badness” graph.

Average amount of messages per separate customer of ESP, May 2017

Average amount of messages per separate customer of ESP, May 2017

Finally, the “top spamming customers” table.

1,, MySMTP Over 88% 7.2%
2 Mailgun 66% 2.9%
3 Advisor Perspectives Constant Contact 48% 2.2%
4 Dyn 70% 2.1%
5 Dick’s Sporting Goods, Inc. Epsilon 38% 0.7%

2 Responses to May 2017 in Spamtraps: ESPs

  1. Atro, thanks for showing us how some bad actors hop from one ESP to another. Should ESPs be strengthening their collaborative signup vetting, like what E-Hawk provides? I wonder what kind of E-Hawk scores these porn/dating spammers got when they tried to sign up? Did you hear whether any ESPs rejected them before they signed up or sent any mail whatsoever?

    • Thanks Paul.

      I definitely think it would be in the best interest of ESPs to share intelligence about bad senders. Perhaps it requires a neutral third party to do this; Spamhaus could be one, but they don’t get around to listing everybody who spams, and a fleeting Spamhaus listing that is removed when the spammer is terminated is no longer available to interested third parties.

      You probably know more about what is possible for an ESP, and for an American company (which most ESPs worth mentioning are, I think) in this respect. Would there be significant legal obstacles to companies sharing information on customers who have been ToSsed?

      I did not hear of anybody rejecting them offhand. SG did the best job with smart automation nipping this problem in the bud.

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