Last week was the 22nd meeting of the Messaging Anti-Abuse Working Group (MAAWG). While I am prohibited from talking about specifics because of the closed door nature of the group, I can say I came out of the conference exhausted (as usual) and energized (perhaps not as usual).
The folks at MAAWG work hard and play even harder.
I came away from the conference feeling more optimistic about email than I have in quite a while. Not just that email is vital and vibrant but also that the bad guys may not be winning. Multiple sessions focused on botnet and crime mitigation. I was extremely impressed with some of the presenters and with the cooperation they’re getting from various private and public entities.
Overall, this conference helped me to believe that we can at least fight “the bad guys” to a draw.
I’m also impressed with the work the Sender SIG is doing to educate and inform the groups who send bulk commercial messages. With luck, the stack of documents currently being worked on will be published not long after the next MAAWG conference and I can point out all the good parts.
There are a couple specifics I can mention. One is the new list format being published by Spamhaus and SURBL to block phishing domains at the recursive resolver. I blogged about that last Thursday. The other bit is sharing a set of security resources Steve mentioned during his session.
If your organization is fighting with any messaging type abuse (email, social, etc), this is a great place to talk with people who are fighting the same sorts of behaviour. I do encourage everyone to consider joining MAAWG. Not only do you have access to some of the best minds in email, but you have the opportunit to participate in an organization actively making email, and other types of messaging, better for everyone.
(If you can’t sell the idea of a MAAWG membership to your management or you’re not sure if it’s right for you, the MAAWG directors are sometimes open to allowing people whose companies are considering joining MAAWG to attend a conference as a guest. You can contact them through the MAAWG website, or drop me a note and I’ll make sure you talk with the right folks.)
Plus, if you join before October, you can meet up with us in Paris.