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BellSouth Sniffles

17 August 2004 09:26 UTC
US Internet service provider BellSouth are sniffing all outgoing SMTP mail traffic.

If you have a BellSouth account, try this little experiment:

  1. Navigate to one of your webmail accounts and log in.

  2. Send an empty message to this webmail account off your BellSouth SMTP connection (use the outgoing server BellSouth have given you - it should be mail.bellsouth.net) with no body (contents) whatsoever.

  3. Verify that this message in fact arrives at your webmail account.

  4. Now send a new message to your webmail account with the following body (contents):


  5. When you get tired of waiting for this new message to arrive, call your BellSouth representative to complain.

The PC Bug Doctor site is one of the sleaziest, stupidest attempts at hoodwinking 'AOL' users ever. If you visit this site you will see why.

What BellSouth evidently are doing is sniffing all outgoing SMTP mail traffic and looking for possible spam messages, using a list of likely URLs these spam messages will redirect readers to. If such a URL is found, the message is 'devoured' and no notification is sent to the sender.

This means that all your outgoing mail through BellSouth is being sniffed - it's being read - and this is only the first of perhaps many indications of exactly what is being read and what is being done with your mail at BellSouth.

BellSouth have been approached but refuse to comment.


BellSouth will also 'eat' mail with the following URL. In both cases the 'scheme' is necessary for the 'rocket science' filter at BellSouth to react.


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