China updates list of blocked spam servers

The Internet Society of China (ISC) is not giving up on its efforts to fight spam. On Wednesday it released an updated list of servers to be blocked as sources of spam by its members.

The ISC’s third spam server list includes Internet Protocol (IP) addresses for 626 servers both inside China and abroad. As in earlier lists, the bulk of the servers, 558 of them, are outside China. The list identifies 68 in China, including six in Hong Kong. ISC members, including Chinese ISPs and companies, block access to the servers on the list in an attempt to stop the flow of spam.

The updated list of spam servers released by the ISC’s Anti-Spam E-Mail Coordination Team is the longest yet produced by the group, underscoring the size of the problem in China.

The ISC’s first list, released in September 2003, named 127 servers and the second, announced in December 2003, contained 27. ISC gives the operators of servers on the list one month to stop the flow of spam from their servers. If they comply, the servers are removed from the list. If not, the servers remain on the list.

Nine of the 27 servers named by ISC in December are also included in the most recent list.

Earlier this month, China’s public battle against spam was joined by the country’s Ministry of Public Security (MPS), which oversees the country’s police force and is believed to block access to Web sites that provide content that is deemed undesirable by authorities.

MPS aims to get Chinese server operators to tighten security holes that enable some servers to be used as spam relays. In addition, the ministry has pledged to pursue criminal investigations of spammers, according to an announcement carried on its Web site earlier this month.