Mobile // Mobile Applications
05:35 PM
Connect Directly

Google Ranked Third Worst Spam Provider

The problem Google, along with every other online service provider, faces is that online services that can be abused will be abused.

Google has been ranked the third worst spam service provider by Spamhaus, a nonprofit organization that tracks spam operations.

Spamhaus' current Top 10 Worse Spam Service ISP list includes a few other familiar names: 1); 2); 3); 4); 5); 6); 7); 8); 9); 10)

The anti-spam organization says that while all networks claim to be against spam, some look the other way to sell services to spammers and others choose not to close holes in their systems because doing so would be expensive.

"The majority of the world's service providers succeed in keeping spammers off their networks and work to maintain a positive anti-spam reputation, but their work is undermined daily by the few networks [that], out of corporate greed or mismanagement, choose to be part of the problem," Spamhaus explains on its Web site.

McColo, a recently defunct San Jose, Calif.-based Web hosting company, represents an organization that was once part of the problem. When Hurricane Electric cut off McColo's Internet service in November, spam volume on the Internet was cut in half.

As Spamhaus describes the situation, companies on its spam list are complicit by design, by parsimony, or by incompetence.

But Google doesn't really fit any of those descriptions. It has a capable anti-spam team and has been active in trying to keep spammers off of its services. It continues to invest in security and recognizes the need to close holes that are discovered. And it has policies designed to limit the abuse of its services by spammers and to encourage community policing.

The problem Google, along with every other online service provider, faces is that online services that can be abused will be abused. And usually it's the spammers and criminals who figure out how to abuse services before anyone else. Many of the infractions cited by Spamhaus, for example, involve Google services like Google Docs that are used to redirect visitors to malicious sites.

Google typically closes such holes, sooner or later. In fact, the company says that it has been in touch with Spamhaus and has been taking steps to remedy the issues raised by the organization.

"Spam is an issue for all Internet users, and we actively work to disable accounts that are found to be in violation of our product policies," a Google spokesperson said via e-mail. "As such, the relevant accounts indicated in this report have already been disabled."

And if creating new Google accounts weren't free and easy, that might be the end of it.

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
Building A Mobile Business Mindset
Building A Mobile Business Mindset
Among 688 respondents, 46% have deployed mobile apps, with an additional 24% planning to in the next year. Soon all apps will look like mobile apps – and it's past time for those with no plans to get cracking.
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
White Papers
Current Issue
Top IT Trends to Watch in Financial Services
IT pros at banks, investment houses, insurance companies, and other financial services organizations are focused on a range of issues, from peer-to-peer lending to cybersecurity to performance, agility, and compliance. It all matters.
Twitter Feed
InformationWeek Radio
Archived InformationWeek Radio
Join us for a roundup of the top stories on for the week of October 9, 2016. We'll be talking with the editors and correspondents who brought you the top stories of the week to get the "story behind the story."
Sponsored Live Streaming Video
Everything You've Been Told About Mobility Is Wrong
Attend this video symposium with Sean Wisdom, Global Director of Mobility Solutions, and learn about how you can harness powerful new products to mobilize your business potential.
Flash Poll