Unethical Ernie Quick and HudsonValleyHost Get 131K IPs Blacklisted and Try To Sell Customers A $10

DomainBop

Dormant VPSB Pathogen
Spamhaus blacklisted over 131K ColoCrossing IPs this weekend for repeat offenses and Ernie Quick of Hudson Valley Host and Jon Biloh of ColoCrossing are trying to use the blacklisting as an opportunity to squeeze more money from customers for a $10 mail service add-on.  TL;DR Ernie just earned himself the title of unethical piece of lowlife shit for this attempt to squeeze more money from customers for something (ColoCrossing's long history of being a spam friendly host who rnts servers to criminals and spammers) that was not their fault.

Customers opens a ticket about their IPs being blacklisted and this is the response they get:

Quote said:
Hello ******,

Thank you for contacting Hudson Valley Host support. We understand you are having issues sending email due to the IPs being blacklisted. Hudson Valley Host has teamed up with MailChannels to offer high availability SMTP relay service. For only $10/ we can integrate MailChannels SMTP relay service with your WHM. All email will securely go through our MailChannels partner account ensuring the emails are received by the end user. MailChannels SMTP relay service also includes a powerful outbound spam filter.

You can read more about MailChannels SMTP relay service here:http://billing.hudsonvalleyhost.com/knowledgebase/10081/MailChannels-SMTP-Relay-Addon.html

Shall we go ahead and invoice you the $10.00 and add this to your server?
jbvbjb9.png 

Note to f*cktards Ernie Quick and Jon Biloh: FTC regulations require that your advertisements accurately describe the product that you're selling which means you need to mention in your ads that the product you're selling comes with blacklisted IP addresses...  You clowns should be offering the MailChannels relay service to customers for free as compensation for your inability to keep your IP space clean.

TL;DR for buyers: don't pay these f*ckwads $10 for something that is entirely their fault, demand a refund because the product you received wasn't as described in the advertisements.  
 
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Hxxx

Active Member
Calm down.

Some users might not find this offensive. Email service is important for some users, therefor since we all know spamhaus take their time to unlist, it makes sense that some users want to relay their mail services to a third party. Mandrill would be my choice.

I understand the need to troll and repeat the same drama over and over, at least be respectful unless... wait is this let?
 
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drmike

100% Tier-1 Gogent
Ethics, that word is a loaded gun... :)

As much as I've found CC to be toilet paper worthy, Ernie has been the solo act of decency over there.  

Now I am walking a loaded line here... Not going to win either side of a debate on the above as posed.

I don't find what he's (Ernie) doing there unethical.   I find it problematic that IPs get slapped for bad behavior like this and disclosures aren't in place and buyer beware warnings on goods (i.e. IPs subject to be blacklisted and break anything that refers to lists).  It's a merchanability warranty of sorts.  If FTC requires such, by all means let's recommend what they should append to things to be compliant :)

MailChannels I doubt they are making money off of.  I could be entirely wrong.  Model is so much mail flow for fixed piece of cash and whatever their folks use draws out of that pool and likely goes way up and above smacking more fees for them.  But man in the middle is a margin game in most businesses with some ROI or at least in the form of reduce headaches from angry customers.

As far as having a reliable mail mechanism that just works, I am on the fence about it.  Significant cost I'd think for provider to bulk license cover.  Definitely would push things up and out of low end pricing.

Honestly, many many folks don't use email these days... Many hosting don't send emails either.  I use to be blah about blocking SMTP traffic.  Now I think it's sane thing to do, with up front disclosures of course.

DISCLAIMER:  I HATE EMAIL and have reduced my use of it to things I must pick up from email. Meaning I only use it when someone says I sent this, or some account generated email from a vendor/provider/etc.
 

drmike

100% Tier-1 Gogent
... and yeah.. that's a lot of IPs tiger pawed for bad behavior... concerning....

Spam is becoming a secondary issue I think.  Guys are moving to more malicious and diverse non email approaches to scammy and spammy.  Good mix of that in there.
 

Munzy

Active Member
On a side note, I just added Ernie on skype due to some issues I have had at Bluevm after the CVPS acquisition. He worked quickly and resolved 3 years worth of issues in less then 10 minutes. It is very awesome to see someone actually taking time to fix issues from days past. 
 

HN-Matt

New Member
Verified Provider
you need to mention in your ads that the product you're selling comes with blacklisted IP addresses
Yeah, I remember buying a resold CC dedi last year (via VPS Dime) and ran into the same problem. Was not told in advance that the IPs were blacklisted. Apparently they were part of a larger blacklisted block that I had become 'caught in the crossfire' of. Emailed SpamHaus about it and no response. It was one of those situations where I would have never signed up had I known in advance that the IPs were blacklisted too. Oktay suggested I use a third party mailing service, Mail Gun or something, but I didn't want to have to put my clients through the hassle of suggesting the same to them. Eventually cancelled the server and only got a partial refund, I think, as I had wasted too much time trying to sort the problem myself. Great fun!

Same old same old, I guess.
 
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HN-Matt

New Member
Verified Provider
Honestly, many many folks don't use email these days... Many hosting don't send emails either.
*all of the WHMCS powered web hosts in the world suddenly turn off email simultaneously*
 

vpsadm

New Member
The intent of this message is to share what I have learned from my experience with MailChannels. 

TL;DR: MailChannels improves outbound email reliability, but it is far from a perfect solution. 

DETAILS:

I need reliable email. One reason I have not moved my shared hosting account to one of my VPSs is the fear that it might be swept up in a block of blacklisted IP addresses. I signed up with Arvixe several years ago, because they promised me that the dedicated IP address option would be used for both website and email. Most other shared hosting providers offer a dedicated IP address for website but force you to use the shared common mail server. With a shared common mail server, all it takes is one bad customer to blacklist email for all.

With our dedicated IP address at Arvixe, email was 100% reliable. Life was good. 

Just over a year ago, Arvixe started using MailChannels. Arvixe switched our account to the shared common email system and MailChannels without notification. (Yes, they continued to bill us for the dedicated IP address, even though they were no longer using it, until we noticed the change a few months later.) As I posted in the Arivxe thread, I am ready to dump Arvixe and find a better non-EIG shared hosting service that will meet my needs.

MailChannels is not a mail delivery panacea. Since the switch, a small number of our outbound email messages get lost without any kind of notification. It is random, and it is very difficult to catch when it happens. In most cases, the recipient does not know I sent a message that did not arrive. By the time I figure out that an outbound email message was lost, any record of it has already scrolled off Arvixe's logs. Even when I catch them in time, the logs are not enlightening.

I live in the US. MailChannels is a Canadian company. Thus MailChannels is foreign-owned from the perspective of the US government, and who knows what the Canadian government expects for access to messages that transit MailChannels' servers? It is difficult to know the privacy implications of those issues, but it would be naive to assume that there are none.

-----

Here is the Arvixe thread, FYI only:
 
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HN-Matt

New Member
Verified Provider
@DomainBop I gotta say... if you're so quick to start blowing steam out of your ears when CC pulls a stunt like this, how come nary a peep re: Barracuda's ridiculous $20 whitelisting service?
 
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DomainBop

Dormant VPSB Pathogen
@DomainBop I gotta say... if you're so quick to start blowing steam out of your ears when CC pulls a stunt like this, how come nary a peep re: Barracuda's ridiculous $20 whitelisting service?
My bitching peeps about that conflict of interest known as EmailReg.org were way back in 2008-2009 when they launched their protection racket  whitelisting service.  Their free blacklist is very effective at keeping crap out of my company email boxes which is why I use it (along with Spamhaus and Spamcop) but some of their their business practices like running a blacklist and charging for a whitelist are questionable (although probably not as questionable as putting an undocumented backdoor in some of their hardware).

This year I'm trying to be nice to them because Barracuda needs all the cash they can get to pay for that $50 million stock buyback they announced a few days ago after their stock priced crashed... :p
 

HN-Matt

New Member
Verified Provider
I don't use any email blacklists. I like to filter/delete every single spamming '*@domain.com' one by one. It is an enjoyable workout and very relaxing, especially with all the new TLDs!
 

mpkossen

New Member
Note to f*cktards Ernie Quick and Jon Biloh: FTC regulations require that your advertisements accurately describe the product that you're selling which means you need to mention in your ads that the product you're selling comes with blacklisted IP addresses...
So, if I decided to start my own little blacklisting service and I would blacklist Provider X, you would call the FTC to inform them that Provider X isn't adhering to their "accurate advertisement" regulations?
 

DomainBop

Dormant VPSB Pathogen
Note to f*cktards Ernie Quick and Jon Biloh: FTC regulations require that your advertisements accurately describe the product that you're selling which means you need to mention in your ads that the product you're selling comes with blacklisted IP addresses...
So, if I decided to start my own little blacklisting service and I would blacklist Provider X, you would call the FTC to inform them that Provider X isn't adhering to their "accurate advertisement" regulations?
Ernie who advertised HVH, and his bosses at ColoCrossing knew last year that the majority of their IP addresses were blacklisted by most  major blacklists (not just "one little blacklisting service") and they knew that most email services would block their customers email and they didn't warn potential customers beforehand in their offers/ads because they knew that most people would be unlikely to signup for a flawed product (see Matt's quote a few posts ago "It was one of those situations where I would have never signed up had I known in advance that the IPs were blacklisted too"), so yes their failure to accurately describe a product which they knew was flawed was a violation of US consumer protection laws.  The majority of complaints CC/HVH received on WHT last year were also from people who were sold a "defective" product (server with blacklisted IP) and only learned about it after forking over their cash (and many of them were refused refunds by Ernie and Biloh when they complained about the blacklisted IP blocks)

FYI, for anyone who thinks CC & friends have cleaned up their act, not really, it was just rotated to the farm teams. A lot of the email spamming crap that was formerly on CC IPs was rotated to ServerMania IPs when CC did its little "look mommy we've cleaned up our act" routine to get back in Spamhaus' good graces.  Here is the latest little attack bot blocked tonight by one of my server firewalls (it was actually blocked by the firewalls of 4 different servers of mine that it tried to attack within a 10 minute span):

Time:    Fri Oct  9 00:54:41 2015 +0200IP:      192.241.97.250 (US/United States/-)Hits:    11Blocked: Permanent Block

Buffalo IP registered to ServerMania which is single homed to ColoCrossing...IP already on several SBLs because (quoting the CBL listing for the IP):

Quote said:
This IP address is infected with, or is NATting for a machine infected with Glupteba.

Glupteba is a malicious software (malware) program used to generate revenue for cybercriminals by using BlackHat SEO poisoning technique and committing click fraud.

The infection was detected by observing this IP address attempting to contact a Glupteba Command and Control server (C&C), a central server used by the criminals to control with Glupteba infected computers (bots).
http://www.abuseat.org/lookup.cgi?ip=192.241.97.250 .ServerMania received the first SBL abuse complaints about that IP from various people starting on September 29th and 9 days later nothing has been done and the malware/bot is still active on that IP.
 
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drmike

100% Tier-1 Gogent
@DomainBop

The ServerMania dance isn't as clear as I'd like it to be.  I am one of the squad members who said watch the malicious shit customers shuffle over to SM.  They did and were seeing uptick over there for a long while... Not so much now.

Currently Spamhaus side there is:

SBL27269023.236.129.0/24servermania.com08-Oct-2015 13:46 GMTsnowshoe range shad02.gif 

SBL269978138.128.75.64/27servermania.com16-Sep-2015 16:59 GMTspam range (SECOND LISTING) shad02.gif 

SBL255933104.144.0.0/16servermania.com09-May-2015 17:42 GMTsnowshoe range - B2 Net Solutions Inc. / Servermania


Not earth shattering amount I'd expect. Continue thinking the spammers have moved mostly on or converted to other forms of bad behavior.

Time to check other lists I think for them.

Even CBL side, the usual suspects aren't anywhere on the top list:
http://www.abuseat.org/asn.html

Not getting soft on these guys... the game of whack-a-mole is either getting harder or they are rejecting more of these fools as customers or they have some other place to shuffle them to.
 
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HN-Matt

New Member
Verified Provider
Ernie who advertised HVH, and his bosses at ColoCrossing knew last year that the majority of their IP addresses were blacklisted by most  major blacklists (not just "one little blacklisting service") and they knew that most email services would block their customers email and they didn't warn potential customers beforehand in their offers/ads because they knew that most people would be unlikely to signup for a flawed product
Well I knew that too, for what it's worth. I 'simply' didn't imagine Oktay would sell me blacklisted IPs without telling me beforehand, lol. When I found out on my own after the fact and asked him about it, apparently he didn't have a single clean IP to his name at the time (for resold CC dedis at least, not other brands) because of SpamHaus's excessiveness.

I don't really care anymore, just think it was kinda sleazy salesmanship at best.
 
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