September 17th, 2003

Avast ye bee-atchs!

GangstahPirate
fo'tiesbottles o' rum
bling blingbooty
Yo!Avast!
HomeyMatey
Bee-atchScurvey dog
WordArrrr
bust a cap in his assmake him walk the plank
JumpKeel haul
I've added more, but originally via boingboing via makinglight





The company that maintains some of the internet's plumbing has decided to make an unannounced change to increase their visibility and maybe evenutally generate some ad revenue. Their job is to take the name x.com or y.net and translate that to the numeric address that the computers actually understand (ie 127.34.121.23). This breaks a long-standing part of the internet and there is suspicion that they may also be harvesting email addresses. The good guys have announced a plan to work around this. If when you visit a bogus address you see the same thing as when you visit sitefinder.verisign.com you're seeing the problem. Its not much of a problem for web surfers, some consider it a feature, but it breaks lots of other systems, including some designed to reduce the ammount of spam.

But here is something that I don't understand. If the email harvesting concerns I've heard are real it doesn't seem to matter whether the address is valid or not. When I send an email to x@y.com it needs to be translated to x@123.4.5.6. Does the mailer pass verisign x@y.com or just y.com, and then add the x@ later? If it is sent, then even valid emails would be compromised. If its not sent than nothing is compromised. Does anyone know?