Stop the Bleeding
The first priority was to restore order to our failing email systems. The biggest threat was from the
directory harvest attacks that delivered no real email, but simply used high speed probes to test for the
existence of MILLIONS of combinations of email addresses in password cracking style. Several options
already existed, but none of them really helped. If we reported that ALL email addresses existed
(Microsoft's recommendation), it only served to invite a flood of non-deliverable spam later. Tar-pitting
schemes (most popular in the UNIX world) didn't reduce the load, but instead created a snowball effect.
Many software packages were reviewed and all fell short of the task.
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