Tales and thoughts from the founder of NormSoft (maker of Pocket Tunes), working and living in St. Croix, USVI

Thursday, March 10, 2005

Hotels.com Cracked

I just got an email from hotels.com about a recent hotel I booked to North Carolina.  I'm not going to North Carolina!  I called them up, and they confirmed that someone actually placed a reservation on my hotels.com account!  They flagged my account as fraudulent and disabled it.  They weren't super helpful, but they did confirm that the person did not use my credit card to reserve the account.  Very strange...

As many of you know, I'm super vigilant about security (see CryptInfo).  So I can't imagine anything that was my fault that would have leaked my account information.  I recommend avoiding hotels.com; they either have poor security or flaws in their system that allow other people to place reservations with your account.

Thursday, March 03, 2005

Another Case Against Blacklists

This was just too good to pass up.  Our customer support person just received this bounce and sent it to me for diagnostics:

From: MAILER-DAEMON@mail01h.rapidsite.net
Date: 4 Mar 2005 03:57:51 -0000
To: yyy@zzz.com
Subject: failure notice

Hi. This is the qmail-send program at mail01h.rapidsite.net.
I'm afraid I wasn't able to deliver your message to the following addresses.
This is a permanent error; I've given up. Sorry it didn't work out. does not like recipient.
Remote host said: 550 5.2.1 Mailbox unavailable. Your IP address is blacklisted using SPAMCOP. Details: Blocked - see http://www.spamcop.net/bl.shtml?
Giving up on

So, if you'll follow me here: is blacklisted.  That IP address is mail01h.rapidsite.net.  But that's the mail server that's receiving the email (and relaying it to someone else - presumably one of the ISP's customers).  So it's refusing to deliver mail because it is blacklisted, itself!