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Hit You Where It Hurts

Having your email program hit with a denial of service is certainly an inconvenience you would prefer not to deal with. However, when your company or ISP is hit with a denial of service, the effects can be serious. Instead of being an inconvenience for a single user, a company-wide attack can have direct financial effects and interrupt the email access of hundreds or thousands of users.

Case Study 10-6

Kathy was between a rock and a hard place. The team she managed was responsible for the company Web site and email servers. Today email was on the top of everyone's list of problems. The email servers had been down all day, and Kathy's team didn't know when they would be back up. For that matter, they weren't sure why the servers were down in the first place.

Finally, a technician reported that a series of emails with errors in the headers had been sent to the company. When the email servers hit the header errors, they crashed.

The solution was to upgrade the email server software to a newer version that could deal with error conditions more gracefully. However, the upgrade would require a lot of testing and effort to make sure no new problems were created. Kathy realized that her long day was just beginning.



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