Increased technology usage and digitization of the economy has escalated cyber-attacks in India, and nearly 70% of Nifty 50 companies are vulnerable to hackers, reveals a PWC (PricewaterhouseCoopers) survey.
According to the report, out of the 50 companies studied, 34 (or 68 per cent) had identified vulnerabilities in at least one or more of their Internet-facing properties.
The PwC survey about transgressions in Indian cyberspace of these companies further said, 525 email addresses belonging to the 34 companies were compromised, providing hackers had access to those email addresses
Furthermore, 200 IP addresses belonging to the 34 companies were blacklisted by various ISPs, implying that the ISPs found these IPs to be involved in spreading malicious traffic on the Internet, sending spam emails, or acting as a botnet in large cyber-attacks, the report noted.
Sector wise, media and entertainment, automobiles, consumer goods and energy had the highest number of vulnerabilities.
What is IP blacklist?
You send legitimate emails all around the clock but few never reach their destination, they get blocked. It may happen that your email won’t get delivered to your customers if you are in the E-Mail black list, ISPs and corporate’s check against these blacklists to filter spam and unwanted E-mails
Blacklisted IP Database keeps track of your IP addresses and also notifies you whenever your IP address ends up in the black list. Most of the Internet Service Providers (ISPs) and Bandwidth providers subscribe to these Blacklist databases in order to filter out spam sent across their network or to their subscribers.
How does an IP land in Blacklist?
Domain Name System Blacklists are spam blocking lists that allow a website administrator to block messages from specific systems that have a history of sending spam. As their name implies, the lists are based on the Internet’s Domain Name System, which converts complicated, numerical IP address such as “66.171.xxx.xxx” into domain names like “example.net”, making the lists much easier to read, use, and search. If the maintainer of a DNS Blacklist has in the past received spam of any kind from a specific domain name, that server would be “blacklisted” and all messages sent from it would be either flagged or rejected from all sites that use that specific list. In fact, almost all of today’s email servers support at least one Domain Name System Blacklists in order to reduce the amount incoming of junk E-mails. The three basic components that make up a DNS Blacklist – a domain name to host it under, a server to host that domain, and a list of addresses to publish to the list.
Figure: How email servers check blacklisted IP?
Reasons for IP Blacklisting
You E-Mail server IP address may get blacklisted due to the following reasons:
- You may have been listed maliciously through complaint of a client.
- You may have been listed maliciously by your competitor.
- Your IP is sending malicious traffic to the server.
- Your IP falls in the range of addresses that are suspected of spamming and already blacklisted.
- If you using the same IP that the already blacklisted spammer is using, you may also end up being black-listed.
- If your subject line or sender’s address does not give the impression of being legitimate.
- You by default or intentionally emailed recipients who opted out of your service.
- Sending out bulk mail to a large number of recipients.
- Sometimes Blacklist organization presumes that your IP or company is a potential spam sender. They then add every IP address in that network to their Blacklists. They do this regardless of whether spam has been sent from those ISPs.
Impacts of IP blocking
- When your IP is blacklisted you are not able to communicate over internet with the specific IP as the initiated communication will not be received by the receiver due to filtration.
- You can’t send or receive email due to IP blacklist.
- In an Organisation if your IP is blacklisted then it may negatively impact your market reputation.
- The reputation of an IP address gets hampered further leading to permanent blacklisting.
According to the report, transgressions in Indian cyberspace have more than doubled over the past year to 6,284 incidents per respondent. The average number of attacks in India is fast catching up with the global average of 6,853 incidents per respondent.
Tips to save your IP from getting blacklisted:
- Setup strong password policy to authenticate with servers.
- Set E-mail filter and DKIM for incoming and outgoing email to block spam mails.
- Configure blacklist filtration in your email server.
- Setting up Intrusion Detection System to detect malicious traffic.
- Use firewall to filter the IP address, malicious traffic and unauthorized access.
- Use antivirus to detect threat, to scan E-Mails, and detect viruses.
- Run your E-Mail through rigorous testing, including whether you’ve accidentally embedded a virus in it.
- Review your data: if you have an unexpected or disproportionate number of hard bounces to deliveries, then something’s fishy going on with your email.
- Always include an unsubscribe option in each and every E-Mail.
- Run your IP through blacklisting checkers to see if you’re already blacklisted.
- Avoid using these words and phrases in any part of your email (including subject line): free, porn, win, get rich quick, check cashing services, free (!), opportunity – these are flagged spam words.