[nycbug-talk] Running a mail server on Amazon EC2

Chris Snyder chsnyder at gmail.com
Mon Nov 1 08:26:31 EDT 2010

On Sun, Oct 31, 2010 at 11:58 PM, Siraaj Khandkar <siraaj at khandkar.net> wrote:
> Hello Gentlemen,
> Have any of you ever run a mail server on Amazon's EC2? If so, did you experience any problems due to blacklisting of EC2 addresses?
> I'm thinking about moving a couple of mail servers from another VPS host to EC2. Wikipedia, as well some other posts I've read, state that spam and malware distribution from EC2 address has been common enough that their entire IP pools are being blacklisted.
> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amazon_EC2#Abuse
> Any thoughts?
> Thanks!
> -- Siraaj Khandkar

Not a surprise. And how could Amazon combat it, really? Spammers can
set up and tear down ec2 e-blasters at will, automatically.

If they draw their "Elastic IP Addresses" from a different block than
the dynamically assigned ones, you might be okay with one of them. But
even those are trivially easy to assign and deassign, and those blocks
will be poisoned by spammers someday if they aren't already.

One could argue that blacklisting IPs is ridiculous in the age of the
cloud. One could also argue that as IPv4 addresses become scarce, the
value of email-friendly addresses will increase at a more rapid rate
than the value of regular ones, so there is potentially a market force
in favor of blacklisting.

Actually, I'm surprised that Amazon hasn't found the opportunity
hidden in this problem: they could rent you a spam free ip address at
a premium over the cost of one of their elastic ips. Or provide the
Amazon Guaranteed SMTP Relay at $0.003 per message sent. To the best
of my knowledge they do not.

Chris Snyder

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