Hello Dark Horse Webmail Users,
As you may be aware, our DH Webmail service has been suffering from multiple distributed denial of service (DDOS) attacks over the past several months. Spammers have been sending literally millions of spam messages with spoofed headers that appear to be "From" our server. Some of you may have seen these bounce messages messages in your account, but the vast majority of the forged accounts do not exist. For example:
Spammers commonly use this tactic to divert attention from themselves or to retaliate against innocent third parties. This has been happening for quite some time now and is known as a "joe-job". If you're interested, a detailed explanation can be found here:
These attacks have caused problems for legitimate mail, have consumed an enormous amount of Internet bandwidth and have strained our administrative resources just to keep the service operational. Worst of all, these attacks have tarnished the Dark Horse brand by inundating millions of users with unsolicited mail from (what appeared to be) addresses administered by our company. We have received hundreds of emails and phone calls from people all over the world complaining about these messages and expressing their disappointment that we would be involved in such activities. Unfortunately, nothing could be further from the truth.
The most recent attacks (starting on May 25th and again on June 4th) have been the largest to date, with nearly 2 million messages PER DAY being "returned" to us from servers all over the world. This not only prevented legitimate mail from being delivered to our webmail users, but also overwhelmed our Internet connection and impacted our other business units, including Dark Horse corporate and the Things From Another World retail chain.
We've done our best to combat the spammers of the world for the past several years. Based on the magnitude of the spammers' activity over the past few weeks, we must have been doing something right... As much as we would like to continue this fight, it's now obvious that winning this battle (or just continuing to fight) would require far more resources than we have currently allocated to this free service.
So it is with a heavy heart that we are announcing the closure of the DH Webmail service, effective June 30th, 2006.
Due to the extremely high volume of traffic caused by these attacks, we have also been forced to reduce or entirely disable the receipt of incoming mail several times during the past two weeks. We realize this is a serious inconvenience, but please understand that we are acting out of self-preservation and had no other options. To that end, we will coordinate several windows of opportunity before the end of June to allow legitimate mail to be delivered, so any confirmation requests you may be processing for other websites are able to be confirmed. When incoming mail is functional, we will post an alert message just after the login page.
Transferring Your Mail To Another Service
To facilitate the migration of your mailboxes to other services, we have temporarily enabled both POP and IMAP service for all accounts. For those who know what to do with this information, here are the login instructions so you can get started right away. Example user email@example.com in Outlook Express:
display name: user1 at rebelspy
e-mail address: firstname.lastname@example.org
mail server type: IMAP
incoming mail server: mail.dhmail.net
outgoing mail server: mail.dhmail.net
account name: user1%rebelspy.net (yes, use a percentage instead of @)
If you need more help to migrate your mail elsewhere, don't worry. We will be sending more detailed instructions to your account within the next few days. You can get started now by changing any mailing lists you may be subscribed to over to your new mail account.
If this happens to be your only mail account, you will need to open a new account with another provider, like GMail, Yahoo Mail, MSN Hotmail, or any number of other free email services. If you would like to open a GMail account, please let us know and we'll send you an invite.
A few users have written to us asking if there is anything they can do to help or to thank us for all the years of free service with these cool domains. There is actually something that you can do to help us out. Below your mailbox list are several links to TFAW.com. Click one of these links and, if you can afford it, please purchase something from their online store. TFAW is a sister company of Dark Horse Comics, so helping TFAW is just as good. Thanks again for your support and kind words.
We apologize in advance for any inconvenience this may cause. If you have any questions, please reply to this message and we'll do our best to help.
Vice President of Information Technology
Dark Horse Comics, Inc.