Announcements

Charter Second Maintenance Attempt

Charter (Spectrum) has notified us they’re going to try maintenance again Thu 6 Dec 2018 12:00 AM – Fri 7 Dec 2018 6:00 AM with a claimed 240 minutes loss of service during this timeframe.

Since the previous attempt went extremely poorly and resulted in 57 hours loss of service, we can only hope their maintenance group is prepared for this second attempt. We will provide updates as necessary.

UPDATE 12/6/2018: Charter (Spectrum) tried to migrate our circuit again, and now IPv6 is broken due to BGP failing to establish.

UPDATE: Charter (Spectrum) IPv6 BGP was finally restored on December 10 at 22:01.

Mail Mirroring as “Email Insurance”

On a semi-regular basis we receive a call or email for help because something has happened to someone’s email: messages were accidentally deleted, their mail server had a config change and rejected everything or accepted and silently discarded messages. Although we do maintain disaster recovery backups, we charge for staff time hourly to try and find and restore a few files without any guarantees to how far back we can look, and that’s only for IMAP; with POP3 the client can remove messages as they are received which never make it into a backup window. Then there’s the SMTP queue: the queue is constantly changing, but since we’re not secretly storing copies of messages just in case, there’s almost no chance to recover anything. In the end, the messages are gone and there’s no simple way to recover them, if at all.

That’s where the Mail Mirror feature comes in. included with every account. A mail mirror uses hosted mail boxes to store copies of messages that pass through our system. Mail Mirror allows you to define addresses or domains to “mirror” to a hosted mail box by storing a copy for backup or emergency access purposes. It uses the independent storage of a normal hosted mail box, which is not affected by the constantly changing mail queue. Once a message goes into a mirror it remains there until it expires based on how long you configure it to keep messages or is manually deleted by logging into the mirror box. This way, a mirror is self-maintaining and won’t keep growing in size. Mail Mirror is available to all accounts and only counts as hosted mail box storage, but for it to work it needs to be enabled before there’s a problem, not after.

Mail mirroring works with all types of mail configurations. You may never need to access your mail mirror, but just like insurance, it’s there just in case.

We’ve also posted a topic to our forums for any questions or discussion on this feature: Mail Mirror – A Helpful Safety Feature

Fraud Alert: Telerus Claims to be an Agent

Today we were notified by a customer that they were contacted by a company called Telerus who claimed to be an agent for Roller Network. We have not engaged Telerus for any services, nor does Telerus have any agent or resale agreements with Roller Network.

Telerus is NOT an agent for Roller Network, nor affiliated with Roller Network in any manner. Any claims otherwise are fraudulent.

If you are approached by Telerus claiming to represent Roller Network, we recommend declining to proceed; otherwise you risk falling victim to a scam or other fraud.

Migration to HTTPS and Why HTTPS Everywhere

We’ve recently migrated all of our sites to HTTPS. The account control center and webmail will continue to use Extended Validation certificates like they always have, while everything else will now be using certificates from Let’s Encrypt.

Let’s Encrypt is a free, automated, and open certificate authority (CA), run for the public’s benefit. This helps create a more secure and privacy-respecting web.

Why HTTPS Everywhere?

Recently there’s a lot of buzz about moving to an HTTPS-only web. Previously, the cost of obtaining lots of HTTPS certs, having to manually install them, renew them, and pay fees for them discouraged using HTTPS unless needed. Let’s Encrypt solves many of those problems. Deploying HTTPS does take a little more effort, but there’s another reason why you should do it even if you think your site isn’t really that important to go encrypted: to help protect your visitors from their ISP.

We’ve personally experienced content hijacking with Charter, the local cable provider in Reno, NV (that now likes to be called Spectrum but we’re still going to call them Charter). Charter, for example, will hijack HTTP requests on residential and business coax service to provide content other than what you’ve requested. This is not the same as DNS redirection. HTTPS not only protects your privacy, but encryption ensures that the content you’ve requested passes between you and the site in its original, unaltered form without being rewritten or hijacked by your ISP, in addition to preventing eavesdropping. This is also known as a “man in the middle” attack. References: here, here, here, and here (plus we’ve seen it ourselves on home cable).

It is our opinion that an ISP altering content is entirely unacceptable for any reason. The only way we can truly protect ourselves is with encryption, not laws or depending on ISPs to “do the right thing”. Read more at EFF: Encrypting the Web.

Mail/DNS Reseller Accounts Discontinued

We’re discontinuing the reseller accounts feature of the account control center. This decision comes after observing that it hasn’t been used in a long time, and with updates working on for the account control center we can save a lot of time if we don’t have to maintain the code for reseller accounts.

Because the feature is not being used, this change should not affect any account holders.