The cost of spam: Filtered e-mail results in missed court date

Cost of spamFor law firm Franklin D. Azar & Associates PC, the cost of spam probably rang up to the tune of several thousand dollars, or so blogged Venkat Balasubramani, principal of Balasubramani Law.

The entire episode began with a sudden deluge of pornographic spam that assailed the Azar & Associate's mail servers. Enough of it seeped through Azar & Associates' Barracuda Spam Firewall for employees to complain up to management.

The IT administrator at the firm, Kevin Rea, was told to do something about it. So, on the morning of May 21st, Rea dialed up the spam settings on the Barracuda. Less spam made it through the Barracuda after that. Unfortunately, false positives also increased, including an e-mail from the U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado, advising company lawyers of a date for a court hearing for a civil case.

The Colorado federal court judge in this case criticized the law firm for not whitelisting the court's domain name. They were ordered to pay related attorney fees and expenses incurred by lawyers representing the other side of the case.

I have previously reported about spam in Five billion spams in just one day; Arun Radhakrishnan has also wrote about the increasing problem of image spam in Image spam gets fuzzy.

Now, there is no doubt at all that the world is not short of gullible fools users (See what I wrote in The Deadliest Day Zero Exploit) who will click on anything that can be clicked. Make no mistake about it, spam is here to stay.

Having said that, the question that I would like to pose is: Can IT staff be held responsible for wrongly filtered e-mails?