Postini was purchased by Google back in 2007, but does the entity still use their own domain “postini.com” to set traps for their blackhole? According to Wikipedia, “Postini was an e-mail, web security, and archiving service owned by Google since 2007. It provided cloud computing services for filtering e-mail spam and malware (before it was delivered to a client’s mail server), offered optional e-mail archiving, and protected client networks from web-borne malware.”

Recently we had a client who needed a spam trap clean. They thought it was a gmail trap because their deliverability rate dropped over night while sending to gmail’s servers. It destroyed a lot of their business and the race was on for finding the culprit.

Since Google purchased Postini, it seemed like a good place to look perhaps to find possible culprits. It’s impossible to remove gmail.com spam traps because if you remove one with the same IP, you will remove all of the gmail addresses. A lot of business’ now use gmail as their mail exchange so we dove into all business related domains to gmail’s IP’s from the client’s subscriber base.

Interesting enough, we found that there were several domains using gmail’s mx records, which we removed immediately, but the most bizarre culprit was the domain postini.com itself. Inside the optin subscriber list were several email addresses with postini.com, which really didn’t belong in such a list. Is Postini active? Does Google use this domain to set traps?

I highly doubt Google has the time to fill out forms with the domain postini.com for their blackhole. A few things could have happened. Either the data was harvested off of a website with old Postini email addresses or the emails were planted there on purpose. My guess is they were planted, but not by Google. Most spam fighters do not fill out forms with bots anymore. They now check the domains and IP’s coming in versus using email addresses (traps) to filter spam.

After removing the @postini.com email addresses, the company’s deliverability went back to normal. Obviously, regardless of optin information accuracy, emailing to that domain will harm anyone’s deliverability. So the question has been answered. Postini is alive and still active and if you do not have a spam trap cleaning service that removes harvested or planted seeds/traps, you are putting your company at risk of either being blocked, blacklisted or worse have your ESP or hosting accounts suspended.