The Spam Diaries

News and musings about the fight against spam.
 by Edward Falk

Saturday, March 11, 2006

World news shorts

Following in Korea's footsteps, the Arkansas Democrat Gazette reports that China has begun a crackdown on spam. In all likelihood, the authorities there have finally woken up to the fact that outgoing spam can be even more harmful than incoming spam. Like Korea, China has become known as a major spam source. There are many individuals, and probably a good number of entire sites that simply blocklist China as a whole. China is finally doing what they need to do or face becoming an intranet.

IT Backbones reports that the german company SfbIT* has received a patent on challenge/response spam protection. It's not entirely clear to me what's special about this system, as challenge/response schemes are by no means new. The article says that this system is easier to use because it involves clicking on links (similar to a mailing list subscription confirmation) rather than responding with a password, and a number of other improvements over more conventional c/r systems.

There are some serious concerns with challenge/response systems, although they've never particularly bothered me. For more, see the web site "Challenge-Response Anti-Spam Systems Considered Harmful".


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