The Spam Diaries

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

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

National Spam News

New anti-spam service of the week: SpamSift costs $4.95/month. Once an hour, they connect to your pop-3 mailbox, test your email against their spam filter, and delete the messages judged to be spam.

Spam cripples Yahoo email: There has been discussion on line about the unreliability of Yahoo's email servers. Servers are often down (or at least not answering smtp connections), causing mail delivery attempts to be retried later. Many servers will not attempt to deliver mail more than four times, causing some email to Yahoo customers to be lost completely. Even when the email is succesfully delivered, it may be after a long delay. Read more at TechWeb: Yahoo Plagued By Slow Email, Analysis Shows. predicts that Google Calendar will spawn a new form of spam. They're probably right.

Yet another anti-spam service of the week (it's been a busy week): MailFoundry is a black-box anti-spam device similar to SpamCube, which has been receiving huge amounts of press lately. MailFoundry 1150 costs $800 and bills itself as "enterprise class anti-spam performance". They claim to block 100% of known spam and viruses and to have a false positive rate of 1 in 1,000,000.

Blocking referrer spam with .htaccess. Alan Perkins created a thread in 2003 on describing referrer spam and explaining why you shouldn't export your server logs. The discussion is still going strong, and poster "Dave B" has provided a .htaccess file which will help keep referrer spammers away. The .htaccess file essentially keys from known bad user agents (bots) and domain names with spam keywords. Very well done, but like any spam filter will require upkeep. Let's hope that someone invents a way to provide a distributed update service for the filter.

PCWorld reports that computers infected with the "Bagle" virus have begun downloading spam software from a site in Slovakia. The implication being that we can expect a new burst of zombie spam real soon now. See also Security Pro News article.

This week's FUSSP: Useful Technology Corporation claims to have a cure for spam in the form of a new email protocol to replace SMTP. Presumably this is an email protocol with some sort of authentication. Now, don't get me wrong, I'm perfectly willing to believe that the solution to spam might indeed be found in a new email protocol, but where's the RFC? Has the IETF even heard of it?

Did I mention it's been a busy week? Here we have yet another black-box anti-spam solution of the week. This time it's the Deep Six DS200 Email SPAM Appliance. Lot of buzz phrases in this press release; I'll leave it as an excersize to the reader to try and figure out how it's supposed to work.

FTC Calls for International Anti-Spam Efforts. Didn't know if I should classify this as national or world spam news. Still, it's good to read, even if it's a little late. Maybe the FTC can join the world-wide anti-spam efforts already under way.

Doctor sued over fax spam. Plaintiff asks $10,000.

Microsoft touts Sender ID framework as solution to spam. Another email authentication scheme similar to the one mentioned above, but probably not requiring the adoption of a whole new email protocol. See also CIO Today.

Gregg Keizer of TechSearch claims that porn spam has a 5% response rate.

Sophos reports that the U.S. still generates the most spam. No surprise there.

Spam Kings author Brian McWilliams is moving on to other projects and will no longer be updating his blog. We'll miss him.

Yet Another anti-spam service of the week: LinuxForceMail 3.0 released.

MySpace being exploited by porn spammers.

Panda Software reports that zombies are now the biggest source of spam.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

RE: FUSSP ... we have a Draft RFC that has been submitted to the IETF:

4:37 AM  

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