[pcductape] More on spam

  • From: Victor Firestone <vlfll@xxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: PCDuctape <pcductape@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>, pcductape@xxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Sun, 18 Apr 2004 07:33:10 +0200

The key to stopping SPAM appears to be ensuring that the senders of all e-mail can be positively identified. Today's e-mail protocols, though elegant by design and simplicity, are, unfortunately, naively trusting. They contain few mechanisms for guaranteeing the identity of a sender. It's this abuse of trust that has been responsible for the most amount of SPAM. Cut out falsely identified e-mail and you'll rip out most of SPAM. Then, legislative and consumer initiatives will be able to tackle the rest of the problem.

So, what's on the technology horizon? You're probably already familiar with inbox spam rules, Bayesian filters, regular expressions, white and blacklists, habeas and challenge-response models. They're all good, but none of them really tackle the problem of solving the false identity issue. And, worse yet, spammers are getting really good at developing tools that evade these products and tools.

That's where things like Sender Policy Framework (SPF), Reverse MX (RMX), e-mail Caller-ID, and similar models show promise. Most of them are designed to sit on top of our existing protocols, support gradual adoption, and work hard at making it very difficult to falsely identify e-mail sources.

--
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TTFN – Vic /

"To laugh often and much; to win the respect of intelligent people and the 
affection of children;
to earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false 
friends;
to appreciate beauty, to find the best in others; to leave the world a little 
better;
whether by a healthy child, a garden patch or a redeemed social condition;
to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived.

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