Posts Tagged ‘bill gates’

Post #6 on Why Spam Filters Suck “trickle blog” series

Posted: Monday, April 21, 2008
Posted by d.liao.

Blocking Spam In 2008 Like a shepherd, the duty of a bot herder (botnet operator) is to keep his/her botnet army intact. Bot herders make money by amassing a botnet, then contracting out the botnet services to spammers. That’s right, spammers employ bot herders to do the dirty work for them! Bot herders only get paid by the spammer when a message is actually delivered to the receiving email server. For those readers familiar with SMTP protocol, this means that the bot herder only gets paid once the server has sent 250 Ok after the DATA phase. In order to make a lot of money, bot herders have to send as much as possible in the shortest possible time. If a zombie is being blocked, the bot herder doesn’t make any money. The bot herder only makes money when a message is actually received by the receiving email server. Spamming […]

Post #3 on Why Spam Filters Suck “trickle blog” series

Posted: Monday, April 07, 2008
Posted by d.liao.

Once Promising Proposals for a Final Ultimate Solution to the Spam Problem (FUSSP) “Two years from now, spam will be solved.” That was Bill Gates’ famous pronouncement back in 2004. Microsoft, Yahoo and the open source community devised two techniques that they believed would eradicate spam. The first was sender authentication, which allowed email senders to provide a list of the servers permitted to send email for users within their domain. The idea was that sender authentication would eliminate spammers spoofing legitimate email addresses, and allow for the creation of a permanent, ironclad white list of trustworthy domains that never send spam, thus allowing recipients to simply block everything not on the white list and end spam forever. Another idea pitched in 2004 was the computational challenge. Senders would, upon connecting to a receiving email server, have to spend considerable CPU cycles computing the answer to a mathematical challenge provided […]

Post #2 on Why Spam Filters Suck “trickle blog” series

Posted: Thursday, April 03, 2008
Posted by d.liao.

Prohibition Induces “Botlegging” Spamming is a “tragedy of the commons,” in which a finite resource (our time and attention) is abused at low cost by a minority (the spammers). Like many such tragedies in our human history, prohibition has been seen as the quick fix. Classic targets of prohibitionism include alcohol, drugs, and gambling. The idea is simple really. Stop spammers from profiting by making the actions illegal, enforceable and a harmful choice to the culprit. However, this kind of law is difficult to enforce. In 2003, American legislators passed the CAN-SPAM Act (Controlling the Assault of Non-Solicited Pornography And Marketing). CAN-SPAM made it illegal to send unsolicited bulk email with a deceiving subject line and forced legitimate senders to identity themselves with a full mailing address. So why then, does spam volume continue to rise despite an increased adoption of spam blocking mechanisms worldwide? Several years have passed and […]