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Twenty-Four Seven Security

Peter Schooff

Can Spam Be Stopped?

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The past two months have seen a significant increase in the volume of spam, reports Security Focus. The reason for the increase has to do with a major change in tactics, as spam black lists have realized some success with bulk spam mails sent from a single server, most new spam now originates from networks of compromised computers, also known as bot nets.

While Security Focus has found that spam has increased 35 percent in the past two months, Total Quality Management, which maintains spam black lists, reports an increase of 450 percent. Most of this increase was found to focus on stock and pharmaceutical mailings.

Bots and bot nets have emerged as one of the central threats to the internet, where tens of thousands of compromised computers can make up a single bot net's network. Other bot net operators have boasted of running millions of infected computers.

To confirm that the rise in spam is actually the result of bot nets, Sunbelt Software analyzed junk email messages from a dummy account and found that the 1,100 blocked messages came from 160 different addresses, which signifies a network of machines acting together.

Even more disturbing, anti-spam provider Blue Security was targeted by a huge denial of service attack recently, which blocked internet access to Blue Security for days, until the company finally decided to get out of the anti-spam business altogether.

That is why my company, Message Partners, worked hard to develop an email platform that can effortlessly run a number of different spam scanners, even run two or three or more at the same time, which we have found essential in our battle to successfully fight the endless scourge of spam.

Another important point is that everyone should be strongly encouraged not to do business with spam of any kind. If no one bought a single thing from spam, then spam's reason to exist would simply disappear.

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Peter Schooff's blog is a daily look at what's going on in the world of computer security with an emphasis on how it affects businesses.

Peter Schooff

Peter Schooff is Contributing Editor at ebizQ, and manager of the ebizQ Forum. Contact him at pschooff@techtarget.com

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