Feeds

Web giants to declare war on spam

Yahoo! AOL and MS team up

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Protecting users from Firesheep and other Sidejacking attacks with SSL

Three of the world's largest technology companies -- Yahoo, AOL and Microsoft -- are to announce details of a major offensive designed to combat unwanted e-mail.
The initiative, details of which are expected on Monday, will see the three rivals cooperating and calling on other technology leaders to participate in measures aimed at checking the rising flood of spam.

Already unwanted mail is on track to make up some 40 percent of e-mail by the end of 2003: AOL Time Warner, Yahoo and Microsoft say they fear that people will simply stop using e-mail if spam is not stamped out.

A number of software packages already exist to help Internet users filter out unwanted mail messages -- most of which peddle porn, Viagra, and dubious financial and medical services -- and the European Union is seeking to make unsolicited e-mails illegal across member states. But the initiative from AOL Time Warner, Microsoft and Yahoo is an unprecedented, top-level offensive from the Internet industry itself, designed to track down spammers and turn them over to the authorities.

Brian Arbogast, a vice president at MSN, told reporters over the weekend that the industry will cooperate to drive spammers out of business.

The companies will cooperate to locate and prosecute so-called "kingpin" spammers, promote anti-spam federal legislation that clearly targets such spammers and establish technical standards to combat the menace. Already each company is taking steps separately to fight the problem; most recently, AOL earlier this month filed five federal lawsuits against spammers it accused of sending 1 billion junk messages.

Those lawsuits sought damages of more than USD10 million, but the fact that most defendants were listed as "John Doe," actual name unknown, underlines the extent to which spam has become a phantom menace, with the worst offenders easily able to conceal their identities with bogus sender information and temporary mail accounts.

The anti-spam initiative being launched on Monday comes ahead of this week's public forum on spam, hosted by the Federal Trade Commission in Washington, DC. Starting Wednesday, the three-day forum aims to explore spam issues including deceptive routing and subject information in messages, the financial cost of the problem, best practices for e-mail senders and receivers, and security weaknesses that contribute to spam, such as open relays and open proxies.

© ENN

The next step in data security

More from The Register

next story
Israeli spies rebel over mass-snooping on innocent Palestinians
'Disciplinary treatment will be sharp and clear' vow spy-chiefs
Infosec geniuses hack a Canon PRINTER and install DOOM
Internet of Stuff securo-cockups strike yet again
'Speargun' program is fantasy, says cable operator
We just might notice if you cut our cables
Apple Pay is a tidy payday for Apple with 0.15% cut, sources say
Cupertino slurps 15 cents from every $100 purchase
YouTube, Amazon and Yahoo! caught in malvertising mess
Cisco says 'Kyle and Stan' attack is spreading through compromised ad networks
Hackers pop Brazil newspaper to root home routers
Step One: try default passwords. Step Two: Repeat Step One until success
Greater dev access to iOS 8 will put us AT RISK from HACKERS
Knocking holes in Apple's walled garden could backfire, says securo-chap
Microsoft to patch ASP.NET mess even if you don't
We know what's good for you, because we made the mess says Redmond
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.
Security and trust: The backbone of doing business over the internet
Explores the current state of website security and the contributions Symantec is making to help organizations protect critical data and build trust with customers.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.