Feeds

EU attacks anti-spam industry

Junk mail tsunami continues unabated

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Reducing security risks from open source software

A senior European Union official has berated the anti-spam industry for failure to agree a common strategy. Philippe Gerard, an official with the EC's Information Society directorate, said that lack of co-operation is handicapping the fight to hold back the junk mail tsunami.

"We see different initiatives going in all different directions and the effectiveness is maybe not there," Gerard told an anti-spam meeting in London. Spam is affecting consumer confidence, he said.

His comments come at the same time as new stats from email filtering firm MessageLabs. It reports that May 2004 is the worst month for spam on record. Of the 909m inbound emails scanned by the MessageLabs Anti-Spam service, 691.5m were intercepted as spam - 76 per cent.

Two years ago the EU passed a framework directive outlawing many spamming practices; but there has been a lack of consistency in the anti-spam laws enacted by European states. The US's CAN-SPAM Act takes a different tack again. So politicians and civil servants are not exactly on strong ground when attacking the anti-spam providers for lack of consistency.

A multi-faceted attack on spam combining technology with legislation against spammers and user education is needed to clamp down on spam. Get past the hype (not easy) and most vendors will admit that the anti-spam industry is in its infancy. It's therefore no surprise that a number of different approaches (gateway appliance, filtering at the desktop, managed services, etc.) have been developed to tackle junk mail. Likewise discussions about modifying protocols to make it easier to identify and reject spam traffic are not such a bad thing. ®

Related stories

Europe drags heels in war on spam
Two thirds of emails now spam: official
Zombie PCs spew out 80% of spam
Phatbot arrest throws open trade in zombie PCs
Anti-spam laws baffle UK.biz

Mobile application security vulnerability report

More from The Register

next story
LibreSSL RNG bug fix: What's all the forking fuss about, ask devs
Blow to bit-spitter 'tis but a flesh wound, claim team
Microsoft: You NEED bad passwords and should re-use them a lot
Dirty QWERTY a perfect P@ssword1 for garbage websites
Manic malware Mayhem spreads through Linux, FreeBSD web servers
And how Google could cripple infection rate in a second
NUDE SNAPS AGENCY: NSA bods love 'showing off your saucy selfies'
Swapping other people's sexts is a fringe benefit, says Snowden
Own a Cisco modem or wireless gateway? It might be owned by someone else, too
Remote code exec in HTTP server hands kit to bad guys
British data cops: We need greater powers and more money
You want data butt kicking, we need bigger boots - ICO
Crooks fling banking Trojan at Japanese smut site fans
Wait - they're doing online banking with an unpatched Windows PC?
NIST told to grow a pair and kick NSA to the curb
Lrn2crypto, oversight panel tells US govt's algorithm bods
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Prevent sensitive data leakage over insecure channels or stolen mobile devices.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.
Mobile application security vulnerability report
The alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, and the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.