Feeds

IBM dissects the DNA of spam

Feng shui and genetics fight junk mail

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Build a business case: developing custom apps

IBM is applying ideas developed in sequencing DNA molecules to the detection of spam. Spammers have taken to inserting streams of gobbledegook or deliberately misspelling words in their spam messages in order the throw off anti-spam filters that rely on Bayesian statistical analysis alone.

In response, IBM is developing more sophisticated anti-spam filters. Boffins at Big Blue hit on the idea that programs used for looking for recurring patterns in DNA sequences could be applied to look for recurring phrases that often feature in junk mail missives. It developed a program called Chung-Kwei (named after a feng-shui talisman that protects homeowners against evil spirits) and trained it to spot repeated patterns in spam messages. IBM then fed a series of legitimate messages through the program in order to eliminate repeated patterns of messages that were common between both spam and 'ham' (legitimate) messages.

New Scientist reports the approach detects nearly 97 per cent of spam messages and has a far lower rate of false positives than conventional techniques (less than one in 1,000). IBM is using the filtering techniques, alongside a variety of other approaches, in developing an anti-spam product called SpamGuru . SpamGuru is shipping as a technology preview in Lotus Workplace 2.0, the next version of IBM's messaging and collaboration application. ®

Related stories

ISPs gang up on spammer-run websites
Spamming for Dummies
Spam poetry: transcending the junk mail paradigm
IBM brings Instant Messaging to Lotus Notes
Lotus Domino goes spam busting

Endpoint data privacy in the cloud is easier than you think

More from The Register

next story
14 antivirus apps found to have security problems
Vendors just don't care, says researcher, after finding basic boo-boos in security software
'Things' on the Internet-of-things have 25 vulnerabilities apiece
Leaking sprinklers, overheated thermostats and picked locks all online
iWallet: No BONKING PLEASE, we're Apple
BLE-ding iPhones, not NFC bonkers, will drive trend - marketeers
Multipath TCP speeds up the internet so much that security breaks
Black Hat research says proposed protocol will bork network probes, flummox firewalls
Only '3% of web servers in top corps' fully fixed after Heartbleed snafu
Just slapping a patched OpenSSL on a machine ain't going to cut it, we're told
Microsoft's Euro cloud darkens: US FEDS can dig into foreign servers
They're not emails, they're business records, says court
How long is too long to wait for a security fix?
Synology finally patches OpenSSL bugs in Trevor's NAS
Israel's Iron Dome missile tech stolen by Chinese hackers
Corporate raiders Comment Crew fingered for attacks
prev story

Whitepapers

7 Elements of Radically Simple OS Migration
Avoid the typical headaches of OS migration during your next project by learning about 7 elements of radically simple OS migration.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Solving today's distributed Big Data backup challenges
Enable IT efficiency and allow a firm to access and reuse corporate information for competitive advantage, ultimately changing business outcomes.
A new approach to endpoint data protection
What is the best way to ensure comprehensive visibility, management, and control of information on both company-owned and employee-owned devices?