Feeds

Lighten up: spam should be a game

Play nice, now

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

The Power of One eBook: Top reasons to choose HP BladeSystem

Treating spam as if it was a game could be the key to the undoing of bulk-mailers everywhere, according to a Greek scientist.

A team of researchers at Athens University of Economics and Business in Greece, led by Ion Androutsopoulos, says that by taking this approach, ISPs and businesses can improve their spam filters - finding the perfect balance between false positives and false negatives in spam identification.

Androutsopoulos approaches the business of filtering spam by modelling it as a game between the spammer and the mail-box owner, with a small sum of cash at stake for each email sent and received, or blocked, New Scientist reports.

The model performs a cost benefit analysis on the spam filter: each legitimate email that is delivered successfully is counted as a benefit, while each real mail eaten by the filter (a false positive) gets marked as a cost. Similarly, each email sent by the bulk-mailer is counted as a cost, with a benefit being recorded each time an unsolicited mail sneaks through (a false negative).

So, to model the costs and benefits of any particular filter, all you need to know are the number of false positives and false negatives. Androutsopoulos' idea is that companies could use the model to tune their filters to either maximise the cost to the spammer, or maximise the benefit to the user.

The paper will be presented at the Conference on Email and Anti-Spam at Stanford University. ®

Related stories

Small.biz gets more spam
German court rules email blocking 'illegal'
UK firm fingered in US XXX spam probe

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications

More from The Register

next story
Mozilla fixes CRITICAL security holes in Firefox, urges v31 upgrade
Misc memory hazards 'could be exploited' - and guess what, one's a Javascript vuln
How long is too long to wait for a security fix?
Synology finally patches OpenSSL bugs in Trevor's NAS
Don't look, Snowden: Security biz chases Tails with zero-day flaws alert
Exodus vows not to sell secrets of whistleblower's favorite OS
Roll out the welcome mat to hackers and crackers
Security chap pens guide to bug bounty programs that won't fail like Yahoo!'s
HIDDEN packet sniffer spy tech in MILLIONS of iPhones, iPads – expert
Don't panic though – Apple's backdoor is not wide open to all, guru tells us
Researcher sat on critical IE bugs for THREE YEARS
VUPEN waited for Pwn2Own cash while IE's sandbox leaked
Four fake Google haxbots hit YOUR WEBSITE every day
Goog the perfect ruse to slip into SEO orfice
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
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.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Seven Steps to Software Security
Seven practical steps you can begin to take today to secure your applications and prevent the damages a successful cyber-attack can cause.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.