Block spam or report it?

Personally, I don’t block spam. I keep receiving it because I find it interesting to study.

Where does it come from? Single IP? Single domain? Botnet?
Who does it target? list of harvested emails or specifically targeted?
Is it sent aggressively? Hundreds per minute or a few per hour?
What is it about? Meds? Gambling? Porn? Business deals? Visit a site?
Fake sender? valid or just random username with legit domain?
Fake subject? Trying to avoid spam detection?
Small body? Long body? With random chars to avoid checksum checking?
Imagespam? Distorted image?
Sent by professional spammers or amateur (Greek) marketers? :>

After all this, I always report is upstream using Spamcop (HabuL add-on).


The 2009 ENISA Anti-Spam Measures Survey Report

The report of the 2009 ENISA Anti-spam Measures Survey is now available:

In 2009 ENISA launched an Anti-Spam Measures survey, asking e-mail service providers in Europe about the measures they take to combat spam in their networks. This survey provides a view of how the fight against spam has evolved since the last survey two years ago.

The survey aims to determine how e-mail service providers are combating spam on their networks. It helps identifying the state of the fight against spam and helps service providers to learn from their peers throughout Europe. Overall, we hope that this research will aid the industry’s understanding and development of best practices in the fight against spam.

Some of the key findings:

  • less than 5% of all email traffic is delivered to mailboxes;
  • most mail providers not only take care of protecting their customers from receiving spam, they also avoid sending spam to others;
  • fighting spam has reached maturity although continuous adaptation to new techniques is needed.

The survey report with detailed information about the measures is available for download.

Slides of the main survey results.

I would like to publicly congradulate ENISA on the methods they used to conduct this survey.

  • They sent a couple of preparatory emails asking if I would like to participate in such a survey and co-operate with a third party (asking for express permission to share my email address with another organization).
  • The actual survey, hosted on a dedicated site, had very easy to complete registration and clean/direct questions.
  • They sent a nice  «thank you for participating» email.
  • As soon as they processed the answers, they sent a preview of the results to the participants, including personalized answers! The preview report contained the survey’s key results and a custom comparison of my answers with the survey average. I didn’t have t remember my answers, they did it for me!

Well done ENISA people and thank you very much for your work!

inbox-outbox minutes

Μόλις κυκλοφόρισαν τα πρακτικά του anti-spam workshop που είχα παρακολουθήσει το Νοέμβρη στο Inbox-Outbox.

"The workshop was set up in order to bring technical and non-technical
anti-spam experts together to give an overview about current situation
in the area of anti-spam. Professionals from both sides gave
contributions about spam trends, current legal and technical anti-spam
issues and newest research results.

Discussions during the workshop made clear that providers are fighting
spam, but need support from different areas. In general, support from
legal experts is highly appreciated by providers. They often seem to
stumble in difficult legal aspects regarding email or virus filtering.
This workshop made clear which measures are actually desirable and
required by policy makers. Moreover, providers welcomed the efforts from
research institutes developing new anti-spam technologies.

All in all, the results of the workshop and ENISA's upcoming deliverable
on provider security measures give a comprehensive overview about
current anti-spam best practice. However, during the workshop it raised
up that spam should be considered as a symptom of network abuse. Solving
spam therefore requires, next to current efforts, also approaches to
mitigate net abuse in general. As a consequence, ENISA will concentrate
next year on resilience as a main part of its Working Programme 2008 and
put forth efforts making network abuse more transparent to legal and
technical experts."

Thanks Pascal ;)

inbox-outbox nov 2007

Μετά από πρόσκληση του ENISA παρακολούθησα την περασμένη βδομάδα (27-28 Νοεμβρίου) το inbox/outbox.

ENISA, the European Network and Information Society Agency, organises in the context of the Inbox Outbox event a workshop on anti-spam measures. The aim of the workshop is to bring together key European stakeholders to debate about the effectiveness of current and future anti-spam measures and their compatibility with existing privacy regulations.

More specifically the workshop will address filtering methods, emerging anti-spam approaches, spamming trends and privacy of users.Invited speakers represent the European Commission, regulators, ISP providers, anti-spam software vendors, research and privacy experts. ENISA will present during the workshop the findings of a recent study on security and anti-spam measures.

Πραγματικά πολύ ενδιαφέροντα θέματα, για τα οποία μπορείτε να κατεβάσετε τα presentations σε ηλεκτρονική μορφή. Το καλύτερο ήταν οι συζητήσεις μεταξύ των sessions βέβαια :)