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From: security at (Scott Taylor)
Subject: SPAM and "undisclosed recipients"

On Sat, 2003-11-15 at 19:37, Kristian Hermansen wrote:

> There should be a way to stop the email spamming.  You could use their
> weaknesses as a way to prevent spam.  The fact is that most SPAM is sent in
> MASS quantities all at one time, or a very short interval.  If servers could
> somehow have a "global awareness" of the activity of spammers this could be
> prevented.  Take for instance Hotmail.  Millions of users have accounts
> here.  Hotmail could "sense" a massive flood of "identical" content to
> multiple users of their service and automatically label it as SPAM.  Of
> course, the downside is legitimate mass mailings that are sent out everyday
> from places like PC Magazine, Security Focus, and other opt-in mailing lists
> would be flagged as well.  Unless, in a new email security protocol, they
> implemented user specified WHITELISTS on email servers to allow legitimate
> bulk emails (that otherwise would be flagged) to be let through.  A sort of
> "Guilty until proven innocent" approach.  Just a thought... 
> Kristian Hermansen
> CEO - H&T Technology Solutions

This is the basis of razor/pyzor/dcc - finding fingerprints within the
content of messages and comparing a new email to a public database of
fingerprints of reported emails.

SpamAssassin will use those as factors, it adds in scores from various
realtime blackhole lists, sitewide or user-specific bayesian scoring,
plus assigning points based on characteristics like colored backgrounds
and lines of all yelling. And it supports user and site-wide whitelists
and blacklists. And it will weight your new score based on previous
emails you sent - so regular business contacts can get questionable
emails through if they have a history of good scoring email. And
spammers just dig themselves a deeper hole. With all the features
available, so grows the effort to tune it the way you want. And admins
who only know their way around a GUI will quickly get lost, as there is
no GUI. Of course, anyone requiring that probably shouldn't be allowed
in the server room in the first place without an escort. 

Scott Taylor - <> 

BOFH Excuse #389:

/dev/clue was linked to /dev/null

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