Admin University: Spam

It's a beast. It's a scourge. It's preventing optimal productivity. It's spam. How big of a problem is unwanted e-mail industry-wide? What can you do to limit its entrance into your systems? What are the best weapons on the market for the fight? We've researched spam extensively and have found these links to help answer these questions. And although good spam may seem like an oxymoron, there is a bright side to the issue. Read on and learn about spam, spammers and spamming.

It's a beast. It's a scourge. It's preventing optimal productivity. It's spam. How big of a problem is unwanted e-mail industry-wide? What can you do to limit its entrance into your systems? What are the best weapons on the market for the fight? We've researched spam extensively and have found these links to help answer these questions. And although good spam may seem like an oxymoron, there is a bright side to the issue. Read on and...

learn about spam, spammers and spamming.

 


TABLE OF CONTENTS

What is spam?

How can you tame the beast?

Tools of the trade

By the numbers

Spam's effect on industry

Look on the bright side

Groups and government

Resources

Feedback

 


WHAT IS SPAM?
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spam trap bounce e-mail blackhole list drive-by spamming
e-mail spoofing false positive hash buster Joe job
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UBE UCE SPAM



HOW CAN YOU TAME THE BEAST?
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  • Spam slayers report progress (Nov. 20, 2003)
    The spam problem may be worsening, but attendees at November's Comdex discovered that technology is keeping pace.

     

  • How can I stop spam on a Domino 5 server? (Oct. 13, 2003)
    A SearchDomino.com member asked resident messaging expert Debbie Lynd:

    How can I stop spam on a Domino 5 server?
    Read Debbie's answer.

     

  • Managing the messaging explosion (Sep. 09, 2003)
    Investments in key technologies today could spare your systems the burden of massive messaging growth, estimated at 40% per year.

     

  • Fed-up users, experts offer spam-fighting tricks (Aug. 26, 2003)
    A vast majority of IT professionals responsible for e-mail management describe spam as a serious problem in their organizations, but nearly half say they've found ways to cope with it, a new survey finds.

     

  • Research suggests new way to can spam (Aug. 12, 2003)
    ISPs who relay spam may have to cut their costs to offset the displeasure that customers have on the spam issue. Does this mean we're accepting spam as part of daily Internet life, or is there still hope for an effective filter?

     

  • What you can do about the growing problem of spam (Aug. 5, 2003)
    From the history of how the name for a brand of canned meat came to be known as junk e-mail to suggestions on how to fight its onslaught on your inbox, this quick Q&A article teaches you how to get a handle on spam.

     

  • User group leader offers IT security tips (July 28, 2003)
    The chairman of the New England Information Security User Group recently provided SearchWin2000.com with some of his favorite IT security tips, which are based on what users share at the group's monthly meetings.

     

  • Experts differ on ways to spear spam (July 24, 2003)
    Experts at the Wharton School of Business have different ideas on how to combat the spam tsunami -- a problem that costs the school about $200,000 per year. But they all agree on one thing: Spam leaves a bad taste in their inboxes.

     

  • Managing inbound spam in Lotus Domino 6 (July 16, 2003)
    This tutorial is for Domino/Notes administrators who want control over spam or junk mail. It covers many of the new features in Domino 6 for blocking and managing spam. This tutorial is focused on helping you get these anti-spam features up and running quickly.

     

  • Analyst: Stopping spam is for the security admin (July 09, 2003)
    A Gartner analyst tells SearchSecurity.com in this interview that, within enterprise IT departments, spam is quickly becoming the domain of the security group.

     

  • 'Spoof' e-mail scam spreads (July 09, 2003)
    SurfControl is on spam patrol. Executives with the anti-spam vendor say that there's a particularly sinister slice of spam out there called the "brand spoof." That's where a spammer makes an e-mail look like it's from a legitimate company in order to get customers to cough up personal information. Best Buy, UPS, Bank of America, PayPal and First Union Bank have all been "spoofed" according to SurfControl.

     

  • Domino server redundancy, and how to reduce spam (July 07, 2003)
    A SearchDomino.com member asked Domino administration expert Michael Lazar:

    I have two separate Domino servers (4.6) that support 5.0.10 clients. One server on occasion will act up and crash, leaving those folks that are served by it without e-mail until I can get it back up and running. What would be the best way to set up the two servers so that they would be redundant to each other? In other words, if one crashes the end user would be able to access the second server to use their e-mail. Would it be as easy as setting up replication and to replicate at night when there is a low amount of usage? Also, what can I do if a user is receiving spam?
    Read Mike's answer.

     

  • Surviving spam (June 20, 2003)
    See how SearchWin2000.com members responded when editors asked them how big a problem spam is for their systems and for their companies.

     

  • Net heavyweights unite to KO spam (Apr. 29, 2003)
    The three largest e-mail service providers are joining forces to combat spam. AOL, Yahoo and Microsoft are crafting plans that include making it tougher for spammers to create multiple fraudulent e-mail accounts in bulk and making it easier for them to determine the real identity of spam senders.

     

  • ND6 spam protection for R5 (April 28, 2003)
    You can give Domino R5 the anti-spam capability of ND6 for free. This tip describes how using DNS black-hole-type anti-spam software ahead of the Domino SMTP service can save you money and even maybe the finish on your delete button.

     

  • Reducing unwanted e-mail (March 4, 2002)
    One of the most common questions SearchDomino.com resident security expert Chuck Connell receives from Domino administrators is about e-mail filtering. Administrators want to block or limit unwanted inbound e-mail. The unwanted e-mail may be "spam" (unsolicited advertisements) or other e-mail. Chuck talks about how to limit this type of traffic to your Notes inbox.



TOOLS OF THE TRADE
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  • How to select spam-filtering products and services (Oct. 31, 2003)
    Spam filtering can depend on the point at which you want the e-mail sorted -- at the desktop, mail server or another point. This article goes into detail about the best types of spam filters for the different locales.

     

  • Boeing's anti-spam spinoff takes flight (Aug. 25, 2003)
    The company known for its jets is now making its homemade anti-spam software available to the masses. Boeing's MessageGate software is geared toward large businesses and their large servings of spam.

     

  • The war against spam wages on (June 09, 2003)
    Deerfield.com's upcoming anti-spam product uses a controversial method called challenge response. It asks those sending an e-mail to a protected address for the first time to answer a question or enter a code that verifies the sender is a human being and not an automated bulk spamming system.

     

  • Small firms lining up to can spam (May 01, 2003)
    Microsoft, AOL and Yahoo this week pledged to help can spam, but they're hardly the only firms thinking outside the inbox. Smaller firms, like Ipswitch Inc., are rolling out meaty products that can spear spam without bleeding your budget.

     

  • ISVs hunt for partners to resell new enterprise anti-spam solutions (May 01, 2003)
    While Lotus, Microsoft and Novell may be beefing up the anti-spam capabilities in their messaging servers and clients, third-party providers are also arming users in the war against spam.

     

  • Antivirus vendors to add spam-fighting capabilities (Mar. 25, 2003)
    If Meta Group is correct, then anti-spam features could be come a common component of leading antivirus software suites by the end of next year. The research firm says businesses should keep an eye on industry developments, as several antivirus vendors are likely to offer comprehensive anti-spam software through acquisition or integration.

     

  • ISPs, tech execs brainstorm on how to fight spam (Mar. 17, 2003)
    IBM, Microsoft, VeriSign and many other high-tech companies and ISPs met Friday to discuss how to kill the scourge of the Internet: spam. The strategy session, dubbed JamSpam, was convened to discuss legal and technical possibilities, as well as best practices, that could eliminate spam while protecting the business interests of the diverse group.

     

  • Fighting words (Feb. 18, 2003)
    Vendors are answering the calls of all those IT departments waging a war on spam. On the product front, CipherTrust released its IronMail appliance to block spam at the network gateway, and Trend Micro will sells Postini's spam-blocking product based on heuristic-analysis technology.

     

  • What's the best anti-spam product on the market? (Jan. 21, 2003)
    A SearchWin2000.com member asked management tools and solutions expert Serdar Yegulalp:

    We are currently running TrendMicro's antivirus and content filtering software. The anti-spam filtering is only catching about 70% of the spam. In your opinion, what anti-spam product is best? We have five Exchange 5.5 servers running in offices around the country.
    Read Serdar's answer.



BY THE NUMBERS
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  • Anti-spam startups cash in as junk e-mail grows (July 23, 2003)
    If you need further proof that spam is on the rise, take a look the venture capitalists. They poured $54.4 million into e-mail management companies last year, a 65% increase over the year before. Eighty anti-spam startups hit the scene in 2002.

     

  • Is spam here to stay? (July 21, 2003)
    According to the results of a new survey from Harris Interactive, spam is becoming just another annoying fact of life for most people, like congested freeways or telemarketing calls during dinner. Just 64% of respondents found spam to be very annoying, a decline from 80% in December of last year.

     

  • Survey: Spam is scourge of messaging world (July 10, 2003)
    Just how big a problem is spam? A survey ranks unwanted e-mail and other messaging problems.

     

  • Spam increased 38.5% this year, says MessageLabs (July 02, 2003)
    MessageLabs says spam has increased 38.5% this year and now accounts for one of every 2.6 incoming e-mails.

     

  • Corporate inboxes choke on spam (June 03, 2003)
    MessageLabs is offering proof of how big a pest spam is. The provider of managed e-mail security services says workers are now receiving more commercial e-mail than legitimate workplace mail. After analyzing 133.9 million messages sent to its business customers in May, MessageLabs found 51% is spam.

     

  • Spam saturates e-mail every day, but Thursday is spam king (May 12, 2003)
    Research from British Internet provider BT Openworld said that more than 40% of e-mail is spam and that spam climbed 4.5% in April over March of 2003. It also identified Thursday as the most popular day for spammers. Sunday ranks a close second to Thursday, the ISP said.

     

  • If it's Thursday, this must be junk mail (May 08, 2003)
    Get your delete button ready. A British ISP is out with a new study that shows Thursdays are the day when the most spam arrives.

     

  • Users overwhelmingly favor anti-spam legislation (May 01, 2003)
    Results of a SurfControl poll indicate that users favor anti-spam legislation pending in Congress. Eight-six percent of those who responded favor legislation that would outlaw spam that hides the sender's identity. SurfControl also asked respondents to define spam and to indicate whether spam was on the rise.

     

  • Survey says: Americans want to can spam (Feb. 13, 2003)
    Polling group Public Opinion Strategies has found that an impressive 88% of 1,400 people surveyed said they support anti-spam legislation, especially to curb the proliferation of pornography. SurfControl, a London-based spam filtering company, commissioned the survey.

     

  • Study: Spam a costly nuisance (Jan. 03, 2003)
    I think, therefore I'm spammed. A new study shows the tsunami of junk e-mail is costing U.S. firms billions of dollars. And how are those firms dealing with it? Many of them aren't doing a spam thing.



SPAM'S EFFECT ON INDUSTRY
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  • Security pros can leverage spam-busting with management (Oct. 30, 2003)
    Spam reduction in an enterprise is tangible evidence of success for a security or messaging professional, an expert said.

     

  • Get the spam out of here! (Oct. 27, 2003)
    Let's face it -- spam is becoming a serious problem. Just a year or two ago, it was a minor nuisance. Studies conducted by anti-spam companies confirm this figure, estimating that spam traffic might actually exceed legitimate e-mail in 2003. The concern doesn't even take into account that spam is often the delivery method for a host of viruses and Trojan horses. The potential cost to an organization in computing resources and lost manpower could be astronomical.

     

  • Spam wars: How unwanted e-mail is burying the Internet (Aug. 6, 2003)
    Spam, some say, has gotten so bad that it's on the verge of killing e-mail. But if the Internet sky really is falling, why doesn't someone do something?

     

  • Understanding and preventing spam (July 23, 2003)
    This excerpt from Understanding and Preventing Spam, chapter 3 of the free e-book The Definitive Guide to E-mail Management and Security written by Kevin Beaver overviews the spam problem with an illustrative cost scenario.

     

  • Will the vendetta against spam kill e-mail as we know it? (June 30, 2003)
    The CEO of an anti-spam company tells you why you shouldn't shy away from e-mail just because of its pesky spam problem.

     

  • Spam: E-mail admins describe struggles (June 23, 2003)
    Just how bad a problem is spam? Well, some e-mail administrators say more than half of their incoming mail is unsolicited and it's costing them time and money.

     

  • Enterprises must pony up for the war on spam (June 18, 2003)
    Businesses who fail to protect themselves against spam will end up paying about $50 more a year per user than businesses that do, according to a new report. With prices for anti-spam solutions starting at $15-$20 per user, ignoring the problem is getting more difficult to justify.

     

  • Spam is a pricey pest (May 06, 2003)
    Most Domino admins will tell you that spam is a big problem. Now Radicati Group has figured out what spam is really costing you.

     

  • Slammed by spam? (Apr. 25, 2003)
    SearchDomino.com members responded to a poll that asked: How much of a problem is spam to your organization? See how many people said it is clogging up the works and how many responded that it is an inconvenience to end users.

     

  • Researcher chews fat on spam and security (Apr. 09, 2003)
    Paul Judge is the chairman of the Internet Engineering Task Force's new Anti-Spam Research Group. In this one-on-one with SearchSecurity.com, Judge talks about the overwhelming problem spam poses to IT infrastructures, whom should address it in the enterprise and whether spam is an IT security issue.

     

  • Spam pips viruses as biggest Web problem (Apr. 04, 2003)
    Antivirus firms are reporting spam growing at a rate of 10% to 30% on a monthly basis and accounts for one in every 2.8 e-mails, while viruses are growing at a single-digit rate. Spam consumes more bandwidth, storage and administration than viruses, which are isolated occurrences, experts said. MessageLabs predicts that half of all e-mail messages will be spam by the end of 2003.

     

  • Spam filters a hit with hackers, not enterprise IT (Jan. 20, 2003)
    Enterprise IT is enlisting an unlikely ally in its fight against e-mail spam: computer hackers. The notorious John Draper, aka "Cap'n Crunch," was among those who joined researchers and IT professionals at a conference at MIT to debate the merits of anti-spam techniques such as blacklists and Bayesian filters.



LOOK ON THE BRIGHT SIDE
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  • Fun with Nigerian spam (Sep. 11, 2003)
    Ahh, don't you just love the taste of Nigerian spam? Most people don't fall for that "I'm a prince, send me money now, and I'll reward you later" scam, and at least one person decided to have a little fun at the spammer's expense.

     

  • Who profits from spam? Surprise (Aug. 8, 2003)
    The truth about spam is this: While the dirty work is done by secretive, faceless computer jockeys who are constantly evading authorities, lots of companies with names you know profit, at least tangentially, from their efforts.

     

  • In the spammer's lair (July 16, 2003)
    Meet the "Cajun Spammer," a man who sends up to 100 million unsolicited e-mails a day. Learn his motivations and methods, and find out whether spam madness will ever subside.

     

  • What is spam good for? (Apr. 08, 2003)
    When SearchSecurity.com's site editor asked members for spam's redeeming qualities, she was surprised to find more than 30 people answer her. Who would have thought spam could be a good thing?



GROUPS AND GOVERNMENT
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  • Anti-spam methods aim to merge (Oct. 27, 2003)
    Anti-Spam Research Group (ASRG) of the Internet Research Task Force (IRTF) has formed a subcommittee to work on a standard for verifying that e-mail senders are who they claim. Varying proposals would change the Domain Name System database so that e-mail servers can publish what IP addresses are associated with them. Internet service providers receiving e-mail can instantaneously verify whether e-mail originates where it says it does.

     

  • Users want to can spam with national registry (July 24, 2003)
    A study shows that people want the government to deal with spam the same way it's dealing with annoying telemarketing calls.

     

  • Could a 'do not spam' list really stop spammers? (July 23, 2003)
    A new study shows that people want the government to deal with spam the same way it's dealing with annoying telemarketing calls.

     

  • Federal anti-spam bills not enough; 'do not spam' list may not work (July 9, 2003)
    Like the federal "do not call list" for telemarketers, will citizens of the Internet have to sign up to a list to get themselves off spammers' lists? As legislation to do just that floats around Congress, many critics say the laws should go further and require less action from those of us being spammed.

     

  • A tale of two anti-spam bills (July 3, 2003)
    Two senators fight for two bills to eradicate spam. Does it matter which one is made law, at long as there IS a law implemented and your company's inboxes and servers don't overload? Read about the two bills to decide for yourself.

     

  • Major Internet standards group working on fast plan to can spam (May 27, 2003)
    The Anti-Spam Research Group (ASRG), an affiliate of the Internet Engineering Task Force, proposes several initiatives to fight spam. It is pushing for simple e-mail authentication to make it tougher for spammers to hide behind fake sender addresses, reputation systems similar to what eBay uses to let people cooperate in identifying spammers and client-side interfaces to let end users report spam.



Resources
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  • SearchSecurity.com spam newscast
    This archived webcast features Pete Lindstrom and Daniel Klein, who answer questions about the best way to manage spam in the enterprise. Pete is research director at Spire Security, and Daniel is VP of technology development for Lone Wolf Systems, as well as a freelance consultant and software developer. If spam is becoming a major nuisance for your IT team and users, then don't miss this opportunity to advice from those in the know.

     

  • Winning the war on spam
    Spam is an expensive nuisance, and it's your job to stop it. SearchWin2000.com collected tips, articles and expert solutions to give you the ammo to win the war on spam.

     

  • Thwarting spam
    Spam is no longer just a prank -- it's a serious threat to security and a real headache for InfoSec professionals. SearchSecurity.com collected its most pertinent links for slamming spam.

     

  • Spam.abuse.net
    This site not only includes a list of ISPs that support anti-spam policies, but also helps you figure out how to limit your spam and spam pop-ups.

     

  • Spammers' Top 10
    If you're looking to set your spam detection filters, FrontBridge Technologies is out with the top 10 spam subject lines.

     

  • How spam works
    If you want to know which companies are sending you the junk e-mail or how they get your e-mail address anyway, check out this section of HowStuffWorks.com. Don't forget to check out the "stopping spam" section to see one possible future of e-mail.



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