Plan For No Spam
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Joined: Feb 2011
26-02-2011, 10:55 AM
Plan For No Spam
Unwanted and irrelevant mass mailings, commonly known as spam are becoming a serious nuisance that if left unchecked may soon be regarded as a Denial of Service Attack against the email infrastructure of the Internet itself. The term spam is derived from a Monty python sketch set in a cafeteria in which the principal protagonists have difficulty making them heard about a group of Vikings singing. "SPAM" in honor of the meat product manufactured by Hormel.
IDEAL SPAM CONTROL SYSTEM PROPERTIES
" An ideal spam control would have the following properties
" Eliminate all unwanted mails
" Eliminate no wanted mails
" Require no user input on the part of either the sender or the receiver.
" Be compatible with all uses of mail.
" Be compatible with all email infrastructure configurations.
" Be scalable, that is remain effective if 90% of internet users adopt it.
" Resist attempts to evade it.
" Create no new problems.
No perfect spam control solution has been found so far. Filtering approaches are compatible with a broad range of email uses and infrastructure but no filter perfectly identifies even a fraction of unwanted emails without eliminating at least some wanted emails. Further more the more widely a filter is used the greater the incentive becomes for the spam senders to test against it to ensure that their spam gets through.
There are many types of spam and it is likely therefore that any realistic program to eliminate spam will have to address the problem in multiple ways. In particular we should not reject a mechanism out of hand simply because it fails to deal with a particular type of spam sender .For example it is highly unlikely that spam senders engaged in organized crime will respect Opt-Out lists or Legislative approaches. We should not however, we conclude from the fact that a mechanism fails in certain circumstances that it fails completely in all circumstances.
The only mechanisms that rule out of hand are those based on vigilante actions that attempt to gain compliance by coercion.
The traditional response of the internet to problem uses administrators of deployed protocols is to specify some form of 'Best Practices'. Spam is an attack on the Internet community. The short survey and prosecutions by the FTC and others show that the spam senders are in many cases outright criminals, how then can best practices help? One area in which best practices can provide concrete benefit is in ensuring that the vast majority of Internet users who are acting in good faith do not inadvertently make the problem worse by poorly chosen or poorly coordinated mitigation strategies. Many of the problems being caused by irresponsible blacklists could be addressed through common agreement on best practices for blacklists setting out criteria for issues such as notice to the listed parties, appeals processes and the acceptability of 'collateral damage'. Best practices can also provide backing for legislative approaches. An appropriate statement by an authoritative body can help a court to decide that a particular form of behavior is unacceptable, even if such statements do not have the endorsement of a legislative body they can quickly acquire the force of law when the worst malefactors are being dealt with.
Active In SP
Joined: Feb 2011
23-04-2011, 10:27 AM
A Plan For No Spam.ppt (Size: 306 KB / Downloads: 157)
Unwanted and irrelevant mass mailings, commonly known as spam are becoming a serious nuisance that if left unchecked may soon be regarded as a Denial of Service Attack against the email infrastructure of the Internet itself.
The term spam is derived from a Monty python sketch set in a cafeteria in which the principal protagonists have difficulty making them heard about a group of Vikings singing. "SPAM" in honor of the meat product manufactured by Hormel
Ideal Spam Control System Properties
Acceptable Use policies
Pull Vs Push
One of the major problems caused by spam is positive identification as spam of legitimate emails
This is a particular problem with commercial mailing lists and newsletter messages requested by the recipient which frequently carry advertising and make use of content that is likely to be flagged by content inspection filters as spam
One possible solution to this problem would be to add some form of authentication mechanism that communicated the recipient's consent to the mail infrastructure
Another option would be to distribute this form of content using the pull model of the Web [HTTP] and NNTP [NNTP] rather than the push model of the email
Opt-Out and Do-Not-Spam lists
Legislation And Litigation
Prosecutions and Litigation under Existing Legislation
Protocol changes to facilitate spam measures
Mailing List Management
Mechanisms identifying messages sent through a mailing list and the means by which the subscription can be cancelled.
Mechanism that allows a mail server to determine that an email user solicited a message from a particular mailing list or other bulk sender
Authenticated subscription management mechanism
Mechanism for communicating the authenticated mailing list subscription mechanisms to email clients.
Mechanisms for identifying automatically generated messages that should not be replied to under any circumstances.
Means of determining that an email client confirms to a consistent means of implementing the above
Comprehensive Email Management
Denial Of Service Black List
Denial Of Service attack typically targets a single site or a small group of sites.
It is likely therefore that in most cases the source of information for the denial of service blacklist would be information collected at the site itself.
Spam Sender Blacklist
It is recommended that spam blacklists be used as one input to the content filtering decision making process than to provide an accept/deny decisions.
In particular end users should not be deprived of wanted email messages because they are send from a source address that has been listed to create ‘collateral damage’ as a means of establishing leverage to cause an ISP to change policy.
In most cases neither the sender nor the receiver has direct influence over these policies and the annoyance caused to the use of these tactic is almost certain to be greater than that caused by the spam itself
Authorized Sender Whitelist
The authorized sender white lists will typically be based on information configured locally from lists of known customers, suppliers and partners.
In cases where robust authentication techniques such as digital certificates are used, it may prove adequate to list exceptions to the white lists.
The use of feedback from end users is highly recommended to assist in the maintenance of the black lists and white lists and in the configuration of the content inspection processor.
This feedback may employ Bayesian inference, least squares minimization etc
Do not send lists, protected using one-way encryption provide an objective definition of a spam message.
Legislative initiatives provide a means of increasing the costs of the spam senders and reducing the profitability of their enterprise.
Content inspection provides a means of identifying undesirable messages that can be deployed with immediate advantage to the user
Authentication provides a means of identifying desirable messages that allows the problem of false positives associated with content inspection to be reduced and with widespread deployment offers the possibility of a comprehensive solution
Authentication policy provides a means of knowing that a message that does not meet the Authentication policy specified by the domain name owner has been forged and should be discarded as spam
Callback loop authentication is acceptable as a last resort when a message has been identified as likely spam. it use as a first line of defense is not acceptable.
Protocol improvements provide support for the content inspection and authentication mechanisms and should be pursued aggressively.
Spam is a security problem.
It is the lack of authentication and authorization in the email system that allows sit to be abused for any purpose spam is a community problem and it is the internet community as a whole that must find, implement and deploy solutions
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