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Matts (1087)

Matts
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I work for MessageLabs [messagelabs.com] in Toronto, ON, Canada. I write spam filters, MTA software, high performance network software, string matching algorithms, and other cool stuff mostly in Perl and C.

Journal of Matts (1087)

Monday October 13, 2003
04:51 AM

Foo Camp Stops Spam

[ #15187 ]

I was invited to Foo Camp (which is now being blogged just about everywhere) but sadly couldn't go because of finances this year. I would have enjoyed it I'm sure.

Some people sat down to try and discuss ways to solve the spam problem.

What Tim misses in the above idea is that machines are being hijacked en-mass to send spam. It's only a small step for the spammer to be able to hijack machines that have paid to send email. Thus his fictional SMTP4All Inc now has major lawsuits on its hands from innocent victims who have been overcharged.

This is just another in a long series of reasons why sender pays is just another short term stop gap solution.

If you really want to solve the spam problem I think you have to break a lot more eggs than is being proposed here. And I'm not convinced that's a price worth paying.

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  • FFB? (Score:2, Interesting)

    Matt,

    What do you think of Paul Graham's idea of Filters that Fight Back?

    http://www.paulgraham.com/ffb.html

    The basic idea is that by automatically crawling the links in spam a certain number of times (100-200), you would flood a spammers response rate with junk traffic and also ensure that bandwidth costs exceeded the financial rewards of spam.

    I love the symmetry of responding to junk traffic with junk traffic.

    OTOH, I know the problem of having spam include other people's URLs at the bottom would need
    • Re:FFB? (Score:3, Interesting)

      This is never going to fly. It comes down to one basic principle:

      Two wrongs don't make a right.

      As much as I hate spam, and think Ralsky deserves to be behind bars, it is not for me to attack his servers (even if done so in a distributed fashion).