Recently much has been written about spam, however, is a subject that has not been exhausted, because spam has become not only an annoyance to email users but, even worse, a threat to the integrity systems and sensitive personal information. Activities such as phishing, scamming (1) and programs such as spywares (2) are the main dangers with which we are currently facing, which added to the proliferation of viruses and denial-of-service coming to disable entire networks.
But what benefit are spammers? Well, this comes down to money. Currently, spammers have incentive low or no cost involved flooding the networks with millions of emails, for the return of up to one million dollars a month, coming from 0.05% (3) of responses from users who fall into deceit or temptation to open or reply to spam.
However, the activities of spammers do not focus only make money, but to seek increasingly sophisticated methods to avoid filters and anti-spam tools to reach end users.
One way to act is through invent email addresses and send them with the hope that one of them does exist. Generation programs for mass mailing lists go over the whole alphabet and valid characters to form words which may serve to create millions of addresses. If one of them is valid, and there was an end user who will receive the spam, and even more, if the user chooses to answer that spam, that address is involuntarily validated by the user, and will be overrun with spam.
To prevent your mailing lists are blocked, spammers have developed ingenious ways to mask IP addresses or URLs that look valid, constantly changing them to avoid being blacklisted.
Once the spammer has managed to find a valid address an end user, the challenge will now pass anti-spam filters. Some filters look for words in the title of the post (subject), and the task of the spammer is fool the filter, for example, change an “i” by a “1” and send v1agra instead of Viagra. The anti-spam filter does not know the word v1agra and allows its passage. When the filter learns it is a little late, since the message was sent to potential users. After this, the spammer changes the word again and the cycle repeats.
Finally, spammers are able to take over management servers with weak security systems.Using these servers are able to flood the networks with spam and viruses, hiding his true identity behind a server a user or organization without their knowing it.
How do we act against spam?
Both end users and service providers email can act against spam.
A user level, the vast majority of customers or programs that let you read mail (such as: Oultlook, Netscape, Eudora, Lotus Notes, etc.) have tools to generate blacklists address where we do not want to receive mail. The management of these lists should be done with some care, since we can block the reception of emails from an entire organization, when the intention was to block only one email account.
To protect against the effects of spam, it is possible to perform some simple actions.
For example, it is suggested:
- Do not open attachments to emails, especially if they are executable files.
- Using a special account, not personal, for subscriptions, mailing lists, advertising or request information online.
- Do not respond to spam, even for your account to be removed from mailing lists, because such actions allow only validate your account is legitimate.
- Avoid buying something that is advertised directly through spam. If you are interested in a product or service, verify that the sources that offer it are truthful (4).
- Having the latest antivirus and constantly update version.
- Never open an unknown email or unexpected.
Service providers email, to combat spam, also used sophisticated techniques for filtering equally massive. an entire industry for spam attack has emerged with the aim of achieving greater effectiveness and accuracy in filtering unsolicited mail.
Some companies have multiple operation and logistics centers worldwide, enabling them to meet daily new viruses and spams that are continuously generated. To obtain this knowledge, they use some or all of the following techniques:
- Using blacklists of spammers (IP addresses and domains) that are captured by misleading email accounts, called spamtraps or honeypots. These email accounts allow the capture of millions of messages are analyzed monthly for labeling as 100% spam. Importantly, the analysis often takes place through a group of people who literally read mail to identify spam.
- Using filters that block messages based on the “reputation” sender. There are addresses and domains that spammers use very common way to attack networks, so these domains are invariably analyzed to discern between legitimate mail and spam.
- Using methods to discover patterns mailings, identify insecure servers that have been compromised and measure volumes of messages sent from the same address.
- Application of Heuristic filters that analyze the title, body and other information from incoming mail. Based on that content, it is assigned a rating to the mail is compared with a reference value. This value determines whether the mail is spam or not. The problem here is the criterion for establishing the reference value could be labeled a high volume of legitimate mail as spam (false positives).
- Using tools that allow filtering by language. Depending on the country in which these filters, this technique can be very effective considering that 80% of spam is written in English apply.
What is sought in an anti-spam
Service providers email that want to protect their users, seek above all the accuracy in identifying spam. This accuracy refers to the rate of occurrence of false positives, that is, the legitimate mails tagged as spam. For example, if an institution receives 500,000 emails a day, a rate of 1% false positive leads us to five thousand emails that while legitimate, are filtered out and do not reach the end user. This can then be considered as a high rate, talking about half a million messages per day. Based on this, it seeks to find a product that offers us a low rate of false positives.
Some other features can define the parameters of selection of a team or anti-spam software, such as:
- Establish whether the required solution will be based only on software that is installed on the mail server, or on a separate computer to the server.
- Filtering performance and positive identification of spam.
- Time and form of “learning” spam.
- Efficient processing performance, based on the maximum number of messages transited by the server daily.
- Performance in response to virus attacks or denial of service.
- Using quarantine folders that allow the user to have the choice to check mail filtering before being deleted.
- Administration GUI for statistics and monitoring by security levels in this administration.
- based on less vulnerable operating systems platform for security concerns.
- • granular configuration that allows the application of filtering policies for both entire domains and individual accounts.
The spam industry is extremely dynamic and evolving in sophistication, efficiency and accuracy, however, there is no product to stop 100% of spam with no occurrences of false positives.
The accuracy of mail filtering can represent a considerable investment, but on the other hand, the price paid for not fighting it is extremely high, especially when it comes to jeopardize the integrity of confidential and personal information from users of e-mail.
Much has to do anti-spam companies to stay in this battle, and we as end users email, touch us for a bit longer, receiving spam in our inboxes, and even worse, these emails coming soon to our cell .
The search giant is using smarter technology to differentiate a legitimate email spam.
Google is using smarter technology to your mailbox Gmail is free of spam and the same time ensuring that legitimate messages yes you arrive.
On the one hand, Gmail is using artificial intelligence to better detect stealthy spam that always finds ways to evade filters and reach your inbox, said product manager of Google Sri Harsha Somanchi in a blog that detailed how being employed smarter to create better spam filters technology. On the other hand, Google has launched a feature called Gmail Postmaster Tools, which provides data that help those who send messages to better diagnose why some emails are classified as spam.
Determining which messages are spam and which is not an endless battle, especially when a message that a person believes spam can be a legitimate message to another user. Messages from banks, airlines and other companies fall into this category. How can you tell Google whether it is a promotional ad or whether it is an important message from your bank account information or a flight? The spammershave become more intelligent also, using more tricks to better disguise spam so that it is difficult to filter automated detection of these messages. So what tools are using Google to better fight spam?
The Gmail spam filter is now using a neural network, or artificial intelligence, to become more intelligent. When you tag a message as spam – or not – you help the filter to learn from their mistakes, so that in the future more accurate and reliable. But the neural network took this a step further by better detect and block “stealth spam” spam those who disguise themselves as legitimate emails.
Moreover, advances in learning computers can help spam filters learn more about individual preferences. Thus, the filters can correctly label an email as spam or as a legitimate message. The Gmail spam filter has also improved in identifying email spoofing; this means that a message comes from a source that is not the sender appears to be. The spammers use fake addresses to avoid detection, but more sophisticated spam filter can better identify messages from these addresses.
Legitimate senders of messages have to speak out when their messages are incorrectly tagged as spam. To help in this task, Google is offering its new tool Gmail Postmaster Tools . These tools can help you send large amounts of emails to analyze reports of spam, errors in sending the message and other factors to determine whether a legitimate message being classified as junk.
Somanchi said that less than 0.1 percent of the messages in the average primary mailbox a Gmail account consists of spam, while on the other hand, the number of legitimate messages relegated to the spam folder is even lower (less than 0.05 percent). But the battle continues.
“Ultimately, we aim to provide an experience free of spam Gmail” Somanchi said. “So continue to send their spam reports, and if you are a company that sends emails, take a look at Postmaster Tools. Together we can make legitimate messages end up in the right place, and get rid of spam”.
Although our personal data is protected by various regulations and legal frameworks, there are companies that share their subsidiaries or directly the end selling to third parties that usually bombard us with advertising or offers. That our mobile rings again and again (sometimes in the middle of a meeting or while we are having lunch) with unwanted calls from telephone operators who want to get an offer or our bank offering a new credit card is something many suffer, and even let the phone ring or you give to hang, in many cases the calls do not stop.
Luckily, there are many mobile phones which, little by little, have been including within its capabilities the ability to configure a blacklist of phone numbers that, automatically, can reject your calls. While it is a useful feature that is not always an easy option to find or directly is not within the capabilities of our smartphone .
In the case of not having this option and have a terminal Android , we can use Google Play and its extensive catalog of applications to provide our phone this functionality and put a barrier to spam phone (although there are professionalspam varying the phone number to bypass these barriers).
Spamdel© POP3 utility & anti-spam
Spamdel shows your mail on the server, including the message body – it doesn’t have to be downloaded to your PC. You can view and delete mail, then let your preferred email client download the desired mails. Unlike most other email utilities, Spamdel operates on the server (away from your PC) which means a tremendous improvement in safety against virus attacks and spam.
BlackList is a complete application (and that is free) that willhelp us fight spam phone in our smartphone since put barriers to prevent us from entering phone calls and SMS from unwanted numbers. The application, as we can imagine, revolves around a blacklist certain numbers which can add blocks to private numbers, sequences specific digit (very useful if the caller varies the last digits of origin), filter SMS according character patterns and implement actions identified as the rejection of the call or simply prevent the phone rings. The configuration options of this application are quite large and, frankly, we will have enough combinations to keep our phone rings while, for example, rest peacefully at home or are having lunch.
Call Blocker is another free alternative that can give oursmartphone Android a “wall of defense” against spam phone *.With this application we can block, using a blacklist, SMS or incoming calls from certain numbers and also have the option to schedule an answer via SMS. Also, if for example we lose our terminal or suffers some sort of damage that requires us to restore and erase all stored data, Call Blocker offers the possibility to safeguard cloud our blacklist of blocked numbers and thus to restore setting at any time.
Calls Blacklist is another alternative that block these calls so annoying (and usually always be linked to the world of telemarketing). Like its predecessors, this application offers the possibility of maintaining our terminal in silence if you call from a phone number you have on the blacklist of numbers to block arrives and, in the same way, act if you enter an SMS. We will also have option to block calls from private numbers, apply a generalized block if, for example, we do not want interruptions when we’re in a meeting or resting , and also the application promises not consume many resources.
Call Control – Call Blocker is another complete free application (although it also has paid version) with which to get rid of spamphone (both calls and SMS). In addition to handling personal blacklists (and block specific numbers or prefixes), one of the most interesting details access to a list of numbers consideredspam built on the community of users of the application. In addition, you can configure the application to not skip the voicemail for these specific numbers, perform a configuration saving on the SD card terminal or perform reverse lookups of phone numbers that call us (to find the owner).
SMS Blocker is a free application that is focused, exclusively, to fight spam that comes in the form of SMS. While most applications gives us the option to block based on the number source, this application works much like a spam filter email so that it also allows us to block messages following character patterns that are in message body . Additionally, if we get a SMS to consider desired not have option to lock from the home screen of our smartphone and within notifications, we have access to a counter with blocked messages (in the same way that we would see new messages cumulative). The application has a paid version with which we can send auto – reply messages, eliminate advertising application or back up your messages .
Google has decided to improve the antispam capabilities of your email service. It has also made available to senders new release dubbed Gmail Postmaster Tools.
Email is an invention that has brought many advantages, especially associated with being able to communicate with people who are within kilometers (and even continents) away.
But as its use has become more popular, it has also become a frequent target of cybercriminals, who see the email as a useful channel contact potential victims. This occurs through post phishing .
In addition, the issue of spam as we must take into account email spam that may not enclose any scam inside but ends up flooding the inbox of users every day without useful information.
To improve user experience, Google has decided to improve the capabilities of fighting spam with which account your email system Gmail .
Much of the improvements relate to the enhancement of intelligence and responsiveness of the service, to apply advances in machine learning spam filter.
Gmail now be able to stop the arrival of mail not required to become slippery when acquiring the typical appearance of spam, as well as to put more barriers to identity theft .
Another advantage of the renewed Gmail is the email service offered by the Mountain View company will adapt to the preferences of each user , as each person can be considered as spam different things.
Moreover, Google has also been put on the skin of the senders themselves and decided to make available to those that generate high volume of mail the Gmail Postmaster Tools .
With these tools, legitimate businesses should be able to control how they are behaving messages prepared and sent to your customers, discover whether or not come to deliver and monitor their reputation, for example.