back to article Will we ever can the spam monster?

Spam may be the best known security threat in the world. Anyone with email or a Facebook account has experienced it, despite providers’ best efforts to block it from their inboxes. And although the world’s cyber warriors have taken down large chunks of infrastructure hosting massive spam campaigns, it remains a huge problem. …

  1. Craigie

    Yes

    Once we stop using email.

    How useful is it now anyway? When did you last get a useful email?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      WTF?

      Re: Yes

      How useful is it now anyway? When did you last get a useful email?

      About 10 minutes ago.

    2. JakeyC

      Re: Yes

      When I had to reset my Reg password to reply to your comment.

    3. JeffyPoooh
      Pint

      Email spam? What's that?

      Gmail's filters are not perfect, but they are very close to perfect.

      Email spam is a complete non-issue for me; due to Gmail.

      If you're suffering, then now you know what to do.

      1. JP19
        FAIL

        Re: Email spam? What's that?

        "Gmail's filters are not perfect, but they are very close to perfect"

        Sure, I send an email order to a small business from a legitimate email address that I have had for getting on 20 years and actually paid for. Gmail silently drops it as spam. Days later I chase up on the telephone and the guy swears he has all the Gmail spam filtering turned off. I try again - he doesn't get it. I create a throw away Gmail account to send one email to him and he gets it.

        If there had been an easy alternative supplier I would have just walked away. Filters letting spam through is an annoyance, filters blocking non-spam can cost you dearly. I wouldn't use Gmail for anything serious and that is before considering privacy issues.

        1. Tom Wood

          Re: Email spam? What's that?

          I send an email order to a small business from a legitimate email address that I have had for getting on 20 years and actually paid for. Gmail silently drops it as spam.

          The "from" address is irrelevant (in spam, they're fake).

          Did you send it through a legitimate and correctly configured mailserver? Does the mailserver have valid reverse DNS entry? Is it allowed by the SPF record for the sending domain? Is your server configured as an open relay or has it for some other reason found its way into one of the big DNS blocklists?

          There's a whole bunch of ways your "legitimate" email server could be mis-configured so that it looks to Gmail like you're a likely spammer.

        2. JeffyPoooh
          Pint

          Re: Email spam? What's that?

          JP: "I send an email ... Gmail silently drops it as spam."

          That's why I didn't write: "Gmail's filters are perfect..."

          Reading comprehension is a valuable skill.

        3. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Email spam? What's that?

          @JP19

          So, when *you* finally used Gmail *as was suggested*, then it all worked perfectly.

          The solution is right there. Stop belly aching about spam and spam filters, and pick up the solution.

          Horse/water, etc.

        4. P. Lee
          Paris Hilton

          Re: Email spam? What's that?

          Invoices by email?

          Anything critical needs to have an acknowledgement system - its why we use TCP rather than just UDP.

          I usually send mine by post with perhaps a copy sent for information by email., unless I have a strong history of successful emailing.

      2. Mark Simon

        Re: Email spam? What's that?

        I spent days of frustration and hundreds of dollars on consultant time trying to rectify Google’s error in blacklisting my IP address.

        Google don’t respond to inquiries and don’t explain why they do what they do, so if they make an error it’s your problem to deal with.

        If you’re not getting any spam through Gmail, it’s possibly dumping some of your legitimate email in the process.

        Yes, now I know what to do. Encourage anybody who listens to dump Gmail and get a proper email account.

    4. Wibble
      Holmes

      Re: Yes

      Curious: what's your alternative for work* based electronic communication?

      * If you don't work then you deserve all your downvotes

      1. Havin_it

        Re: Yes

        >If you don't work then you deserve all your downvotes

        You are Iain Duncan Smith and I claim my £53.

    5. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: Yes

      "Once we stop using email."

      Sort of. To refine your comment, once we stop using an email protocol which by default doesn't require verification of a mail's origin.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Unhappy

    There is only one way.

    ...stop clicking the bloody links!

    Like every business, legal or not, if you don't use their "products", then they won't "sell" them.

    Unfortunately human curiosity or greed will always win over common sense with many people.

    1. JDX Gold badge

      Re: There is only one way.

      A well-crafted phishing spam email doesn't prey on greed, and doesn't fall under what most computer users would understand as "common" sense. An email which appears to come from your bank and has a link which looks legit (but isn't if you look at the actual URL) can easily deceive those who did not grow up with the internet... which is still most of us.

      As the majority of computer users become those who grew up with the web, it will become common sense and scammers will have to get smarter.

      1. Alister

        Re: There is only one way.

        As the majority of computer users become those who grew up with the web, it will become common sense and scammers will have to get smarter.

        I'm afraid I disagree. In my experience, it is those who grew up with the internet who no longer have any clue what a URL is, or whether it looks legit or not.

        Sadly, for most younger computer users, the address bar of a browser is never used, or looked at, and might as well not be there, and sadly browser makers are reinforcing this by dumbing down the information displayed there.

        1. Jim 59

          Re: There is only one way.

          Alister has a point. Young people who were born with the 'net tend to be completely trusting of it. Middle aged folks are more cynical.

      2. John 110

        Re: There is only one way.

        @JDX

        I see you have a rosy view of humanity and their common sense. My view is that as folk become accustomed to the web, they become less, rather than more careful and the problem will creep back up.

        I don't normally draw parallels, but in this case it illustrates my point nicely. The AIDS epidemic gave people a certain amount of pause when it came to high-risk activities (you know what they are...) because AIDS was scary and fatal. As time went on, the initial infected died off, and treatments improved to the stage where surviving an infection is certain (at least in the UK, where healthcare is free) as long as you keep taking the drugs. People gradually stopped being careful and now we have a syphilis epidemic amongst teenagers in Scotland.

        Moral: as long as people send you links and/or offer "safe" sex people will forget the lessons of the past and will indulge in unsafe practises.

        PS: taking anti-retrovirals to survive is NOT nice. And the other STDs, GC and syph, are becoming more drug resistant daily. BE CAREFUL!!

        1. TwistUrCapBack

          Re: There is only one way.

          "(at least in the UK, where healthcare is free)"

          Healthcare IS NOT free ..

          I pay for it out of my tax .

          1. John 110

            Re: There is only one way.

            @ TwistUrCapBack

            "Healthcare IS NOT free ..

            I pay for it out of my tax ."

            Sorry, I meant free at point of access (as well you knew - but you had to moan, didn't you)

      3. Terry 6 Silver badge

        Re: There is only one way.

        No, I'm getting a load of spam on my business email address at the moment. None of it is sophisticated. Just ads for stuff that no one with a half a brain would consider buying.

        Anyone who is stupid enough to click on those links needs to rounded up and taken for re-education.

        Sadly, as the net has become a tool that anyone can use without thought it's become open to the types who just don't think.

        1. Jason 41
          Coffee/keyboard

          Re: There is only one way. @Terry 6

          I read that as re-election

        2. TwistUrCapBack

          Re: There is only one way.

          I heard somewhere that the spam email writers are now making their mails LESS sophisticated by design..

          That way, anyone stupid enough to click on the link- is more likely to be stupid enough to buy product/ give away personal details on the resulting page ..

          Sheesh

      4. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: There is only one way.

        "A well-crafted phishing spam email doesn't prey on greed, and doesn't fall under what most computer users would understand as "common" sense. An email which appears to come from your bank and has a link which looks legit (but isn't if you look at the actual URL) can easily deceive those who did not grow up with the internet... which is still most of us."

        Unfortunately banks send emails, or have other companies send them on their behalf, which look like well-crafted phishing spam. Only the "From:" uses the bank's domain. They're training their customers to respond to being phished.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: There is only one way.

      I have to ask why are people so brainwashed that if they see a link they have to click in it?

      Although curiosity and/or greed play a part in it, I think the main reason is that people are so conditioned to click on links that they now do it without thinking.

      A large part of the solution would be for people to have a fast Bayesian spam filter incorporated into their e-mail program (I don't know if that is possible with web based e-mail). We have a master filter on our incoming mail server and individual ones on every client and it is once in a blue moon that anyone sees a spam e-mail.

    3. Shannon Jacobs
      Holmes

      Can't eliminate ALL stupidity, but we could make it LESS profitable

      Less profit would result in less spam. Do the numbers. Billions of people hate spam. The suckers who feed the spammers are extremely rare. If the billions were leveraged against the suckers, the spammers could not make connections. The spammers would not become decent human beings, but they would crawl under less visible rocks. The stupid suckers would not become smarter, but they would be protected from themselves and the innocent suckers (Think of the children) or the people who accidentally click on poison would be saved.

      Technical countermeasures are interesting and even important, but the spammers need the human help of the suckers, and that is where the spam-hating humans could and would help, if it was only possible to take more effective measures. I'm not arguing for cyber-lyinching of the spammers, though it sounds nice, but for tools to help in the anti-spammer targeting. The spammers can't obfuscate beyond the capacity of some really stupid suckers, and we could deal with that. Wannabe spam-fighters can identify and precisely categorize the spam and help select the most effective countermeasures, and then the email providers could quickly pull the triggers--BEFORE the spammers can profit.

      1. Analyze spam interatively

      2. Attack ALL of the spammers' infrastructure, pursue ALL of the spammers' accomplices, help and protect ALL of the spammers' victims.

      3. NO PROFIT.

  3. Pete 2 Silver badge

    Anti-spam-iotics

    > Only arrests will help bring about the serious reduction in spam many dream of.

    Nope.

    The way to stop spam is to kill off the botnets. The basic attribute of the criminal mind is the assumption that they won't get caught. No crim. performs a risk-reward assessment before embarking on a course of action. They all assume that the risk of getting nicked is small or insignificant (or that the punishment will be 10 minutes on the "naughty" step). Therefore arresting spammers will only take those individuals off the internet: it won't stop new ones taking their place.

    The only way to stop spam as a whole is to deny the spammers access to the millions of machines that send out their content. Without those, they have no practical means of either infecting new machines or or sending out enough messages to make a 1 in a million conversion rate a viable way of turning a profit. If we considered spam like we think of disease, the "treatment" would be to attack the infection, "cure" the machines and ensure they are immune to further attacks. What's the best way to do that? Probably to use a "if you can't beat 'em, join 'em" philosophy and have some very clever people build their own viruses that shut down infected machines and beef-up their security using exactly the same security holes that got them infected in the first place.

    1. Jim 59

      Re: Anti-spam-iotics

      Botnets often start with insecure legacy systems. Eg. Vista and earlier versions of Windows, which were inherently insecure (eg. any user can run any program, any click in email can run any program). As they fade away to be replaced by Windows 7 and later (which successfully copied the Unix "sudo" security model), botnets may fade out, like an amoeba with nowhere to go. Hopefully.

      1. itzman

        Re: Anti-spam-iotics

        yep. joyriding cars has tailed off sharply because cracking a cars security is now beyond the average teenager

      2. Charles 9 Silver badge

        Re: Anti-spam-iotics

        No, more like the flu. You can try to wipe it out but it adapts too quickly. You say UNIX and Win7 are pretty secure...until someone combines a toehold exploit with a privilege escalation and BOOM, you're dead meat again. The thing about this security business is you have to be lucky all the time, they only have to be lucky once. And they have millions of targets (and growing) to choose from.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The best thing I ever did to reduce spam was to let Google manage my mail (for ~30 users). Keeping up to date with new spam rules, not to mention the continued risk of someone either breaking in or using it as a relay, lost passwords, etc. is almost a full time job (for someone who's job it isn't).

    I'm glad it's off my back.

    1. Si 1

      I must admit I'm tempted to switch to Google, the install of SpamAssassin on my server is letting so much through these days. I still can't quite bring myself to let Google go snooping through all my email, but I suspect it's only a matter of time before I get annoyed enough to switch!

      1. Jim 59

        @Si 1: use good Hotmail ! Goodish spam filter and no butt stuff.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      A while ago now, Virgin Media dumped email handling in Google's lap and, much as I don't like praising either of them, they have done a damned good job in stopping the deluge of spam.

      To call it a trickle now would be to overstate how much spam I get and Google are more proficient at accurate filtering than the Bayesian filtering systems I was previously forced to run locally.

  5. jake Silver badge

    Idiots abound.

    Spammers take advantage of that fact.

    Until we rid the world of idiots, spam will continue.

    Note that I'm not very happy about it, but at least I know how to filter most of the crap out of the networks that me&mine use for day-to-day life.

  6. Tom Wood

    Block port 25 by default

    If the ISPs hosting these botnet-infected machines blocked port 25 (as many/most UK ISPs do), the spam couldn't spread anywhere near as easily. Most spam my mailserver receives comes from domestic connections outside the EU/US which are clearly from botnet infected machines that shouldn't be operating a mailserver.

    1. Doctor_Wibble

      Re: Block port 25 by default

      Yes!

      Blocking port 25 for anything other than the local (ISP) mail server will kill a huge amount of spam - if you are sending via a not-your-ISP mail server you should be using authentication anyway and an alternate port is easy enough and not even non-standard. Do we stand a chance of convincing all ISPs to do this?

      With a low-volume mail server I can see the vast majority is from the the other side of the Rhine so it's easy enough to block most of it with a few IP ranges. Less feasible for a larger service though. Somewhat complicated by cloud-compute instances doing relay probes and ssl probes and badly-written bots trying 'auth login' 200 times even after the 'fail' response.

      The biggest obstacle is the spam filtering services - this is a technical method of pretending there is no problem and as long as people are convinced that everything is fine because they never see any spam no real progress will be made.

      And of course there's the semi-official 'your anti spam fix fails' list that will probably appear here at some point.

      p.s. also make all HTML email completely illegal and ban email programs that open attachments automatically or offer an 'open with' option instead of whatever attachment being turned into something completely inactive though iirc even simple images have had their problems too...

      1. Tom Wood

        Re: Block port 25 by default

        Right, message submission (to the ISP's mailserver or your own external one) should use port 587 for SMTP (including using STARTTLS) or port 465 for SMTPS. Port 25 should be restricted for message relaying/delivery which most customers of a domestic ISP have no call to do. Those that do need it should have to ask for it to be enabled and can then be monitored by the ISP more closely.

        I don't agree about HTML mail though, that definitely has its uses.

        1. This post has been deleted by its author

        2. brooxta

          Re: Block port 25 by default

          A surprising number of UK ISPs supplying residential services leave port 25 wide open (although, granted, they may be throttled - I haven't stress tested the connection!). From my (limited) experience it seems that north American ISPs are more diligent on this matter while Australian ISPs are similar to their UK brethren.

          Ports 465 and 587 with accompanying authentication protocols are definitely the way forward.

          Having outgoing port 25 blocked by default but the possibility of it being opened at the customer's request seems like a reasonable way forward.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Block port 25 by default

        No.

        Blocking port 25 would only be a temporary fix, and once ISPs start nannying with that port.. what's next? ftp? telnet? Then next thing we'll have is people using non-standard ports which is far worse.

        Using PBL lookups is more effective (~80% of my spam is blocked with that).

      3. Vic

        Re: Block port 25 by default

        p.s. also make all HTML email completely illegal

        My mail client is set to display text email by default (with an option to display as HTML if I explicitly choose to do so). It makes spotting anything that does get through my filters *painfully* easy.

        I'm not sure this would persist if text-mode were the norm...

        Vic.

        1. Alister

          Re: Block port 25 by default

          I'm not sure this would persist if text-mode were the norm...

          Yes, but one of the main things about HTML mail is that you can obfuscate an incorrect URL in a link by writing what appears to be a legitimate address as the displayed text. Unless you view it in text mode it is not obvious.

          In a text email, you can't do that, any links in the text have to have the actual URL displayed, so are immediately obvious.

  7. Dylbot

    The worst thing with spam is that it always attacks the weakest link in any organisational chain by dint of how it operates. No matter how vigilant we are, a percentage is always going to get through - and it only takes one spam email to hit the pointy-haired boss or an overworked admin staff member to infect and start spreading through the network.

    This is why you're not allowed to use personal email, eBay, Facebook et al at work, bean counters. Because you can't be bloody trusted to worry less about being sniped on a bid than about accidentally getting the public network share encrypted by some rogue ransomware.

  8. Graham Marsden
    Big Brother

    The price of freedom...

    Although spam is a nuisance and even the best filters can't stop it all, it is, in a way, some consolation that whilst it's possible for people to spam without being stopped, it is also possible for others to express themselves without state interference and control.

    Ok, I admit it's hardly an ideal situation, but consider the alternative...

  9. Yugguy
    Unhappy

    Who the hell????

    Keeps clicking on these things???

    Just stop.

    You havent won a prize in a lottery you never entered.

    There can't be a problem with a ticket for a journey you booked.

    YOU COLOSSAL IDIOTS.

    1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: Who the hell????

      "You havent won a prize in a lottery you never entered.

      There can't be a problem with a ticket for a journey you booked."

      But a small proportion of the recipients will have entered the lottery or bought the ticket. If they can't spot the fake they'll reasonably respond and that small level of response makes it worthwhile for the spammer.

    2. Turtle

      Re: Who the hell????

      "Keeps clicking on these things??? Just stop. You havent won a prize in a lottery you never entered. There can't be a problem with a ticket for a journey you booked. YOU COLOSSAL IDIOTS."

      Call me cynical, but a solution which depends on people ceasing to be stupid is doomed to failure.

  10. Panicnow

    Yes, but the ISPs won't co-operate

    The solution is easy, default kill on selected traffic from all internet connections, then a small charge to re-establish them under suitable Ts&Cs. Most domestic users wouldn't even notice.

    ISPs that didn't co-operate would find their whole net filtered. I.e the system is viral

    All it needs is for one major ISP to value their customers sanity over the corporate "No one got fired for doing nothing" ( Being generous on their motivation here;)

    ( The authour founded PIPEX and Internet Watch, I DO KNOW WHAT I'M TALKING ABOUT!)

    1. Tweets

      Re: Yes, but the ISPs won't co-operate

      Yaay for PIPEX and the IWF! I worked for PIPEX For a very long time!

      As for Spam

      Technology changes. Spammers change. Our defences? Sadly do not. This is the biggest problem that I see.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    SPF is pretty handy too - seriously cuts down on people using legitimate email addresses to spoof as the 'from' address.

    There's a generator here:

    http://www.spfwizard.net/

    1. Vic

      There's a generator here:

      http://www.spfwizard.net/

      Sadly, if you follow its recommended selections, you get the usual "a mx ptr" bollocks that so many domains (ab)use.

      At least it doesn't give you the "+all" default[1] that I see so often at the moment.

      Vic.

      [1] If I ever find out who is advising that, there will be much regeneration...

    2. P. Lee

      >seriously cuts down on people using legitimate email addresses to spoof as the 'from' address.

      That's not always bad activity. I have my own domain which forwards to gmail, so all my from headers are "spoofed." Traffic goes out via my ISP and is forwarded back to gmail. It saves my running my own mail server.

      I'd prefer better OS security. Have a manifest with each application installed. If that app tries to execute something which hasn't been tagged in the installation manifest as executable, its gets flagged to the user. If it tries to pass off data to another executable outside of its installation manifest, it gets flagged.

      Forget some new GUI for windows 10, how about a decent firewall/IDS with MS-supplied geo-lists? Please tell me if my PC ever tries to send things on port 25 to anyone but my ISP. Please tell me if my SMTP exceeds 30 connections per hour or 20 recipients per message. Then work with the ISP's to create a common rules format. This could work for the ISP's as well. Include some QoS rules and people might be willing to shape their torrents during peak hours. With an open format, the FLOSS/OSX chaps can hook in as well.

      These are not complex IDS things, but they do need hooks into the OS GUI and logs to provide easy management and exception handling.

  12. DJV Silver badge
    Mushroom

    I'm not worried about spam...

    Billy boy said it will be history by 2006. Oh wait...

    http://www.cbsnews.com/news/gates-spam-to-be-canned-by-2006/

    1. JCitizen
      Happy

      Re: I'm not worried about spam...

      As far as I'm concerned Bill was right, but it took until 2013 or so. I never get any spam - just my junk mail box does, and even very few of them are exactly spam, just annoying emails from legitimate businesses. I check it every blue moon to see if any legitimate actionable emails need to be reclassified. I never get spam in my inbox in Windows Live.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Until spam filter are 100% perfect the spam will still be sent out because it's worth chasing the tiny amount who respond. At that point perhaps the spammers will give up, but I doubt it. It's just an escalating arms war which ends when no-one uses email any more.

    Currently filters just hide the problem rather than solve it. It's still worth trying to send it and clog up everyone's systems.

    I didn't really like the idea of paying for emails, but if they were 0.001c each you wouldn't notice - or try to get all ISPs to block / charge for excessive emails. At least then people unknowingly part of a botnet would find out and might do something about it.

    Once a reasonable percentage of ISPs have joined in, any ISP which didn't, could simply have all email from it's network blocked.

    1. Vic

      I didn't really like the idea of paying for emails, but if they were 0.001c

      ...You'd get just as much spam as you do now.

      Micropayments don't work. Spammers steal bandwidth - if you insist on payment to send email, they'll just steal that as well.

      Vic.

  14. JP19

    Follow the money

    The majority of spam is generated to try to extract money from the recipient (one way or another).

    Money moving from the recipient to the spammer leaves a trail that can be followed.

    What is needed is international legislation and cooperation allowing the money to be followed and spammers shut down at source.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Follow the money

      "Money moving from the recipient to the spammer leaves a trail that can be followed.

      What is needed is international legislation and cooperation allowing the money to be followed and spammers shut down at source."

      Until the spammers find a country that DOESN'T cooperate with international authorities or a method of money laundering where no traces are left for the LEOs to sniff. How do you deal with a hostile service in a hostile country that knows how to tunnel (which BTW blocks any attempt to meter e-mail--how will the ISP know what's an e-mail in a tunneled connection)?

  15. Turtle

    Possible Solution

    I think that the way to put an end to spam (at least for people who are serious about eliminating it from their inboxes) would be for there to a "penny black" email service union, in which each of the member email service providers charge some very minor fee per email sent (on the order of, say, a penny per thousand, just for the sake of putting a number here), and accept email only from other email service providers that also charge their users some minor fee per email sent.

    It is possible to think of various variations on this, such as all email not originating from another member of the union would be accepted but automatically be sent to the trash, etc.

    But as long as sending emails is free, the problem will never be solved.

    1. Vic

      Re: Possible Solution

      each of the member email service providers charge some very minor fee per email sent

      Micropayments have no effect on spam.

      Think of it like this: there are three ways to set up this payment system :-

      - prepayment

      - payment at the time

      - paying after the mails hae been sent.

      The second of these can be trivially ignored - if you have to get out your credit card for evey email you send, email ceases to be any use at all. The card charges alone would make this unworkable.

      So we're left with two methods which involve the computer having credit to send email - possibly limited, possibly not. Doesn't make any difference.

      If your computer has that credit, the spamming malware will steal that credit. So the spam flows anyway. Additionally, you can't send any email when you want to, because there is no credit.

      Micropayments don't help.

      Vic.

    2. Lightbearer

      Re: Possible Solution

      That was one of the two (and preferred) methods suggested by Bill Gates about a decade ago when he proclaimed spam would be canned in two years.

  16. hayzoos

    gmail spam filters are not just not perfect, they are far from it. All spam filters are. I take measures to circumvent them for my inbox. gmail kindly informs me that an email was not spent to spam because of one of my filters. Good thing, more than 1% is not spam, and some of that 1% is important email to me. I write my own filters for spam.

    Too much focus on the receiving end. It is easier to stop at the source. Unfortunately, an ISP's customers do not complain about their pwned computer sending spam, only about receiving it.

    Another thing not mentioned is the incoming mail server. Besides SPF and domain-keys there are basic header lines which are a dead giveaway to spam. Unfortunately, gmail does not allow me to filter on headers so my filters are limited.

  17. Lightbearer

    Yes we can. No we won't

    The major companies and even governments have failed to can spam so you would imagine that leaves the general public. Well, no it doesn't.

    If you offer a solution to end spam to the following you will be ignored:

    Microsoft, Google, Yahoo, Symantec, Via Gmail, Via Hotmail, US President, Department of Justice, FBI, Homelanmd Security, White Collar Crime Centre, FTC, the actual group who run the official anti-e-mail spam annual conference, Spamhaus, UK government, your average news or magazine columnist who is in charge of spam correspondence.

    So, unless an alien delivers it to a Bill Gates or Obama, everyone is going to ignore it because they couldn't do it.

    My solution (3 years and over 100 pieces of correspondence ago now) not only wiped out spam, it allowed the user to choose if they wanted spam and what type.

    Of all the people I contacted I got one response from a freelance anti-e-mail spam contractor. Ex head of one of the largest anti-virus companies security divisions and a world authority on the subject. I showed him my solution under a confidentiality agreement and he was unable to defeat it.

    The people who are required to act to kill this threat unfortunately have egos so large the chances of a solution ever slipping through is miniscule.

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