Home / Blogs

USA Today: Spam Is Bad

John Levine

A reasonably well informed article in Thursday's USA Today reminds us that in 2004 Bill Gates said the spam problem would be solved in early 2006, but here at the end of 2007 there's more spam than ever.

They go through a laundry list of problems of spambots, new kinds of PDF and MP3 spam, and phishing, and a list of of partial or non-solutions including filters, walled gardens, and an odd system called Boxbe, a hybrid of whitelists, challenge/response, and pay for delivery. Oh, and Bill says he never said spam would be solved (although we have him on tape), he claims he said it would be substantially reduced, which I suppose is true if you are a Hotmail user. They missed a few of the usual list of alleged solutions, but the reader comments fill that gap, suggesting mandatory return addresses on mail and, as always, a small per-message charge.

The better informed comments point out that spam won't go away so long as spammers have more of a financial incentive to send spam than other parties have to stop it. I've long felt that way; so long as software vendors get a free pass for shipping system software that's easily bot'able and ISPs don't pay the cost of spam sent from their systems, whether deliberately by spamming customers or under their noses by bots, and individual users have no meaningful incentive to keep control of their own PCs, nothing is going to change.

By John Levine, Author, Consultant & Speaker. More blog posts from John Levine can also be read here.

Related topics: Security, Spam

WEEKLY WRAP — Get CircleID's Weekly Summary Report by Email:


To post comments, please login or create an account.

Related Blogs

Officially Compromised Privacy

The Emotional Cost of Cybercrime

Why I Wrote 'Thinking Security'

Regulation and Reason

In Network Security Design, It's About the Users

Related News


Industry Updates – Sponsored Posts

Verisign Mitigates More Attack Activity in Q3 2015 Than Any Other Quarter During Last Two Years

Verisign & Forrester Webinar: Defending Against Cyber Threats in Complex Hybrid-Cloud Environments

Introducing Verisign Public DNS: A Free Recursive DNS Service That Respects Your Privacy

Faster DDoS Mitigation - Introducing Verisign OpenHybrid Customer Activated Mitigation

Verisign's Q2'15 DDoS Trends: DDoS for Bitcoin Increasingly Targets Financial Industry

Protect Your Network From BYOD Malware Threats With The Verisign DNS Firewall

Announcing Verisign IntelGraph: Unprecedented Context for Cybersecurity Intelligence

Introducing the Verisign DNS Firewall

TLD Security, Spec 11 and Business Implications

Verisign Named to the Online Trust Alliance's 2015 Honor Roll

3 Key Steps for SMBs to Protect Their Website and Critical Internet Services

Key Considerations for Selecting a Managed DNS Provider

Verisign Mitigates More DDoS Attacks in Q1 2015 than Any Quarter in 2014

Verisign OpenHybrid for Corero and Amazon Web Services Now Available

Afilias Supports the CrypTech Project - Ambitious Hardware Encryption Effort to Protect User Privacy

Public Sector Experiences Largest Increase in DDoS Attacks (Verisign's Q4 2014 DDoS Trends)

Help Ensure the Availability and Security of Your Enterprise DNS with Verisign Recursive DNS

Verisign iDefense 2015 Cyber-Threats and Trends

What's in Your Attack Surface?

Q3 2014 DDoS Trends: Attacks Exceeding 10 Gbps on the Rise

Sponsored Topics