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Revolutionary Spam Firewall Developed

CmdrTaco posted about 10 years ago | from the well-that-said-so-anyway dept.

Spam 507

psy writes "physorg has a story on a new spam firewall developed at The University of Queensland. The new technology is the only true spam firewall in existence, according to co-developer Matthew Sullivan. "Existing anti-spam software filters out spam whereas ours puts up a firewall, stopping all email traffic and only allowing real mail through," said Mr Sullivan. "In addition, our technology is accurate and fast. We recently completed a successful trial of a key layer of the spam firewall and it processed the emails at 90 messages per second, misclassifying only one out of 25,000 emails." "It turned out that the software was even better than us, picking up spam we'd incorrectly classified as legitimate emails."

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Spelling (5, Funny)

swordboy (472941) | about 10 years ago | (#10056919)

I have a simple algorithm to reject spam: spelling.

If you can't spell correctly, then I don't want your v1agr4.

Re:Spelling (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#10056988)

Shut up.

Re:Spelling (5, Informative)

random_culchie (759439) | about 10 years ago | (#10057027)

Yes and aparently there are 600,426,974,379,824,381,951 different ways to spell viagra! [cockeyed.com]

Will your algorithm do it with polynomial complexity ;)

Re:Spelling (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#10057058)

Fuck you, bitch.

Re:Spelling (1)

mikael_j (106439) | about 10 years ago | (#10057060)

Somehow I think this should be incorporated into spam filters, have a word list and check for common "spam/1337" spellings of these words, such as viagra = v1agr4 and mark all of these mails as spam.

/Mikael

Re:Spelling (1)

jfengel (409917) | about 10 years ago | (#10057153)

Bayesian filters pretty much do that, at least for the versions they've already seen. So they start sticking in extra s.p.a.c.e.s and punctuation, but it doesn't help.

Bayesian filters are far from perfect, but they're a pretty good start. I lose perhaps one valid email a week to the spam bucket, which is fortunately not so huge for me that I can't rescue it.

Re:Spelling (5, Funny)

gowen (141411) | about 10 years ago | (#10057077)

We should apply the "good spelling" rule to /. posts.

( Read More... [slashdot.org] | 2 [slashdot.org] of 1274 [slashdot.org] comments | it.slashdot.org [slashdot.org] )


Re:Spelling (1)

Jeff DeMaagd (2015) | about 10 years ago | (#10057126)

I wish spam scanners would toss out emails with too many invalid tags designed to throw off scanners. I see too many words like this:

perform

That might mean that more spam will look more legitimate though, I just hate it that some scanners are so behind on this technique.

Re:Spelling (2, Insightful)

Jeff DeMaagd (2015) | about 10 years ago | (#10057160)

Well, shoot, despite using the pre tag, it got hidden, anyway, an invalid tag might be randomly inserted into parts of words to make scans fail. So it throws off scanners and doesn't show up when rendered for the user.

Re:Spelling (2, Informative)

random_culchie (759439) | about 10 years ago | (#10057190)

The there is the old trick of putting html in the middle of dodgey words.
Like: viag<!--xyz -->ra

but cant it (2, Funny)

InfoHighwayRoadkill (454730) | about 10 years ago | (#10056922)

filter out mesages from my x ;-)

Re:but cant it (1)

Kinlan (138030) | about 10 years ago | (#10056983)

What?!?! your saying you want messages from your ex.... Brave Man :)

Re:but cant it (2, Funny)

CSG_SurferDude (96615) | about 10 years ago | (#10057117)

OK, Really off-topic here, but I'll bite...

Messages you probably want to get from your "Ex-Whatever"

  • The kids are sick
  • The kids are in the hospital
  • You need to pick the kids up from the neighbors house
  • You'll/I'll be picking the kids up late/early
  • Child Protective Services called again
  • The police were looking for you
  • The police were looking for me
  • I've taken the children back to Uruguay
  • Your squid died while the children were neglecting it.


Re:but cant it (3, Funny)

Zork the Almighty (599344) | about 10 years ago | (#10057032)

You shouldn't be exposing port 6000 anyway.

Re:but cant it (1)

Aerog (324274) | about 10 years ago | (#10057170)

I have that problem, too. I'm starting to train my Mozilla Mail spam filter to think she's a spammer. Maybe if all goes well I can get her address blacklisted by SpamCop. That'll learn her to be a cheating wench!

Not the first; not revolutionary (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#10056925)

I think Barracuda Networks [barracudanetworks.com] would rather disagree with the idea that this is the "only true spam firewall in existence," considering that Barracuda's entire product line consists of spam firewalls.

Damn fine spam firewalls, too, I might add. They handle around 115 messages per second, and can run up to eight filtering steps (including Bayesian analysis, which is similarly efficient to SVM, which the one in the article uses). Plus Barracuda's can do virus scanning.

I'm not sure how this is revolutionary.

Ciphertrust, too... (4, Informative)

TrebleJunkie (208060) | about 10 years ago | (#10056995)

I know! Ciphertrust's Ironmail works the same way... It stops ALL mail inbound, runs it through about a dozen different detection queues, only letting legitimate stuff through. I'd really like to see how this new one is otherwise unique.

Re:Not the first; not revolutionary (4, Insightful)

micromoog (206608) | about 10 years ago | (#10056996)

Isn't "spam firewall" just a marketing term for "filter"?

Re:Not the first; not revolutionary (5, Insightful)

Rikus (765448) | about 10 years ago | (#10057056)

Isn't "spam firewall" just a marketing term for "filter"?

Isn't "revolutionary" just a marketing term for any stupid new product?

Re:Not the first; not revolutionary (5, Informative)

Greyfox (87712) | about 10 years ago | (#10057129)

I believe the distinction is when the filtering takes place. If you wait for the spam to be placed on your hard drive and filter it out when you start your mail client, then it's filtering. If you reject the spam before the remote MTA drops the connection, then it's a firewall.

I'm using Postfix at home and it's got some nifty features to allow you to do this sort of thing. You can write a simple SMTP server that listens on some port of 127.0.0.1 and configure postfix to send the mail though that. Your server scans the E-Mail and sends a reject or accept message back to postfix, which sends it on to the remote MTA. Your SMTP server then feeds the mail into another postfix server which listens on an odd port of 127.0.0.1 and doesn't have the restrictions that your publically accessable postix server does. There are packages available for all sorts of scanning based on this ability. Since you reject the message at MTA time, you don't have to bother with sending a bounce message, either.

Re:Not the first; not revolutionary (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#10057164)

I already do this with our school's email system. So I guess theirs wasn't first. :)

Re:Not the first; not revolutionary (3, Funny)

SkyWalk423 (661752) | about 10 years ago | (#10057181)

They handle around 115 messages per second, and can run up to eight filtering steps

Is this the next nerd measuring stick?

Nerd #1: I overclocked my spam firewall, i'm getting 119 MPS now!

Nerd #2: Sweet! My mom promised I'd get a new spam firewall accelerator card for Christmas, I'll pwn your 119 MPS!

Re:Not the first; not revolutionary (1)

Santana (103744) | about 10 years ago | (#10057198)

We can always setup a spam firewall with spamd [openbsd.org] on OpenBSD [openbsd.org] in greylisting mode

The advantage of this is that the spam is stopped before it reaches your mailbox and as a plus, annoyes the spammer in some interesting ways

Sourcecode? (2, Insightful)

peterprior (319967) | about 10 years ago | (#10056926)

Sourceode would be nice....

Re:Sourcecode? (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#10056974)

So would a built in spellchecker.

Re:Sourcecode? (1)

peterprior (319967) | about 10 years ago | (#10057110)

bah.. its 5pm, I've had small microwaved mince pie for lunch, some shite instant coffee, my article asking slashdot folks how to make my workplace happier got rejected, and you can see from the post subject i can spell 'Sourcecode'. And it's raining.

Re:Sourcecode? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#10057210)

small microwaved mince pie
Is this the "Christmas" or the "condemned beef carcass" overload of "mince pie"?

Re:Sourcecode? (1)

Greyfox (87712) | about 10 years ago | (#10057162)

You can get postfix and amavisd-new off the net. It does pretty much the same thing and you get source code. From what I've read, you don't want to use amavisd in a large-scale production environment, but a home user with a small domain that handles its own E-Mail should be fine.

Re:Sourcecode? (1)

timthorn (690924) | about 10 years ago | (#10057193)

O wet header file...

(With apologies to Giles Brandreth)

Re:Sourcecode? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#10057199)

Sourceode would be nice....

Yes, it would. It would indeed be nice. Brilliant, insightful comment. Thank you.

Support Vector Machine (SVM) (2, Insightful)

doofusclam (528746) | about 10 years ago | (#10056931)

What the hell is one of these? There seems no substance to this report, bar some TLAs as above and a load of hype. Where is the proof? How was it tested? Etc.

First hate the GNAA Post (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#10056932)

GNAA si teh fail it

Yet another revolutionary anti-spam method (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#10056936)

When they actually start publishign details on how I can do it, I may care.

Right now, it doesn't sound that much more effective than running SpamAssassin on messages as a receipt time, and rejecting them if they score too highly.

1/25000 (2, Insightful)

Laivincolmo (778355) | about 10 years ago | (#10056937)

Although this is a great new technology, for a business setting, I don't know if even missing one e-mail is acceptable...

Re:1/25000 (1)

Duke Machesne (453316) | about 10 years ago | (#10056989)

Ah, it probably wasn't a very good one, anyway.

Re:1/25000 (4, Insightful)

Shakrai (717556) | about 10 years ago | (#10056997)

Although this is a great new technology, for a business setting, I don't know if even missing one e-mail is acceptable...

That's what everybody says but what's the other option? Letting all the SPAM come in? Do you really think that fed-up employee who gets hundreds of SPAMs a day is really going to do a better job of just mashing down the delete key then a SPAM filter with a 1/25000 error rate?

Of course I doubt this technology would perform that well but the point still stands -- if you don't have a computer flagging them then chances are you have a human flagging them. Who do you trust more?

Re:1/25000 (5, Interesting)

stienman (51024) | about 10 years ago | (#10057012)

Most users of email are now treating it as a lossy messaging system, and the users themselves accept that some messages simply don't make it. Critical business is always followed up with a call.

-Adam

1/25000 == MOD PARENT UP !!! (1)

hummassa (157160) | about 10 years ago | (#10057169)

E-mail ALWAYS (sorry for the yelling) was a lossy messaging system. Initially, it did not have confirmation receipts or anything.

Re:1/25000 (4, Interesting)

Quarters (18322) | about 10 years ago | (#10057013)

If you are sending something so critical then you shouldn't be using email. FedEx with signature required delivery and certified/return-receipt USPS mail exist for a reason.

Re:1/25000 (1)

hawkbug (94280) | about 10 years ago | (#10057025)

You're right - one in 25,000 is completely unacceptable. My company gets 4x that amount of email a day through our exchange server, and if we missed 4 legit client emails a day... that would be lost business, and that's just unacceptable no matter how you look at it.

Re:1/25000 (3, Insightful)

rjstanford (69735) | about 10 years ago | (#10057064)

and if we missed 4 legit client emails a day... that would be lost business, and that's just unacceptable no matter how you look at it.

Well... how much money would it take to have the staff necessary to do the filtering manually (at a better rate - even humans are fallible), and how much would the potential business loss cost you? Assuming that the business was very profitable, and that the senders wouldn't call or send a follow-up email of course.

Re:1/25000 (2, Insightful)

Mononoke (88668) | about 10 years ago | (#10057039)

Although this is a great new technology, for a business setting, I don't know if even missing one e-mail is acceptable...
I would guess that's right in line with USPS, UPS, FedEx, or even faxing directly.

Re:1/25000 (1)

RAMMS+EIN (578166) | about 10 years ago | (#10057070)

When I read that it misclassifies one out of 25000 emails, my first thought was "I hope that doesn't mean it throws out 1/25000 of all legitimate messages." If it really does this, I will not be using it. I'd rather have my 5-10 spams per day (which I could filter easily if I cared) than miss an email every few months.

Re:1/25000 (5, Insightful)

cyngus (753668) | about 10 years ago | (#10057108)

One of two conditions exists in this case.
1) The e-mail is vitally important and your business will be seriously damaged by its failed delivery.

2) The e-mail was somewhat important, but not something large enough to materially change your revenue/profits.

If the first is the case, you probably shouldn't be using e-mail in the first place and/or whoever sent it is probably going to follow up with a FedEx or phone call.

In the case of number 2 (ha ha, number two), you've saved so much time not having to wade through spam that the losses are negated.

And human error is better? (2, Insightful)

metallicagoaltender (187235) | about 10 years ago | (#10057163)

I'd guess that if you put the firewall up against your average email user, the average user would shitcan legitimate messages at a much higher rate than the firewall thanks to the fact that the user can get frustrated while the firewall can't. I know my boss accidentally deletes mail from me at least 3 times per week because he's careless while mass-deleting spam in the morning.

Since the firewall functions based upon code rather than emotion and intuition, the firewall's error rate is going to look better and better against human error as it handles more and more mail.

Re:1/25000 (1)

horza (87255) | about 10 years ago | (#10057186)

Although this is a great new technology, for a business setting, I don't know if even missing one e-mail is acceptable...

It says 1/25,000 were misclassified... that means it is more likely spam classified as legitimate as opposed to a false positive. The article doesn't state anywhere the rate of false positives. Now if it misclassified one email as spam for every 25,000 legitimate emails then THAT would be acceptable to me. Email has never been totally reliable. Even ISPs have a habit of deleting tens of thousands of emails in accidents.

Phillip.

Where did all the comments go? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#10056938)

They were here a minute ago.

Re:Where did all the comments go? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#10057133)

Where did all the comments go?
  • The spam firewall zapped them...

Revolutionary (2, Funny)

jjares (141954) | about 10 years ago | (#10056940)

The words revolutionary and spam in the same phrase... frightens me.

Re:Revolutionary (1)

gfxguy (98788) | about 10 years ago | (#10057047)

mmmmmm.... revolutionary spam....

Revolutionary Spam (1)

canwaf (240401) | about 10 years ago | (#10057171)

The food of choice for Che Guevara.

Not a firewall (4, Informative)

BarryNorton (778694) | about 10 years ago | (#10056941)

This isn't a firewall as it doesn't filter based on addressing. Furthermore, the use of SVMs (support vector machines) to classify text is not new...

Re:Not a firewall (1)

apachetoolbox (456499) | about 10 years ago | (#10057065)

the definition of a firewall is a device on a network that allows or denies access.

Re:Not a firewall (4, Funny)

Tony Hoyle (11698) | about 10 years ago | (#10057146)

the definition of a firewall is a device on a network that allows or denies access

Ahh, so *that's* what our system administrator is called..

I'll stick to 'Mordac' though.

Re:Not a firewall (1)

CommanderData (782739) | about 10 years ago | (#10057182)

I think in a more classical sense of the word "firewall" that this software would apply- it prevents spam from reaching your e-mail application entirely. I do agree that SVMs have been used before, and I believe that Apple's Mail program uses them for spam classification. Slashdot had an article [slashdot.org] about it this spring...

First Post for all you dope smoking hippies (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#10056946)

Welcome to AOL Bitches

Better than humans? (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#10056952)

Ok, that makes how many spam filters that work better than people? Every popular spam filter now touts this as one of its features.

hmm... (1)

A. Lynch (17937) | about 10 years ago | (#10056956)

I'll believe it when I see it...

Remember, CRM114 was supposed to be the sh*t, too..

Fetchmail? (3, Insightful)

TheLoneCabbage (323135) | about 10 years ago | (#10056957)


Fetchmail + SpamAssassin?

What am I missing here?

Doesn't save B/W: you need to run in INSIDE your network.

Don't care how fast it is: It's a dedicated server.

1/25,000 failure rate with no false positives: OK, that's good. But still not amazing.

How are their servers? /.?

Deployment (2, Interesting)

Rikus (765448) | about 10 years ago | (#10056958)

Well, this certainly sounds like a good thing for many people, but because it's been described as "firewall" and not a "server-side filter", I certainly hope it wouldn't be set up at major ISPs to intercept all smtp traffic going through.

Yes... (3, Funny)

phosphorous (545719) | about 10 years ago | (#10056962)

Hopefully their spam firewall is more robust than their web server.

Re:Yes... (1)

PhotoBoy (684898) | about 10 years ago | (#10057114)

Yeah, I'd like to have RTFA but it's already down. :(

Uh yeah, OK... (4, Insightful)

Tony Hoyle (11698) | about 10 years ago | (#10056965)

It's easy to produce these kind of results in trials - you just tune the spam filter to handle a certain set of emails, then you feed it those emails again and you get a near 100% success rate.

Heck, why not do it with a million emails? Makes better headlines that way.

I don't see how this is any different to SpamAssassin (the term 'Mail Firewall' is pure marketing bullshit. It's a spam filter. Get over it.) except I bet it costs a hell of a lot more...

Re:Uh yeah, OK... (1)

pclminion (145572) | about 10 years ago | (#10057180)

It's easy to produce these kind of results in trials - you just tune the spam filter to handle a certain set of emails, then you feed it those emails again and you get a near 100% success rate.

No real researcher would ever perform a test in such a way. We always use seperate training, testing and validation sets.

This is the kind of goof that gets your paper rejected from journals. Incorrect test procedures which introduce bias are, unfortunately, rampant among amateurs.

While it is entirely possible that this company performed their testing in a bogus way to make their stats look better, please don't generalize that to the entire community of people doing research into spam filtering and text classification in general. We're much smarter than that. Please give a little credit.

the term 'Mail Firewall' is pure marketing bullshit. It's a spam filter. Get over it.

Not necessarily. I don't know how much configuration this system requires, but if it requires nothing more than simply plugging two network cables into a box and away you go, then I think it is very appropriate to call it a "firewall." The idea of having a box which you can plug into your network and eliminate spam without worrying about setting anything up is really, really cool. But I don't think this particular product is it...

What happens to the 1 mis-classified email? (5, Interesting)

Thrymm (662097) | about 10 years ago | (#10056973)

1 out of 25k is impressive, but what happens to these spam mails? Are they bounced back as an error "no user account found"? Or done like a blackhole where the spammer doesnt know if it reeached its intended recipiant? I like my SpamBayes :)

Mirror ?? (1)

AftanGustur (7715) | about 10 years ago | (#10056976)

There were 3 comments when I first tried to load the article, but alas ... The server was /. --ed already ..

Useless (2, Insightful)

trans_err (606306) | about 10 years ago | (#10056998)

Until there is a 0% fail misclassification rate such a method is useless. Filtering was one thing, if you misfiltered a message you always had the oppertunity of occasionally scanning your SPAM box and making sure everything was about penis enlargement and not about the meeting you have next week. However, with this method email is stopped and never delivered, thus your misclassified email is now gone- forever.

I'd rather get 5 extra spam if it meant I also recieved every real email.

Re:Useless (2, Insightful)

leperkuhn (634833) | about 10 years ago | (#10057089)

if it's just bounced back then how is that bad? there will never be a perfect system - even whitelisting involves a bounceback. I'd be more than happy with 1 out of 25,000 e-mails being incorrect. I bet more mail gets lost by the post office.

Re:Useless (1)

AvantLegion (595806) | about 10 years ago | (#10057094)

>> I'd rather get 5 extra spam if it meant I also recieved every real email.

I'll arrange your extra spam, sir.

Re:Useless (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#10057118)

I'm not sure it's that big a deal. We put up with this for postal mail. In my experience, I don't receive more than 1 in 25,000 mails sent to me. Somehow I manage. About once every 3 years it causes a minor headache, like when not receiving a utility bill. This could be anyone's fault, but life goes on. Even if the IRS refund check gets lost in the mail, there are mechanisms to get another.

Email is similar. Sure, I receive some very important missives, but I could live with losing 0.004% if it meant no spam.

Re:Useless (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#10057155)

is your email really that important.

i can answer that, NO IT ISNT.

ever lost a voicemail message, i have. and guess what the world didnt come to an end.

and and now you are thinking, "but i have important clients blah balh blah" it doesnt matter, they have lost email before, they have sent it to others that have lost it.

dont inflate your importance, because honestly, email already isnt reliable yet you rely on it.

if an email gets lost, it is clearly time to say BFD.

My favorite line: (5, Funny)

calypso15 (767323) | about 10 years ago | (#10057015)

"...companies losing valuable employee time to deleting spam..."

Maybe they should be working on a Slashdot-Firewall. Damn, I really should get back to work.

Oh, and since the linked article got /.ed, here:
http://www.uq.edu.au/news/index.phtml?article=5833 [uq.edu.au]

Dear Calypso15, (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#10057048)

You're fired. Pack up your shit and get out.

Now.

Sincerely,

Your Boss

Spin doctors (3, Insightful)

sean23007 (143364) | about 10 years ago | (#10057024)

"It turned out that the software was even better than us, picking up spam we'd incorrectly classified as legitimate emails."

Heh. Does anyone else see that as a good way to downplay false positives?

"Oh, good point, Computer. That email from my boss actually was spam. I didn't realize that until you mentioned it."

Re:Spin doctors (1)

SoTuA (683507) | about 10 years ago | (#10057191)

Yeah, that caught my eye too: I don't know if I'd want to buy stuff from *human beings* who can't tell spam from legitimate mail...

Advertising story (1)

gmuslera (3436) | about 10 years ago | (#10057028)

Could it be count as spam? In that case, will users behind that spam firewall receive it by mail?

qmailscanner? (1)

Jailbrekr (73837) | about 10 years ago | (#10057030)

By their definition, qmailscanner is a firewall too. It stops (quarantines) spam and only lets legitimate email through.

Semantics.

Spam firewall? I want a hard drive firewall (3, Interesting)

MustardMan (52102) | about 10 years ago | (#10057043)

I submitted this as an ask slashdot and was promptly rejected, so I'm going to put this here as a slightly on-topic post.

What I want to see is a software hard drive "firewall." If you're not sure what I mean, think of what a product like zone alarm does when spyware.exe tries to access the internet on your pc. It pops up a window saying "do you want to allow this program..." Now, why can't we have the same thing for hard drive access? So, I download fungame.exe, and when I go to run it, my "firewall" tells me fungame.exe is trying to write to fifteen different directories to install different spyware products. It could only give a popup on the first time a program tries to write to a given directory, and have an option to not show any new notices for this program, to limit the annoyance factor. I think this would be a great tool to help lessen spyware/trojan problems. If the program interacted with spybot or a similar product, it could even automatically prevent writing of files that are known to be adware. Is there anything like this out there? Anyone who would be willing to help make it?

Re:Spam firewall? I want a hard drive firewall (1)

BarryNorton (778694) | about 10 years ago | (#10057099)

What I want to see is a software hard drive "firewall."[to pop] up a window saying "do you want to allow this program..." [...] for hard drive access?
That's not a firewall either - it's a sandbox (and not new, either)...

Re:Spam firewall? I want a hard drive firewall (1)

MustardMan (52102) | about 10 years ago | (#10057154)

That's not a firewall either - it's a sandbox (and not new, either)

That's why I put the quotes around the word firewall, and I would have never thought to google the term sandbox to find such a product. Do you have any suggestions for good sandboxes, now that I know what it's called?

Re:Spam firewall? I want a hard drive firewall (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#10057174)

this can definitely be done. .NET had an example that shipped with it that logged each r/w to the filesystem. also, GoBack must use a similar mechanism of the win32 api.

For those who belive this .. (1)

AftanGustur (7715) | about 10 years ago | (#10057046)

For those who belive this software actually can do this well in real-life environment, I have this bridge that might interest you ...

Question (1)

gregarican (694358) | about 10 years ago | (#10057098)

Does this bridge filter traffic as well?

Not the big issue (1)

Ignignokt (803398) | about 10 years ago | (#10057052)

It turned out that the software was even better than us, picking up spam we'd incorrectly classified as legitimate emails. Who cares if a few get through incorrectly. The interesting statistic is how it does on incorrectly labelling legitimate mail as spam.

Odd use of the term "Firewall" (1)

tvalley000 (410933) | about 10 years ago | (#10057066)

I guess I don't usually associate the term "firewall" with spam filtering. The article only touches on their use of the terminology in the quote that you've selected. Otherwise, it's a general discussion of filtering techniques and the effects of spam on the internet.

If they're maintaining that they filter out spam prior to it hitting the email server, or well before it hits the email client, then they really need to get out more before making the claim that they're the only one to do it. My personal fav these days is GFI MailEssentials [gfi.com] , which stops spam at the server level by examining the incoming SMTP traffic.

They need a Slashdot Firewall (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#10057079)

Their SPAM firewall may work but their webserver seems to need a Slashdot firewall installed. The site is a burning mash of hardware now. Guess they don't have to worry about SPAM now.

This One Goes to Eleven (1)

$rtbl_this (584653) | about 10 years ago | (#10057080)

"Existing anti-spam software filters out spam whereas ours puts up a firewall, stopping all email traffic and only allowing real mail through"

Slashdotting has made it impossible to check for more meaning in the article, so can anyone tell me what the difference is supposed to be here. How does stopping mail and then allowing non-spam through differer from a spam filter? It sounds like pretty much what the qmail/spamassassin boxes I've set up as mail gateways do.

filter out email and junk words. (1)

joeldg (518249) | about 10 years ago | (#10057086)

pretty simple.. filtering out html email (99.9% of which for me is spam) and then all the pen1s and v1agr4 (misspelled words, particularly in small concentrations) combined with a URL.

one bad thing about all the misspellings is that the spam poetry project got messed up..

Re:filter out email and junk words. (oops) (1)

joeldg (518249) | about 10 years ago | (#10057131)

That should have read
"filter out html and junk words."
heh.. ..

As a self-appointed representative of ... (4, Funny)

burgburgburg (574866) | about 10 years ago | (#10057087)

Unconsciously Desired Email Industry (Our slogan: You opted in in your heart!), I'd like to strongly protest the continuing escalation of technology against us. We provide the opportunity for hundreds of thousands of people to spend freely on products unburdened by simple heuristics of "they work" or "they won't make you ill" or "we'll actually send them". Why are you so intent on interfering with the consumer ethos?

Big deal (3, Funny)

n6kuy (172098) | about 10 years ago | (#10057093)

You mean it blocks all email, and the one ligitimate email among the 25000 is the "misclassed" one...

hmm... (1)

templest (705025) | about 10 years ago | (#10057095)

Does spam even exist anymo... oooh, you mean the e-mail spam! got'cha ;)

Yeah, seems neat.

One solution to spam (1)

dh5fbr (209173) | about 10 years ago | (#10057109)

I remember a swedish guy explaining me his solution to SPAM. Each sendern, which isn't registered in the server whitelist will get a notification back like in many mailing list registrations. After replying the mail goes through and is entered into the whitelist. A nice side effect is that this not only filters out all the faked senders, but also people not considering their mail important enough to acknowledge they sent it.

SlashDot: The Ultimate Firewall (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#10057135)

Put any website up and it is automatically filtered out of existence.

psyorg - 'revolutionizing' a lot of things. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#10057145)

Aren't these guys (psyorg) the same ones that showed us the 100TB storage disk with the cheesy animated gif a little while ago?

Here's how it probably works (5, Interesting)

lokedhs (672255) | about 10 years ago | (#10057158)

I heard about this new technique before. Apparently it works trmendously well.

The idea is that the mail server keeps a whitelist of "allowed" addresses which are always accepted. If a mail comes from an address which is not known, the mail server will reply with a "server unavailable, try later" error message. All real mail servers will try to send the message a little later (I don't know the exact time, but it's probably less than an hour. Someone else might know better).

The second time the remote mail server tries to connect, the server accepts the mail and adds the address to the whitelist.

However, mass mailers for spam don't do this but simply go on to the next address in the list if this happens. This way the spam message is filtered out.

Note that this method doesn't require any analysis of the actual content of the messgae, nor does it involve any manual actions from neither the sender nor the receiever. Currently it's porbably the best spam blocking method that exists.

Even if it's close to perfect now... (1)

winkydink (650484) | about 10 years ago | (#10057166)

Once the spammers get their hot, little hands on the boxes, they will quickly figure out its flaws and learn how to penetrate the firewall.

We keep adjusting the frequency of the shields and they keep adjusting the frequency of the phasers. So to speak.

MOD REPLY UP (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#10057184)

Mod up the reply to this message, it's very informative. Thankx

I hope they don't reject my e-mail (5, Funny)

koinu (472851) | about 10 years ago | (#10057185)

I'm a.l-wa-ys wr|?|-ng l|-ke ðißs 2 m.y f-iends

amidoacetic platymyoid granomerite nonacceptant dorsoposteriad uninclined unshocked zibet intercity lornness

What is this selfimportance trip (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#10057205)

Why is it anytime a filter is discussed, everyone starts yammering about "1 is too many" and in reality, a 1000 would still be fine.

email is an unreliable system, so dont expect it to deliver every message flawlessly to begin with.

i think people get all antsy about it, because they like to think their email is just soo damned important, arctic winds will freeze the entire planet if they dont get whatever lame useless email from their spouse/manager/cousin.

if it were that critical that the person absolutely must know that information, it's called a fucking telephone.

over inflated self importance.
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