Wednesday

The death of email

IDC projects that 2007 email levels will reach 97bn messages, totalling 5 exabytes of data.

Whazoe! Some impressive figures! Some years ago, everybody predicted that email was going to bankrupt postal offices. Who writes letters anymore instead of email?
Actually I know someone who works at C-level at the Belgian Post Offices "De Post". He told me that they are doing quite well again. One of the major reasons is spam. Levels of spam increased to levels that people dropped email and started writing letters again. Good for them. Bad for the evolution of email (and the internet).

In Belgium, we are not native English speakers. Our two national languages are French and Dutch. Since almost all spammail is (was) written in English, it's a little more easy to filter spam. We change the spamscores to trust French and Dutch emails a little more then English ones. ;-)
A method that will soon end. According to Symantec's monthly Spam Report (April 2007), the "shakespeare attack1" has switched to European languages.

Where English was once the language of spam, several additional European languages are now successfully being utilized to send spam messages. These languages are now fully integrated into spam and spammers are taking full advantage.

This has a double impact. We cannot trust our native language anymore, but I don't know if all anti-spam engines are well "tuned" to filter these languages.

With the use of image spam, spam levels has risen to an all time high. People are switching more and more to instant messaging and voip instead. Is email dying?

The Sender Policy Framework was a nice idea to help but who is using it? We need to outsmart & outperform these guys. It's the next level in the cat and mouse game.

Perfectly timed, an article on spam for IM (spim), SMS and spam weblogs (splog): Spam, It’s Not Just for Email
Another interesting article:There aren't that many serious spammers anymore.

If there’s only a few large gangs operating — and other people are detecting these huge swings of activity as well — then that’s very significant for public policy. One can have sympathy for police officers and regulators faced with the prospect of dealing with hundreds or thousands of spammers; dealing with them all would take many (rather boring and frustrating) lifetimes. But if there are, say, five, big gangs at most — well that’s suddenly looking like a tractable problem.

Maybe we can hire some killer Ninja and all our troubles would be solved!? (joking of course)
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1This is a twist on an old obfuscation technique that we refer to as a “Shakespeare attack,” in which spammers will insert random excerpts from a book somewhere in the body of the spam message.

1 comment:

WR said...

I have not seen 'succesful' dutch spam until now. Allthough they are trying and obviously using some tools like babelfish.

It is something to be watched carefully since they are getting better in a very short timespan.