IBM does not send spam back to spammers

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IBM today launched a new technology aimed at combating spam. Some reports have claimed FairUCE (Fair use of unsolicited commercial email) bounces back spam emails to the IP address they were sent, a practise intended to slow the offending computers down, in fact the system works very differently.

"These reports are wrong" said Steve Linford, director of anti-spam lobbyists Spamhaus. "FairUCE works by sending a challenge response to those emails that fail its test."

But the system is not without its problems.

"The problem with challenge response is it breaks ecommerce," Linford said. "When a purchase has been made online it is often accompanied by an email. This system would reject that email."

According to Linford, automatic emails generated when a purchase has been made will be challenged but cannot be verified because they are automatically generated.

But IBM is pleased with its new system.

"Spam has become a high priority security issue for businesses today," said Stuart McIrvine, director of corporate security strategy at IBM. "By creating a multi-layered defence that proactively repels spam at its source, companies can get ahead of spammers and malicious hackers who are always looking for new ways of penetrating IT systems through email."

IBM research through February indicated that 76 percent of all emails are spam.

Last year SC reported web portal Lycos began its own movement to stop spam. Make Love Not Spam was stopped after a number of misfires and concerns about its tenuous legality.

www.ibm.com

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