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Anti-SPAM, Anti-Phishing and Anti-Viruses Techniques

The material found on the following pages discusses the major undesired email problems and solutions to them. It also provides links to more extensive information and commercial and open source vendors providing software and hardware solutions.


I work as a director of development at a very successful startup (MailChannels, Corp), whose products alleviate the pain created by SPAM, viruses and phishing attacks by providing revolutionary solutions that just work. Part of my job is research and development (R&D) of our products, therefore I spend a lot of time reviewing existing solutions, looking for new trends, trying to foresee new threats and experimenting with new ideas from other people and myself. Being a visual person it works the best for me when I organise all the information in writing. As I've been doing for years now, I share this information with you and hopefully you will find it useful. Your comments and suggestions are always welcome.

The materials found on the following pages discuss the major unwanted email problems and solutions to them. It also provides links to more extensive information and vendors providing solutions (including open source products). If you want to keep up with undesired email developments, you also want to read books, articles and blog entries published by people who work in the industry, a comprehensive listings of which can be found on the following pages.

Part I: The Poisons

There are three major categories of junk email. They are the SPAM, Viruses or Phishing (or a combination of these). There are also the email scams and chain letters. The following articles cover these topics:

-Undesired Email Flavours: SPAM
Why everybody seems to hate SPAM
-Undesired Email Flavours: Phishing
Social engineering showcase
-Undesired Email Flavours: Computer Viruses
Computer viruses are mostly spread through email nowadays, and they can badly affect your computer and the material stored there.
-Undesired Email Flavours: Email Scams
Email Scam is the old brother to phishing
-Undesired Email Flavours: Internet Hoaxes and Chain Letters
Why people shouldn't know forward chain letters and hoaxes

Part II: How SPAM Finds You

The following articles discuss some of the more prevaling methods on how junk mail finds you:

-How SPAM Finds you: Botnets
Botnets is the latest solution used by spammers to bypass the existing barriers.
-How SPAM Finds you: Directory Harvest Attacks (DHA)
Learn how spammers can discover your email address even if you have never sent an email from that address or given it to anybody.

Part III: The Remedies

There are quite a few techniques one could use to contain and eliminate spam. The major choices are: Reputation control, Content filtering, Black and Grey lists. But also SPF, Domain keys, various auth schemes and more... The following articles discuss most of the widely used techniques and introduces some recently introduced solutions.

-Anti-SPAM Techniques: Heuristic/Signature-based Content Filtering
it is the most ancient way to filter unwanted email (and not the most effective)
-Anti-SPAM Techniques: Bayesian Content Filtering
Here Bayesian content filtering advantages and disadvantages are explained, and major vendors are covered
-Anti-SPAM Techniques: Collaborative Content Filtering
Collaborative filtering is one of those Web 2.0 killer technologies
-Anti-SPAM Techniques: Black Listing (RBL)
How to use Black listing (RBL) services to prevent undesired email
-Anti-SPAM Techniques: Grey Listing
Everybody hopes that spammers will not get smarter about temp-failed messages. But even if they won't, it's the legitimate users that usually get affected when grey listing is used.
-Anti-SPAM Techniques: White Listing
The ultimate Anti-Anti-SPAM solution
-Anti-SPAM Techniques: Sender Policy Framework (SPF)
If only the world would change: the Sender Policy Framework (SPF)
-Anti-SPAM Techniques: Reputation Control
You thought there was only the credit reputation? Now introducting reputation for internet users.
-Anti-SPAM Techniques: Transparent SMTP proxy
Transparent SMTP proxy - the bouncer-way solution. Rather than letting the bad guys in and then kicking them out through the back door, with the bouncer solution they are simply not allowed in first place.

Part IV: Additional Information

And if you are looking for more information, the pages linking to blogs, articles and books pages should satisfy your appetite:

-SPAM, Phishing, Virus-related Blogs, Mailing lists and Forums
References to popular blogs, forums and mailing lists that cover undesired email issues and the new development in the area.
-SPAM, Phishing, Virus-related Articles
Selected articles about SPAM, phishing, computer viruses and other undesired email.
-SPAM, Phishing, Virus-related Books
While Internet provides quite a lot of resources on the subject of undesired email, it's sometimes very useful to get a hold of a well written and structured prose, which most web-sites do not provide.

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