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Sever the global spammers’ lifeline, says Aussie expert

  • 16 February, 2006 11:53

<p>SYDNEY, February 16. There is only one way to curb the hugely profitable global spam business, according to Australian anti-spam campaigner Peter Stewart: cut off the spammers’ lifeline by blocking all junk emails that recipients choose not to authorise.</p>
<p>Spam represents huge business globally, with trillions of unwanted emails filtered by anti-spam devices. AOL alone stopped more than 556 billion spam emails in 2005.</p>
<p>Stewart, Chairman of Sydney-based New Millennium Solutions, says it is clear that all those emails selling sex aids, pornography, body improvement products, cut-price pharmaceuticals, software, or fake brand-name products, generate vast revenue for the spammers. Not to mention more shady campaigns like stock or mortgage scams and phishing scams.</p>
<p>He says that while people keep responding to even a small percentage of spam emails, the global spam industry will continue to thrive. Figures from a poll by anti-spam vendor Sophos suggest that a surprising 9 per cent of their consumers have bought goods at one time or another from companies that sell via spam emails.</p>
<p>“Big business means big investment in time, money and ingenuity,” says Stewart. “Hence the spammers are becoming better organised and more professional, and using more devious and potentially dangerous techniques.”</p>
<p>While the law has begun to make inroads into some spam gangs, the ability to use third world countries for their operations easily evades legislation in target countries. So does their use of zombie PCs and bot nets to elude the law.</p>
<p>“There is one certain way to counter the menace of the vast intercontinental spam octopus,” says Stewart. “Simply sever its lifeline by blocking ALL spam that recipients choose not to authorise.”</p>
<p>His company’s Australian developed solution, TotalBlock, remedies the deficiencies of anti-spam solutions that rely on filtering unwanted emails. Instead, TotalBlock gives end users the power to block all incoming emails and accept only those they authorise.</p>
<p>Stewart suggests that that blocking technology can render the ‘arms race’ between spammers and anti-spam vendors as futile – a waste of time and money.</p>
<p>He says: “I urge anyone who wants to opt out of the race to look at blocking solutions. If everyone used them, there would be no spam. TotalBlock can neither be bypassed nor beaten. It's operation is both simple and effective.”</p>
<p>Stewart believes there are two main reasons for the slow uptake of blocking solutions. First, the entrenched filtering companies are bringing hefty budgets to bear in promoting their technology, and secondly few end users really understand how simple and effective blocking solutions are.</p>
<p>“Even industry analysts and media commentators seem to think they will miss important incoming email if TotalBlock asks email senders for authentication. In fact this is a simple process: first, a user can authenticate all names in his or her address book automatically, and secondly all a sender has to do is re-send emails that ask for verification. In this way, bona fide emails get through, while automated spam emails don’t.</p>
<p>“Some of our users tell us they had a few concerns before setting up TotalBlock, but these soon evaporated once they started using our technology,” said Stewart.</p>
<p>About TotalBlock</p>
<p>TotalBlock - www.totalblock.net - is an Australian-developed anti-spam solution that blocks ALL spam, using the challenge-response methodology rather than less reliable filtering techniques. TotalBlock quickly and easily builds up a list of acceptable incoming email senders by replying automatically to all those who are not on the user’s allowed list. The reply message contains a simple action that, when followed, automatically adds the sender to the allowed list. The action can be as simple as replying to the challenge. Since the authorisation process requires human intervention, the challenge process bypasses drone machines that spew out huge volumes of spam. All address book entries are authorised automatically, as are senders who reply to mail sent by the user.</p>
<p># # #</p>
<p>For more information</p>
<p>Peter Stewart or Ben Corby
New Millennium Solutions
Tel. 61-2-9437 9800</p>

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