Containing spam - the local challenge presented at Virus Bulletin 2006

by Jay Goldin (Commtouch software),

Tags: Security


Summary : The war against spam cannot be won with a single battle or campaign. During the past
five years, there have been 4-5 generations of anti-spam techniques, tens of
technologies have been invented, launched and marketed. Eventually, each approach has
been overcome by spammers and has needed to be replaced. One of the greatest challenges in fighting spam - and it has been so since the early days of this war -
is fighting spam in multiple geographies. While a portion of spam outbreaks is global,
there is a significant portion that bears very specific characteristics in various regions
such as China, SE Asia and Eastern Europe. Local attributes extend beyond the obvious language differences - for example,
anti-spam techniques based on URL detection or IP reputation cannot be applied at all
in some regions. In this paper we will attempt to dig below the surface and characterize differences between
spam in major regions such as China, Southeast Asia, Eastern and Western Europe,
from an anti-spam point of view, and review anti-spam approaches and their local effectiveness.