SPAMMERS’ CUBE

Dodd Harris passes on a report of an interesting technological measure to slow down the spammers:

The idea, currently being developed by none other than Microsoft, is that unkown senders will be required to expend 10-20 seconds of computer time to get a message through. Recipients wouldn’t be affected. Legitimate senders would scarcely notice the extra time involved but “if there are 80,000 seconds in a day, a computational ‘price’ of a 10-second levy would mean spammers would only be able to send about 8,000 messages a day, at most.”

As with campaign finance reform, I’m sure that there are smart people who will find ways around obstacles put into their path. Still, this sounds promising and, as Dodd suggests, more likely to work than simple legislation.

FILED UNDER: Science & Technology
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.

Comments

  1. John Lemon says:

    “…developed by none other than Microsoft…” What the hell is that supposed to mean?

  2. Paul says:

    The idea as presented in that article is so flawed I would like to think the reporter botched it and that Microsoft was not that stupid. There are so many reasons this won’t work I can’t list them all here. But in this post, I’ll assume the reporter got the quotes from the MS guy right.

    =========

    Well, first, MS did not develop this idea. (thought they added a self serving twist) I had one of my mail servers not talking to another mail server about 2 years ago because they implemented fundamentally similar technique that worked with todays mail servers.

    (assuming this quote is accurate) The Microsoft guy has no freaking clue how a mail server works:

    Mr Wobber and his group calculated that if there are 80,000 seconds in a day, a computational “price” of a 10-second levy would mean spammers would only be able to send about 8,000 messages a day, at most.

    That assumes you transfer 1 piece of mail per second. That is patently foolish. I have timed some of my Mac servers at over 20 transfers a second. All you would do is have 50 process running to transfer the same number of mails.

    All this idea would accomplish is to slow down high availability servers.

    Besides spammers have already moved to using thousands of remote drones to do their dirty work which renders this idea DOA anyway.

    There are a few more reasons that kill this idea as presented. I’ll save my time and yours. If anyone cares, I’ll explain more but this ain’t gonna see the light of day.

    Paul