January 28, 2010
A better spam filter is on its way
Researchers in California have come up with a better mousetrap when it comes to spam. According to the Chronicle of Higher Ed:
Most spam e-mail messages are transmitted using a few infected computers that use a template-based system. The new system works by analyzing the small changes in messages that spammers make to slip past spam filters, according to the team from the University of California at San Diego and the International Computer Science Institute in Berkeley, Calif.
Researchers looked at 1,000 e-mail messages generated by a software bot and reverse-engineering the template. Knowing that template, researchers could block spam with total accuracy without letting legitimate messages get caught in the filter.
Christian Kreibich, a research scientist from the International Computer Science Institute, said any sort of software using the system will probably not appear in the next month or two, although it could eventually hit the market. The team is also looking into other aspects of spam, such as tracing the route spam goes through to reach users' computers.
The researchers will present their findings at a conference in March. In the meantime, you can read more about their work here.