ISPs take responsibility

Posted by   Virus Bulletin on   Jun 23, 2004

The six major ISPs of the Anti-Spam Technical Alliance say spam cannot be stopped unless they take action.

Six major Internet Service Providers have put forward a joint proposal aimed at reducing spam and say that spam cannot be stopped unless they take responsibility for the problem.

Under the guise of the Anti-Spam Technical Alliance, AOL, Microsoft, EarthLink, Yahoo!, Comcast and BT joined forces to develop the proposal, which recommends that zombie machines - infected customer computers that are being used by spammers to send out spam - should be isolated and taken offline until their machines have been cleaned up.

The Alliance puts the onus on Internet companies to ensure that their equipment has been properly secured so spammers cannot route their messages through them in order to evade filters.

It also recommends that all ISPs should run spam filters on outbound mail and prevent their customers from sending out more than 500 messages per day, or 100 per hour. Any suspicious accounts should be suspended immediately.

The members of the Alliance agree that sender authentication is the single thing that would have the biggest impact on the volume of spam - so far, however, they have not been in agreement over the technology.

Both AOL and EarthLink have backed the Sender Policy Framework (SPF - formerly Sender Permitted From) protocol, while Microsoft has recently agreed to merge its Caller ID proposal with SPF to create the new Sender ID.

Yahoo!, meanwhile, backs the DomainKeys approach.

As well as revealing its ISP best practice proposals, the Alliance announced yesterday that the four major players have agreed to give limited support to test each other's preferred sender authentication technologies.

Posted on 23 June 2004 by Virus Bulletin

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