Throwback Thursday: Legal attempts to reduce spam. A UK perspective

Posted by   Virus Bulletin on   Nov 19, 2015

This Throwback Thursday, we turn the clock back to November 2003, when spam was such a hot topic that VB decided to launch a dedicated 'VB Spam Supplement'.

While, today, spam is a problem that is generally very well mitigated, 12 years ago it was a subject of growing concern and was becoming of increasing interest to the AV industry, with a veritable stampede of AV vendors rushing to bring anti-spam solutions to market alongside their anti-virus products.

With volumes of unsolicited email growing almost by the day, there was great interest in the ways in which users were affected by it, so in November 2003, VB decided to launch the 'VB Spam Supplement', a section of Virus Bulletin magazine that would be dedicated to news and articles on spam and anti-spam techniques.

In the first edition of the VB Spam Supplement, we heard that the ratio of spam to non-spam messages had recently exceeded the 50% mark — representing a huge 40.6% increase over the preceding 12 months. Meanwhile, in the first Spam Supplement feature, anti-spam software engineer Martin Lee summarized from a UK perspective the various legislative attempts to ban the abuse of email by law, concluding that, while legislation can assist in identifying clearly what is and what is not acceptable, "ultimately, while there is money to be made through the sending of spam, this is not a problem that is going to go away any time soon".

Martin Lee's article can be read here in HTML-format, or downloaded here as a PDF.

Posted on 19 November 2015 by Helen Martin



Latest posts:

The road to IPv6 is generally smooth but contains a few potholes

Most of the switch from IPv4 to IPv6 will happen seamlessly. But we cannot assume it won't introduce new security issues.

New paper: Powering the distribution of Tesla stealer with PowerShell and VBA macros

Since their return four years ago, Office macros have been one of the most common ways to spread malware. Today, we publish a research paper which looks in detail at a campaign in which VBA macros are used to execute PowerShell code, which in turn…

VB2017 paper: Android reverse engineering tools: not the usual suspects

Within a few years, Android malware has grown from a relatively small threat to a huge problem involving more than three million new malware samples a year. Axelle Apvrille, one of the world's leading Android malware researchers, will deliver a…

Patch early, patch often, but don't blindly trust every 'patch'

Compromised websites are being used to serve fake Flash Player uploads that come with a malicious payload.

Virus Bulletin at RSA

Next week, VB Editor Martijn Grooten will be at the RSA Conference in San Francisco.