Corporate spam fighting: 5 years of success and the lessons learned

John Morris Nortel Networks
Chris Lewis Nortel Networks

By the mid-1990s, it was already becoming clear that spam was going to become a problem. Pornographic messages, in particular, were creating considerable complaints to Nortel Networks' IS Security Team, and the calls to stem the flow began to grow in volume.

In 1997, after finding existing anti-spam solutions lacking a robust feature-set, Nortel Networks' IS Security Team worked with an email software company to produce a solution that met our specifications. We received a scalable solution to fight spam and they created a new commercial product line. After extensive testing, our deployment plans were scrapped and our anti-spam solution was quickly deployed, a month ahead of schedule, on March 26th, 1999 - the day Melissa came to visit.

This paper covers the lessons that were learned that day and the many more that were experienced over the next five years. But, more importantly, it will also cover the processes and architecture that have helped make it such a success story, reliably blocking hundreds of thousands of spam messages each day.


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