IBM unveils new service to fight spam

23 March 2005 Technology giant IBM is to make its first foray into tackling the growing problem of spam, with a service that will cripple the senders of the unwanted emails.

The service, called FairUCE (Fair use of Unsolicited Commercial Email), works by verifying a sender’s identity to stop spam, instead of filtering content. FairUCE uses a giant database to establish relationships between the senders email address and computer IP domain address.

Where the sender’s identity cannot be established, or if a spammer tries to hide their identity, the email will be returned to the sender’s machine.

“By creating a multi-layered defense that proactively repels spam at its source, companies can get ahead of spammers and malicious hackers who are always looking for new ways of penetrating IT systems through email,” said Stuart McIrvine, director of corporate security strategy, IBM.

This method of counterattacking – which is already being used by open-source software users – prevents spam arriving from ‘zombie’ machines as IP addresses cannot be changed.

Although returning email will increase the amount of traffic on the internet, IBM claims this method is preferable than ignoring the spam problem. According to the IBM Global Business Security Index released in February 2005, 76% of all emails were spam.

IBM said that the FairUCE service should also help prevent spoofing and phishing – two common methods used by hackers and spammers in identity theft.

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Ben Rossi

Ben was Vitesse Media's editorial director, leading content creation and editorial strategy across all Vitesse products, including its market-leading B2B and consumer magazines, websites, research and...

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