North American Network Operators Group

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Re: MS's new antispam idea

  • From: Jeff Shultz
  • Date: Fri Dec 26 12:04:58 2003

** Reply to message from "Stephen J. Wilcox" <[email protected]>
on Fri, 26 Dec 2003 14:23:05 +0000 (GMT)

> Ok so in summary you have to use a bit of CPU to solve a puzzle before it lets 
> you send email.
> So either this doesnt work because spammers dont actually use their own PCs to 
> send email or we are talking about a whole new mail protocol, either way I'm 
> thinking this isnt going to work and its yet another publicity stunt.
> Steve

I'm sure I've heard this one before, so it's not even a new idea...
hope whoever came up with it originally patented it. 8-) Then again,
maybe it was MS that I heard about the first time, and the Beeb is
simply late to the game here. 

Has anyone calculated the increased server load, the extra storage
needed for the now lengthened outgoing mail queue, and the extra
bandwidth required to handle all this extra back and forth puzzle
thing?  YahooGroups and the like would definitely be impacted. It would
be interesting to see what protections will be built into the puzzle
thing as well... I can see some joker setting up his server to require
that the sending computer calculate PI to some ridiculous number of
decimals... although that might make a good honeypot. Or, if the puzzle
is open source (which would be a good thing), how soon before the
spammers (or even legit MTA authors) hardcode the answers into the
server software? I suppose there would have to be some random elements. 

It is interesting.... as an extension it might be nice to be able to
set up a "whitelist" of trusted servers that don't have to go through
the computational gyrations to send you mail - that way it would,
hopefully, eventually impact the spammers more than it would impact
legitimate e-mail servers.

Jeff Shultz
Loose nut behind the wheel.