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Resources to help you fight spam in your enterprise

Sep 08, 20044 mins
Enterprise ApplicationsMalware

* Useful spam Web sites and resources

Last week, we presented some tips that you could share with your end users about how to be spam aware. Today, I’d like to share with you some of the resources that could help keep spam at bay in your enterprise. There is a plethora of Web sites out there that could keep you busy for months wading through and reading all the materials, but I’ve picked a few that could be useful to you:

* SPEWS (Spam Prevention Early Warning System)

According to an introduction on its Web site, SPEWS is a list of areas on the Internet that several system administrators, ISP postmasters, and other service providers have assembled and use to deny e-mail, and in some cases, all network traffic from. “SPEWS identifies known spammers and spam operations, listing them as soon as they start, sometimes even before they start spamming,” SPEWS operators say.

SPEWS can be used in several ways. E-mail administrators could use the SPEWS test feature to identify whether a particular range of Internet addresses are owned by spam operations, or use the SPEWS list on a DNS query level. Administrators could use their e-mail filtering systems to reject e-mail or “tag” e-mail from SPEWS listed sources, or use the list to build router or firewall “reject” policies and deny any packet traffic to SPEWS listed areas.

* The Spamhaus Block List

The Spamhaus Block List is a database of IP addresses of verified spam sources. The SBL database is updated 24-7 by a global Spamhaus team and is broadcasted to 32 SBL zone mirror servers based around the world, the coordinators say.

The list can be used by almost all modern mail servers, by setting your mail server’s anti-spam DNSBL feature (sometimes called “Blacklist DNS Servers” or “RBL servers”) to query Use of the SBL is free for users with normal mail servers. For ISPs and organizations with heavy e-mail traffic Spamhaus offers a Data Feed service, which provides synchronizations every 30 minutes of the Spamhaus Blocklists to a local nameserver on your network. See Spamhaus’ price calculator for a price guide:

* The Anti-Spam Research Group (ASRG)

According to the information on its Web site, ASRG investigates tools and techniques to mitigate the effects of spam. Its focus is on technology, although it may consider tools and techniques to aid the implementation of legal and other non-technical anti-spam measures. It also provides input for standardization efforts within the IETF.

* has been providing anti-spam resources since 1996, according to its Web site. Its homepage offers recent spam news and its resources section is separated into advice for end users (“How to complain to the spammer’s provider”), system administrators (technical information about controlling spam), and marketers (how not to spam). On the site, there is an FAQ that begins with a discussion about whether spam is protected by the Free Speech laws, plus a semi-regular “Editor’s Page.”

* The Anti-Spam Home Page 

If you have an hour or so to spare (!) take a wander through the pages at the Anti-Spam Home Page. There you will find everything from a general discussion about spam, spam dos and don’ts, as well as links where you can write to your congressional representatives, and a list of national agencies, including the Federal Trade Commission, where you can report fraudulent e-mail.

* Network World Security Research Center

I couldn’t end the newsletter this week without mentioning our own Security Research Center. The center provides up-to-the-minute news on all aspects of security, plus links to in-depth stories, Webcasts, product reviews and security case studies. Don’t miss the regular Weblog of my colleague Ellen Messmer who is Network World’s senior editor reporting on security.

Spam and phishing are subsets of the Security Research Center, where you will find breaking spam and phishing news, as well as in-depth features. The Spam Research Center features a spam calculator that can help you figure out how much spam costs your enterprise each year – and can be used to develop a call for action to get the resources you need to fight the problem.


Messaging and Spam Technology Tour

Sept. 21-30, at a city near you

Strategy & Management for Messaging & Spam is a sophisticated new Network World Event seminar that’s as innovative and aggressive as the spammers themselves. It treats content management as a professional discipline. Helping to solve the symptoms of spam by taking you inside the world of messaging for a dose of preventative medicine driven by proven management principles.