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February 21, 2005

European Anti-spam initiative to launch

Digital Media Europe announces a new intiative between 13 European countries to establish a common procedure for handling cross-border complaints on spam.

Anti-spam enforcement authorities in 13 European countries have agreed to share information and pursue complaints across borders in a pan-European drive to combat unsolicited e-mail.

They will co-operate in investigating complaints about cross-border spam from anywhere within the EU, so as to make it easier to identify and prosecute spammers anywhere in Europe.

Full article

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February 21, 2005 in Anti Spam | Permalink | TrackBack

February 16, 2005

New bill to regulate spyware approved

New bill quells advertiser fears that cookies are not to be considered spyware:

A House of Representatives panel on Wednesday approved a bill to regulate spyware, a move that begins a second attempt to target the problematic class of software after a similar measure died in the Senate in 2004. Last year, the House voted for the so-called Spy Act by a 399 to 1 margin.

This year's version is slightly different. Author Mary Bono, R-Calif., said that it was revised before Wednesday's vote to clarify that cookies, text files saved by Web browsers, are not covered by the bill--something that some online advertisers had worried about.

From CNET News

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February 16, 2005 in Spyware | Permalink | TrackBack

Update on RSA Conference - Confidence in security industry at risk

Here's an update on the RSA Conference currently under way in San Francisco:

Fears over computer security are at a critical point and services are being delayed or cancelled because of lack of trust in the internet, according to RSA Security president Art Coviello.

Speaking at his keynote presentation at the RSA Conference in San Francisco, Coviello said that the industry was suffering under the assaults of spam, hacking and malicious software. To fight this threat Coviello argued that the industry needs to radically rethink the way it does business.

"In the past year confidence has been eroded," he said. "I am not a scaremonger, but spyware attacks are having an effect. For the first time services have started to be scaled back."  Full article from Security watchdog blog

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February 16, 2005 in General Internet Security | Permalink | TrackBack

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February 16, 2005 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

February 13, 2005

Public Library funding stalled on questions of Internet filtering software effectiveness

Public library funding may be stalled due to questions on Internet filtering software effectiveness.

A committee in the Virginia State Senate rejected by a tie vote a bill that would cut off state funds to public libraries unless they install software to block Web sites depicting subject matter defined as “obscene” under Virginia law.

Opponents of the bill, including the Virginia chapter of the ACLU, say so-called   “filtering” software programs usually fail to block all Internet   sites being targeted while they often succeed in blocking other sites that are   not sexually oriented, such as gay or safer sex-related sites aimed at preventing   the spread of AIDS. 

From Washington Blade

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February 13, 2005 in Internet Filters | Permalink | TrackBack

February 11, 2005

Anti-spyware market looms large in 2005

According to a Forrester Research study sixty five percent of surveyed companies plan to invest in antispyware solutions this year.

Technology decision makers from 185 North American companies of all sizes participated in the survey. While 69 percent of large enterprises said they would purchase anti-spyware tools this year, only 53 percent of small and medium businesses said they'd go for such protection, it found.

The study exposed several cracks in firms' anti-spyware strategy. Almost 40 percent of respondents failed to put a number to the total number of their machines that have been infected. According to the rest, about 17 percent of their systems had already suffered from spyware, a number Forrester expects to climb to 25 percent within 12 months.

Full article:  CNET News.com Security >> Business & legal

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February 11, 2005 in Spyware | Permalink | TrackBack

February 10, 2005

Trojan attacks Microsoft's anti-spyware

Seems like trouble for Windows AntiSpyware:

Windows AntiSpyware is threatened by a Trojan horse that also tries to steal online banking details, a security company warns.  Virus writers have created a malicious program that can disable Microsoft's new anti-spyware application, security experts warned on Wednesday.

Antivirus experts, who are calling the Trojan "Bankash-A," say it is the first piece of malicious software to attack Windows AntiSpyware, which is still in beta.

"This appears to be the first attempt yet by any piece of malware to disable Microsoft AntiSpyware," Graham Cluley, a senior technology consultant at Sophos, said in a statement. "As Microsoft's product creeps out of beta and is adopted more by the home user market, we can expect to see more attempts by Trojan horses, viruses and worms to undermine its effectiveness." From CNET News.com

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February 10, 2005 in Spyware | Permalink | TrackBack

February 09, 2005

Anti-Spyware Group Splits

Apparently there's some drama going on in the Anti-Spyware industry:

"Some members of an anti-spyware group resigned after the group, the Consortium of Anti-Spyware Technology vendors (COAST), instituted a certification process that could allow adware vendors to distinguish themselves from the less desirable spyware purveyors. The certification process allowed adware firms 180Solutions and Weatherbug into the consortium, angering three longer-term members from the computer security community. Webroot, Aluria and Computer Associates said they would rather leave the group than sully themselves by associating with firms using software to display advertising. Others note that COAST has changed spyware and adware firm practices by engaging with the companies and establishing reasonable standards. 180Solutions has agreed to change its software practices as part of its certification process with COAST. Among other things, the software exploited an ActiveX vulnerability to install software without seeking explicit permission, according to CNET. COAST gave 180Solutions 90 days to replace all of its user base's software. A Webroot executive told CNET that this wasn't good enough, saying adware "uses your computer's resources and sometimes [has] sloppy or damaging practices all in the purpose of serving up ads, which they get paid for and you don't."" From MarketingVOX via CNET "Catfight in the spyware corral"

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February 9, 2005 in Spyware | Permalink | TrackBack

February 07, 2005

Spammers and phishers colluding

Here's an interesting article about how spammers are bypassing blacklist filters by sending out spam  from the affected machines ISP mail server:

Spammers are continuing to stay one step ahead of the antispam community as a recent innovation makes blacklists – where e-mails from suspicious sources are blocked -- virtually useless.

On Thursday, anti-spam organisation SpamHaus, which compiles blacklists that block around eight billion e-mail messages a day, reported that spammers have started sending spam via the mail server of an infected PC's Internet service provider. This means the spam appears to come from the ISP, making it very hard for an anti-spam blacklist to block. Previously, compromised or zombie PCs have been used as mail servers to send spam e-mails directly.

David Banes, technical director at e-mail security specialist Messagelabs Asia Pacific, said the company has noticed a huge increase in spam over the past few weeks as more spammers begin using the new technique. He expects traditional blacklists will be rendered virtually useless.

"This means you can’t trust your blacklists anymore. We have seen a spike in spam over the last few weeks. If you do rely on blacklists [to block spam] then you are in trouble," said Banes.

Full article from ZDNet Austrailia

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Antispam software

February 7, 2005 in Anti Spam | Permalink | TrackBack

February 04, 2005

Spam costing companies billions

Great article on the cost of spam from Information Week:

The cost of spam in terms of lost productivity has reached $21.58 billion annually, according to the 2004 National Technology Readiness Survey.
The annual survey, conducted by Center for Excellence in Service at the University of Maryland's Robert H. Smith School of Business and Rockbridge Associates, a technology research firm, reveals that Internet users in the United States spend an average of three minutes deleting spam each day they use E-mail. Multiplied across 169.4 million online adults in the United States, this comes to 22.9 million hours a week, or $21.58 billion based on an average wage.

"The business community needs to realize that a lot of its money is going down the drain," says Roland Rust, director of the Center for Excellence in Service. "This is a problem that concerns everyone."

The survey indicates that 78% of online adults receive spam daily and 11% receive at least 40 such messages. Of those, 14% read spam they receive. Four percent of online adults said in the past year they purchased a product or service advertised in spam--that's almost 7 million people propping up peddlers of herbal Viagra and the like.

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Anti Spam Software

February 4, 2005 in Anti Spam | Permalink | TrackBack