Spam Zombies Get International Attention

    May 26, 2005
    WebProNews Staff

Efforts by the Federal Trade Commission and government partners from over 20 other countries to cooperate in plan to stop PCs being used as conduits for unsolicited commercial e-mail.

Otherwise known as spam, users get inundated with dozens, hundreds, or even thousands of pieces of mail they do not want on a daily basis. Much of this junk mail, referred to as spam, may be sent from machines where the user has no idea it is happening.

These machines, referred to as spam zombies, have become the focus of the FTC Operation Spam Zombies effort. When e-mail gets routed through a machine in this way, it disguises the true origin of the message.

That makes the task of finding the parties responsible for the mass mailing difficult. And with users being unaware that others misuse their machines for this purpose, that PC can be used over and over again to relay mail.

The FTC wants a global effort made to educate Internet service providers about what they can do to identify and limit or eliminate the effects of spam zombies on their networks.

The measures proposed by the operation include requesting ISPs block TCP port 25 when possible, rate-limit outgoing e-mails, and identifying machines that may be spam zombies.

Atlanta based ISP EarthLink applauded the move in a press statement, and noted its aggressive stance in combating spam. In London, the Office of Fair Trading also listed its support of the measures.

US departments supporting the initiative include the Federal Trade Commission, Department of Commerce, Department of Homeland Security in the USA, and agencies from Albania, Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Bulgaria, Canada, Colombia, Cyprus, Denmark, Greece, Ireland, Japan, Korea, Lithuania, Malaysia, Netherlands, Norway, Panama, Peru, Poland, Spain, Switzerland and Taiwan.

Absent from the list are Russia and China, places allegedly responsible for much of the spam generated in the world today.

David Utter is a staff writer for WebProNews covering technology and business. Email him here.