Yahoo Mail Talks Anti-Spam Improvement

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Mark RisherYahoo is taking new measures to increase it’s ability to prevent spam from reaching your Yahoo Mail inbox, and from legitimate messages from reaching your spam folder. The company’s "Anti-Spam Czar" Mark Risher goes into detail about the company’s efforts on the Yahoo Mail Blog:

One way we’re turning up the heat on the spammers is by utilizing even more state-of-the-art technology. Recently, Yahoo!’s anti-spam team has been using a “supercomputer” consisting of thousands of individual PCs — part of our open source Hadoop project — to help detect spammers. We’re teamed up with several top universities on this research, looking for more ways to find and block the bad guys even faster, before they can do their damage.

We’re also out there working with partners big and small to help reduce spam across the Internet. We’ve seen some promising early results from one such company, a startup named Abaca, and our hopes are high that together we can block even more of these messages by looking at spammers’ behavior in addition to the contents of their spammy messages.


Risher also talks about relaunching Yahoo’s Complaint Feedback Loop with assistance from email deliverability company Return Path. This means that when companies sending legitimate emails get marked as spam, they can be notified and make adjustments to prevent this in the future.

Finally, Risher reiterates a point made in the past that Yahoo Mail users should frequently use the "spam" and "not spam" buttons when spam messages are delivered to their inboxes, and when legitimate messages are delivered to their spam folders. This notifies the company so they can fix the issue.

Yahoo Mail Talks Anti-Spam Improvement
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  • http://leigh3676.com Leigh

    What they really need to work on is preventing spam from being sent from their emails. 95% of the spam I receive are from yahoo and gmail addresses.

    • Chris Crum

      Sounds like a good suggestion for their feedback

    • http://www.diamondonnet.com/ Diamonds

      Yes, same goes here… They actually just added a captcha when you try to send to multiple emails. Which is a good start.

  • http://www.iyazam.com/ Hillel

    For some reason Yahoo has always been saying that. I believe it when I see it!

  • http://www.mycatfence.co.uk Liam – Cat Fences

    relaunch of Yahoo’s Complaint Feedback Loop sounds like a positive step forward. My Yahoo email is full of spam.

  • rgh

    Of late, I find that Yahoo mail is doing (or atleast appears to be doing) a very good job of filtering out spam mails. Till a couple of months back, I was receiving several spam mails in my Yahoo inbox. But now, I rarely get any spam mails!

  • geetanjali

    Lets hope for the best !

  • http://poseidonprofit.blogspot.com Poseidon SEO, SEM, SMO

    This situation between Yahoo and spammers getting more serious like an internet war zone…just keep up the continous development !

  • Mike

    if yahoo was serious about spam they would allow users to block more than 500 spam addresses (current limit, far as i know) to your inbox.

  • http://randomplaza.com Brave Agent Pubeit

    Things I’ve encountered in yahoo…

    90% of the time I have to enter a human-unreadable captcha in order to send email, even if the account sends only 1 email a month. This varies from account to account with some accounts always getting it. At one point yahoo required the captcha to contact them for things like complaining they couldn’t read the captcha. I heard people began faxing them after that and so they eventually removed it.

    For Leigh’s comment of yahoo needing to stop spam, well advanced spambots have been able to read captchas including yahoo’s for years. Two years ago there were zdnet articles saying that bots could read them with 100% accuracy for stuff I could read and for stuff I couldn’t read, bots could read it at 95% accuracy. I’m sure now they have it all at 100% now. I lost the zdnet links, but this page on my website http://randomplaza.com/help.turing.test.php in the section “What CAPTCHAs are” and “Turing test” explain why bots will always be able to decode any turing test completely generated by robots.

    About five years or so, yahoo only forced its captcha if you sent a whole bunch of mails. I’ve also found if I email a bunch of people in yahoo, not anything inappropriate, just things like “hello you never answered my email”, that the next day try to send a single email and yahoo won’t let the account send email saying their automated system detected “supcious activity”. Of course while the mail is being sent, yahoo does nothing. So if someone was spamming, yahoo wouldn’t stop them and the next day the account would not be used again.

    I’ve also had lots of times where I made a yahoo account and then in three days, yahoo mysteriously locked the account and won’t let me log in or recover the password. It does that when I send no mail and only receive maybe 1-2 emails.

    Yahoo’s “mark spam” button is also bugged as it doesn’t automatically block an address I mark as spam like it claims. I’ll sometimes get the same spammer over and over and just have to abandon the yahoo account to start anew. Then when I start anew I hope yahoo doesn’t scramble my password and lock the account for no reason.

    For their feedback complaint thing of if mail is marked as spam, well that’s no good. Basically yahoo, aol, hotmail, and all the other places with spam filters have spam filters that block legitimate mail so only spam gets through. I’ve noticed well-known websites always get their mail sent to the inbox of yahoo even if the company floods you with advertisements. This is likely yahoo flagged these companies in some fashion. Stuff like this basically means well-known companies get their mail through (and many of them bombard registered users with ads) while real people sending email never get their email though. So often I mail people and they never get it because of spam filters.

  • http://www.idontseewhynot.com Mustikos

    Seriously now, my spam box still gets tons of mail dated January 18, 2038, which I guess it due to some technical thing similar to Y2K (lol) .. anyway though, no one is every going to send me email dated that, unless their computer is messed up, at which point, honestly, I wouldn’t care. Obviously they are doing it to show up at the top of the list. I ask why is it this way, but I know the answer, it is because rather than just delete them, they leave them because it is just at least one, single more chance that they can stick an ad in your face.

    WTH? Making money wins over providing a good service.

  • Jimbo

    Man, Yahoo is lying. They’ve been saying this for years. Getting ready to ditch them.

    • Guest

      Actually, Yahoo is DYING!

  • ScottyPcGuy_03

    I have used Gmail (for over a year now) and have never, EVER gotten spam at any time. My spam box has remained empty except for one false positive last month (from AFA).

    I don’t think the problem is merely stopping the spam, it’s also keeping your email address private! I have never put my email on any website except my own, and have found that the spambots miss it completely, for some reason I don’t understand. I also have never given it to anyone unless I know that they also do not receive spam.

    I cannot stress enough the importance of keeping your email address to yourself and to your friends that you trust.

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      • squafdonoboles

        What does this have to do with the price of tea in China?

  • Dawn Slater

    It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to know that SPAM comes from forwarded messages. Once a message is “forwarded”, it becomes public domain. Just go to any search engine and type in “FW”. You will be surprised at how many e-mail addresses a SPAMMER can collect using this method. You may even see your own!

  • Dawn

    Because of Yahoo’s new sign-in “Secret Questions” (which I refused to answer) I could not enter my e-mail and did not learn that my mother had died until a week later. I intend to sue these idiots BIG TIME!!!

  • udi

    I am suggesting Yahoo to do a global blocking on site like shtyle.fm

    I received same message from 5 (five) different friends- all came from member-xxx@shtyle.fm

    —– this is hackers activity- Do not open——

    It was sent from hackers address: “xxxxxxx@gmail.com”

    Who can suggest it to Yahoo? (I don’t know Yahoo adress for it)


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