On fighting spam

November 5, 2003
By

I don’t know how bad the spam is in your newsroom, but it’s gotten out of hand in ours.

The folks at Kuro5hin suggest a way to fight back: by responding to some of those spams, which costs the spammers money.

Current intelligence indicates that most of the spam we receive comes from a small band of virulent spammers — perhaps a few hundred of them. If every member of this community were to respond to one spam per day with red-herring data, then each spammer would be inundated with thousands of false responses which they would have to filter for the handful of true positives. My guess is that spammers would start to drop like flies, and this would result in a concentration of our daily response on the few remaining spammers. The number of false positives received by each spammer would quickly rise in an almost geometric progression. With them would rise the per-spammer costs.

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