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Spam Fight Moving Beyond Filters

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CAMBRIDGE, Mass. -- Although filters remain a major tool in the war on junk email, those on the front lines are looking at other tactics, such as sender authentication, tighter security and lawsuits against suspected spammers.

Bayesian filters, which review message content, format and header information and use statistical probability to determine if a message is likely to be spam, need to be more precise and to be used at the server level as well as at the email-client level, attendees said at an anti-spam conference Friday at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, according to IDG World.

Several speakers urged spam fighters, ISPs and email providers to use lawsuits and law enforcement to go after spammers and those who use illegal methods such as email harvesting to collect addresses.

Others suggested email providers add language to their Web sites prohibiting email harvesting, which would allow them to sue under breach-of-contract laws, use technology to prevent email harvesting and secure their email exchanges better to stop address spoofing.