Backscatter Spam on E-mail Security Radar
Proofpoint joins the list of vendors supporting bounce address tag validation, also known as BATV. Webroot and Cisco also support BATV in their e-mail security offerings. Earlier this year, Symantec noted the rise of backscatter spam in its monthly State of Spam report.Proofpoint is launching an attack on backscatter spam, joining a chorus of voices supporting Bounce Address Tag Validation that includes Cisco and Webroot. Backscatter spam is far from a new phenomenon. Also called non-delivery receipt spam (NDR spam), backscatter occurs when spammers put someone else's e-mail address in the "From" field of spam messages. If the spam e-mail is bounced back for whatever reason, the non-delivery receipt for the e-mail will go to the address in the "From" field instead of to the spammer. The net result is unwary e-mail users getting NDRs for e-mails they never sent.
"The large volume of spam being sent by botnets typically is sent with a spoofed "From" line that, of course, has nothing to do with the actual origin of the spammy e-mail," said Rami Habal, director of product marketing for Proofpoint. "Because of the large volume of messages being sent-and the high likelihood that the recipient address doesn't actually exist-when one's domain is spoofed in this way, a huge volume of NDRs can be generated. These bogus bounces clog both the mail server itself and...cause the same type of consternation and productivity impacts as -actual' spam."