Spam Tide May Be Turning

Products launched at the RSA show could signal the beginning of the end of spam.

Major announcements at the RSA Conference here last week—in addition to recent anti-spam technology advances—mark the beginning of the end of spam as we know it.

At the conference, Microsoft Corp. introduced its CSRI (Coordinated Spam Reduction Initiative), and Sendmail Inc. announced broad support of SMTP identification schemes.

Other anti-spam initiatives have moved ahead in recent weeks. The SPF (Sender Policy Framework), championed by Meng Weng Wong, gained traction on the news that it will be formally submitted to the Internet Engineering Task Force. Yahoo Inc.s Domain Keys, announced in December, has also bolstered the campaign for e-mail identity technology. Brightmail Inc.s Reputation Service and IronPort Systems Inc.s SMTPi initiative debuted late last month as well.

The premise of these new tools and initiatives is that once identity is effectively tied to e-mail messages, mail-handling systems will be able to forward legitimate e-mail and trash the forged junk now flooding the Internet.

eWEEK Labs therefore recommends that IT managers focus their energy on implementing new technology in their e-mail systems, instead of evaluating content-filtering anti-spam tools.

Because CSRI, SPF and other anti-spoofing technologies are still in the early stages of deployment, content-based anti-spam tools arent dead yet, of course. However, we believe IT managers should shift focus to participating in the pilot programs of e-mail identification systems and spend less time looking at the current crop of content-filtering tools.