SPAM Filtering Term Paper

Pages: 35 (10063 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 1+  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Education - Computers

¶ … spam filtering solution available and tries to analyze and compare the best way to fight email spam and come up with new ideas and approaches to decrease the amount of email spam received by the organizations. This is important because e-mail spam is causing the it industry billions of dollars annually and it is also interfering with legitimate e-commerce and communication. Therefore, this case study gives detailed and unbiased information on the current solutions being used by the it industry and shows the new approaches that will be used. The tactic involved in the data gathering process has been that of a collection of the largest possible number of existing information related to the spam filtering tools from articles published in various scientific journals and magazines by individual researchers, as well as, research institutions. From the data gathered, it is clear that no past studies of this magnitude on this subject have been conducted. The results indicate that whilst, numerous anti-spam products exist in the market, many diverse anti-spam methods and procedures are being used by these products to filter spam. Some of the most widely used techniques found in these products have been summarized and newer ideas and recommendations are also given so that comprehensive steps can be taken to eliminate the phenomenon of spam.

CHAPTER I

INTRODUCTION

Statement of the problem

The thesis takes a look at the current spam filtering solution available and tries to analyze and compare the best way to fight email spam and come up with new ideas and approaches to decrease the amount of email spam received by the organizations.

Significance of the Study

E-mail Spam is causing the it industry billions of dollars annually and it is also interfering with legitimate e-commerce and communication.

Purpose of the Study

In my thesis I will give detailed unbiased information of the current solution used by the it industry and show the new approaches that will be used.

Introduction

Spam has become a nuisance for all email users because the element of privacy is compromised and also valuable time and money is at stake. Michael J. Blotzer (2002) highlights the difficulties related to spam. Besides attacking the secrecy and discretion of individuals and wasting valuable time, spam costs valuable money to the organizations. He writes, "Spam arrives at significant cost to the consumer. Spam typically makes up 10% to 30% of e-mail traffic and accounts for as much as 50% of all traffic at some Internet service providers (ISPs). The added expense of bandwidth, servers and engineering support to accommodate spam can cost an ISP millions of dollars per year. One telecommunication company estimates that each spam e-mail costs $1 in lost productivity. You can bet those costs are reflected in subscribers' monthly bills (Michael J. Blotzer, 2002)."

Spam causes financial losses to businesses through the traffic it generates, the time taken to delete these emails. The present environment presents significant threat to the businesses through increased competition and globalization and the last thing businesses want is for their employees to waste valuable and congested Internet traffic. Peter Piazza (2003) reveals the economic and financial problems related to spam: "What can be done to halt the onslaught of spam? The problem is reaching ever-higher proportions, both for corporations and users. On the corporate side, the concern is the rising cost of the traffic (more than $10 billion for American businesses this year, according to a recent report by technology research firm Ferris Research), while for Web surfers, the concern is time and convenience; for example, deleting offensive or annoying messages takes 10-20 minutes per day, according to antivirus firm Symantec. And according to a 2001 study for the European Commission, simply receiving spam cost users $10 billion euros a year worldwide. One pioneer has an idea that he believes may stem the tide: charging spammers for their messages (Peter Piazza, 2003)."

Eric Krapf (2003) explains that email has transformed the lives of ordinary people, business executives and organizations because of the extraordinary usefulness and efficiency of this tool. However, the application of this tool is being endangered by unsolicited commercial advertisements (also known as spam) because businesses are loosing valuable assets because of uncalled-for commercial advertisements. Over the years spam has become a global problem and it has become impossible for any individual nation to act individually to solve this problem. These complications have made businesses use other alternatives, which for now are less problematical, such as "instant messaging." (Eric Krapf, 2003).

Eric Krapf (2003) disagrees with this development and notes, "As if the spammers won't be able to figure out a way to reach us through IM (instant messaging). Right now, chat rooms and enterprise systems make up a universe that's narrow enough that protecting your privacy may not be too difficult. But if and when IM becomes the common mode of electronic communication, don't expect to keep your contact information private. Technology can't defeat a problem when the perpetrators are determined to use technology to further their own ends. The overwhelming popularity of the anti-telemarketing 'do not call' list shows that people want public networks to be used for the public good. it's time for 'do not spam' legislation with teeth (Eric Krapf, 2003)."

It has been revealed, in one latest study, that spam is more destructive and harmful that hackers and global viruses. While many studies have revealed that there has been a noteworthy decline is spamming, the costs of this menace are still staggering.

Tim Lemke (2003) writes, "London-based computer-security firm mi2G said in a report on Thursday that computer outages and lost productivity because of spam led to $10.4 billion in worldwide economic losses in October. Meanwhile, the company said viruses and worms - also known as malware - caused $8.4 billion in losses, while hackers contributed to $1 billion in financial damage worldwide (Tim Lemke, 2003)."

The war being waged against spam has become a household battle as Internet users, throughout the world, have been subscribing to spam filtering software companies. This is because the percentage of spam in the total quantity of emails is very high. William Powell (2003) reveals, "Gartner Research estimates that spam accounts for half of all corporate email. Surprising, isn't it? Spain filters keep much of it from reaching your in-box, but what slips through creates an increasing drain on productivity. Ferris Research estimates that drain will cost corporations U.S.$10 billion in 2003. Brightmail reports that nearly 40% of all email is spam. That figure is up 32% from late 2001 (William Powell, 2003)."

The future outlook of spamming is also not very encouraging because as the number of Internet users and businesses are increasing rapidly so are the figures of unsolicited commercial advertisements. As William Powell, 2003 notes, "Some people actually buy the products that spam advertises. Estimates for follow-ups run 0.1 to 1%. That may sound insignificant, but consider that eMarketer estimates that 76 billion messages are sent out annually through legitimate opt-in email marketing campaigns and that, all told, 2.3 billion spam messages are sent daily. Even at a 0.1% return, the dollars start adding up. Jupiter Media Metrix expects expenditures on legitimate email marketing alone to reach U.S.$9.4 billion by 2006 (William Powell, 2003)."

Spam affects more than one area as revealed by the elevated costs of damage and devastation done through spam. Celia Wren, (2003) writes, "That $9-billion figure takes into account variables like 'consumption of bandwidth' and 'loss of worker productivity' (the average worker, according to Ferris's analysts, wastes 4.5 seconds on each morsel of spam). What these figures do not measure or explain, of course, is the subjective dimension -- the pent-up fury experienced by the helpless spam recipient (Celia Wren, 2003)."

Fred S. Knight (2004) downplays the role technology may play in solving the menace of spam. He writes, "I'm sure that the spammers will find ways to fight and delay the deployment of new technology, and they will do everything they can to keep carriers from locking down the public network. Spam is one of those issues where technology's ability to solve the problem is limited by the public's will (Fred S. Knight, 2004)."

It is clear that spam is a significant threat to the it industry and it has become imperative that an in-depth study of the present spam filtering solutions available are examined and analyzed so that the best way to fight email spam can be discovered and new ideas and approaches to decrease the amount of email spam received by the organizations are also determined.

CHAPTER II

REVIEW of RELATED LITERATURE

This section examines the past studies conducted on this subject. From the data gathered, it is clear that no study of this magnitude on this subject has been conducted. This is because researchers in the 1990s and early 2000s had been dubious about any considerable part for spam in the financial costs of the organizations. This is quite surprising considering the number of spam filtering solutions being offered by… [END OF PREVIEW]

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