Spam threatens the e-mail channel
Say the name Spamhaus in a room full of e-mail marketers and you
likely will get a lot of dirty looks. It runs one of the biggest and
most widely used blacklists available to Internet service providers
and corporate administrators for identifying and blocking spam. The
folks who use the list find it extremely helpful in keeping spam out
of their networks.
Spamhaus currently protects about 500 million mailboxes with its
various blacklists. It also works closely with international law
enforcement, providing evidence and data to pursue criminal spammers
on the Internet.
The Spamhaus project has become one of the most respected anti-spam
organizations in the world. Yet some marketers feel that the
Spamhaus Block List is too easy to get on and often difficult to get
Marketers need to understand what is happening across the vast
communication network to which they belong. You may have read that
the spam problem is getting worse. The numbers are so huge they numb
The spam problem is quickly becoming a very big deal. Such a big
deal, in fact, that it threatens the viability of the channel. As
networks become overwhelmed with spam and viruses, they will become
Moreover, the increase in phishing and other fraudulent e-mails
erodes consumer confidence, threatening the effectiveness of
legitimate e-mail. It's sad to say, but spammers are getting
tactically sophisticated faster than many legitimate marketers.
You don't have to completely agree with Spamhaus' definition of spam
to agree with its greater mission to rid the world's inboxes of
scams, criminal intent and viruses.
Spamhaus recently turned its attention to the issue of zombies and
botnets. Botnets are a specific type of virus that infects
computers, creating remote-controlled zombies spewing out spam on
behalf of the virus-writer.
In response, Spamhaus has launched the Policy Block List. It is
meant to be a compendium of IP addresses submitted by ISPs that are
not allowed to send e-mail.
By assembling this list, Spamhaus will make it easier for network
administrators and ISPs to identify and block e-mail coming from
zombie computers. By participating in this list you help maintain
the viability and integrity of the e-mail channel.
My advice to marketers: Learn what's really going on with regard to
spam and how receiving networks are dealing with the issue. Get
familiar with phishing, spyware, zombies and all the other nasty
stuff. Then, advocate, advocate, advocate. Working in concert with
anti-spam forces is going to serve the greater good of everyone