Spam: E-mail Spam and Sender Id Method Essay

Submitted By adesiboy
Words: 1581
Pages: 7

Do you ever get tired of getting e-mails from people you do not know? Do you wish that you could just put a stop to all these junk e-mails and only receive e-mails from known sources and subjects you care for? Spam is like getting letters from all these credit card companies such as Capitol One, Discover every single day in the mail. The scrap fills up your mailbox and you get tired of tearing these letters day by day. The same takes place with spam e-mails, you get tired of cleaning your mailbox, but the spammers do not get tired of sending these messages. Not only do spam e-mails take up room in your mailbox, but they also take up a lot of your time that you could spend doing something more valuable and creative. We also lose important messages due to spammers. Spammers send us misleading information that shows false hope to many such as sending e-mails about medication that can cure cancer or HIV disease. Spam is playing a very critical role in our lives that the government has to get involved into this to stop. All the state government, federal government and world governments have set some restrictions and/or made some laws to minimize this problem. It’s affecting our society and economy. The money spent by the government to stop this problem could be used on other important tasks such as education, health plans for elderly and children or roads. Spammers also invade our privacy and freedom by getting into our computers or by sending emails. Everyone’s email box is like their house and their privacy should be respected like we respect their privacy in their houses.
Spamming is growing rapidly in our society today. People are getting into each others computers with just “click of a button.” Just a few months ago, The New York Times had published an article, “AOL Wins Judgment Against Spammer” that states “America Online won a $5.6 million award against a Minnesota man who sent billions of spam e-mails over the service in 2003.”
Spam is also being sent through Spam Zombies. Spam Zombies remotely control one’s computer to send unsolicited email without the owner’s knowledge.
There are many technical methods that are being used to prevent spam. People try many different methods to stop getting spam such as Firewall, Spyware, and Spam or software that can fight viruses. The two most frequently used methods are Sender ID by Microsoft Inc. and DomainKeys Identified Mail (DKIM) by Cisco Systems Inc. and Yahoo Incorporation. The Sender ID method verifies e-mail by comparing the information to see whether it comes from where it says it comes from. The DKIM method encrypts a digital signature to the e-mail’s header and “instructions on where to find the algorithm that calculated the signature and the public key that breaks the code” before the e-mail is sent off. The Sender ID method is not as effective as DKIM method because it cannot tell whether the forwarded message is legitimate or not. Spammers can get around Sender ID by just “cutting text out of an incoming message and pasting it into a new one.” The DKIM system also has a disadvantage. It “can be confused by changes made to an e-mail in transit” such as if the header was changed from one character format to Unicode. Due to the change in the header the message will be considered spam e-mail. The best solution is to use both systems to avoid getting spam e-mails and losing important messages. (Loser Microsoft to Spammers: Go Phish)
With all the technical solutions being available, the most reliable solution would be the “charity stamp” method proposed by Mark Wegman, CTO for software at IBM Research. According to Wegman to stop spammers, there should be a donation involved in sending any e-mail. He stated that the system should be programmed to where when an e-mail is sent that it automatically makes the sender donate a small amount of money to charity. He believes that most users will not worry about the cost, but spammers, who send…