October 12, 2006

British Telecom attempts to fight spam

by Brian Turner

Computers & Internet

ISP British Telecom has launched an automated email spam filtering system it hopes will help clean up it’s network.

This is especially as a number of BT’s servers have been blacklisted for email spamming, leading to other large ISP’s, such as Comcast, to block emails from BT reaching Comcast customers.

The new so-called “spam buster” system, implemented by StreamShield Networks, aims to be able to filter spam and virus infected email traffic.

A key problem for BT is that it’s difficult to isolate which users may have been compromising its systems, especially as organised email spamming groups use botnets – large networks of compromised PC’s – to send spam in large volumes.

It’s estimated that over 80% of all email sent is spam.

Overall, while it’s great to see British Telecom implement the new system, the simple truth is that ISP’s such as BT should have been proactive, instead of reactive, to customer issues in the first place.

After all, spam email has been an issue on the internet for over a decade. It can only be disappointing that BT has left it until 2006 to really try to address the problem.

In the meantime, I can only hope that the new system works. Then I can email one of my business partners on his Comcast email via my BT one, without having to redirect through a third party server.

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