MIT conference considers phishing solutions

News Analysis

MIT conference considers phishing solutions

A US conference on spam, phishing and email fraud has suggested that ways of combating attacks should be based on economic incentives and aiding law enforcement.


Speakers at the 2006 Spam Conference held at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), suggested solutions that bypass the issue of email postage, and create a hierarchy of email senders.


Recent proposals such as ‘white lists’ and AOL's Goodmail, a pay-per-email service offering preferential treatment in email delivery for marketers, were also discussed.


One participant suggested that instead of an email postage system, a different type of economic incentive would see bulk emailers being required to put up a bond, with mail recipients able to classify spam, effectively penalising those senders they don't want mail from. A price would be attached to the penalty, and the marketers' bonds would cover the cost of those emails rejected as spam.


The idea would be that spammers and legitimate marketers would be less likely to send mass emails if rejection is going to cost them money. The spammers would give up, and legitimate marketers would aim their email campaigns more specifically at parties likely to be interested.


I like the idea of users being able to classify spam and penalise senders at the same time. A sort of mail preference service – with teeth.

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