Monday, November 16 12:01 EST

Yahoo Spam Sponges to Reduce Spam

By Bruce Wood

Sunnyvale, CA – Yahoo engineers unveiled 'spam sponges,' the latest in several innovative measures they have taken to combat unsolicited commercial e-mail messages or spam.

Span Sponge
The spam sponge attracts
another unwanted can.

The sponges take the form of bogus e-mail accounts that have been deliberately set up to look like real ones. "We use an automated name generator to seek for possible account names that do not yet exist and we create an account in that name," explained Yahoo Engineer Ted Huffner. "Then automated bots subscribe these fictitious accounts to as many mailing lists as they can find."

"Behind me you can see huge banks of servers," said Huffner, "each one hosting millions of randomly created e-mail accounts, soaking up the spam that would otherwise clutter in your inbox."

"It's just a simple numbers game," said Yahoo CEO Geoff Wyatt. "With spammers bombarding us with over 100 million unwanted messages every day, if you can cause half of those to land in bogus accounts, then you automatically halve the number of spam messages received by real people."

Related News

Microsofot Unveils New Spam-blocking Technology

SpamAssassin Unveils New HomeAssassin Product for Unwanted Visitors.

Ask The Spammer

Kathleen Gipson of Enhance Your Rod, Inc. called the move “deceptive and harmful. We want our message about member enlargement to get to the people that want it, not some random e-mail account without a person associated with it.”

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