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ISPA Publishes New SPAM Recommendations

Posted: 04th Apr, 2007 By: MarkJ
The UK Internet Services Providers’ Association (ISPA) has published new recommendations for ISPs regarding unsolicited bulk email (UBE), better known as SPAM or junk email:

The new recommendations are the latest in a series of best current practice (BCP) documents advising ISPA members on various issues. Each BCP represents what ISPA considers to be best practice at the time of publishing.

ISPA believes that in order to combat spam effectively action is required from the Internet industry, the Government, law enforcement agencies and importantly end-users. The self-regulatory measures set out in the UBE BCP should be backed-up by effective laws enabling action to be taken against persistent spammers.

The document is available online at http://www.ispa.org.uk/home/page_364.html

The ISPA's recommendations include closing open relay e-mail systems (a well know source of SPAMMER abuse), some form of abuse management for dealing with spammers and customer education. Speaking of which, here's a shameless plug for our own 'Tips for avoiding SPAM' article.

The ISPA goes on to highlight some of its own consumer side suggestions for customers:

ISPA advises consumers to protect their PCs with firewalls. This prevents them from being turned into zombie PCs by spammers, creating an open relay which allows the computer to be hijacked and used to mail spam and send out viruses. A recent study shows spammers use zombie PCs to distribute over 80 percent of spam on the ‘net.

Jessica Hendrie-Liaño, Chair of ISPA Council explains, “UBE is a problem for ISPs but they are taking steps to tackle it. ISPs are reducing UBE by ensuring that their email systems will not relay email for unauthorised third parties and that all email generated within their network can be traced back to its source. However, customers can also play a very important role by securing their PCs and reporting cases of UBE. Effective abuse procedures should be in place to make reporting easier. Customers need to be educated on the nature of UBE, how to protect their PCs with firewalls and anti-virus software, and should also be informed of other services provided by their ISPs to help keep UBE to a minimum.”

It's anticipated that future BCP documents will also cover other problem areas, such as Peer-2-Peer (file sharing) abuse and copyright infringement.
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