Geek News: Latest Technology, Product Reviews, Gadgets and Tech Podcast News for Geeks

Don’t Challenge That E-mail!

Posted by geeknews at 6:47 PM on September 10, 2003

When I ask IT people what they see is the biggest problem on the net today, the most common response is spam. When I ask non-techies the same question, I always get the answer: spam.

There’s not much we can do at the moment to combat spam except install filtering software that keeps an eye out for common spam terms (I don’t want to list them here because there’s a good chance your filtering software will trash this newsletter).

There’s an alternative to e-mail filtering that’s being discussed when ISPs and other technical folk gather: challenge-response messaging. With this e-mail technology, senders will receive a challenge e-mail message the first time they send a message to an e-mail account that has enabled challenge-response security. If the sender appropriately responds to the challenge, the original message is then delivered to the recipient, and future messages sent to the same e-mail account will also be delivered.

This process verifies the sender’s return e-mail address and adds the address to the recipient’s white list, the tally of addresses from which e-mail messages may be received.

Dave’s Opinion
At first this sounds like a good idea; however, there are a few limitations to the system. The first is that challenge-response white lists may allow all e-mail from the sender’s domain to be delivered. If responds appropriately to a challenge, then not only will his future messages be delivered but also, and

The second problem I see is for e-zine (e-mail newsletter) publishers, including me. Challenges that are sent in response to the newsletter will result in the recipient’s being unsubscribed from the newsletter. Bounced e-zine messages are usually automatically removed from the subscriber list. This isn’t just a problem for publishers but also for readers who may not realize why they’re no longer receiving their newsletters after the challenge-response system has been installed by the corporate IT staffer.

And worst of all, the challenge-response system adds at least two additional e-mail messages traversing the net and corporate e-mail servers each time a new relationship is created.

Let’s solve the spam problem at it’s root by continuing to work through the legal system to stop spammers. In the mean time, do your part to make the spamming less enticing: don’t buy anything from spammers and don’t reply to their messages, you’re only confirming that they’ve reached a valid e-mail address.



  1. From Mike Masnick at 1:57 pm on September 11, 2003

    Challenge-response is worse than that. There are two types of “errors” anti-spam technology can make: “false negative” (letting spam through) and “false positive” (calling legit messages spam). A good antispam filter minimizes both of these errors as much as possible.

    Challenge-response basically maximizes “false positives” by declaring EVERYTHING spam – until proven otherwise. Anyone who chooses not to jump through extra hoops to contact you is considered a spammer. Thus, the false positive % is very high with challenge response.

  2. From Laura Simmons at 2:19 pm on September 11, 2003

    What about technical support staff whose job is to respond to questions via email. For every email they send out, they have to stand by to confirm it. For every 1000 emails are another 1000 confirmations. And don’t forget the staff has to read those confirmations to confirm that they really did send those emails and how can you prevent SPAM from being disguised as a confirmation email?

  3. From marty at 6:27 pm on November 1, 2003

    1 adult sex toys

    2 amateur sex videos

    3 amateur sex

    4 top search engine rankings

    5 amateur page

    6 amateur pages

    7 amateur video

    8 fuck me

    9 adult links

    10 lesbian sex

    11 porn

    12 amateur porn

    13 porn videos

    14 reality porn

    15 amateur nudes

    16 trivet baskets

    17 sex toys

    18 big dildos

    19 dildos

    20 realistic cock

    21 paint ball gun

    22 amateur videos

    23 cheap
    adult toys

    24 cheap

    25 cheap

    26 cheap

    27 adult
    toy shop

    28 adult

    29 discount
    adult toys

    31 adult
    toy store
    31 adult
    32 adult
    toy chest
    33 adult
    toy online
    34 adult
    toy distributor

  4. From sofortkredit at 5:55 am on November 6, 2003

    I liked very much to visit your Site.
    Congratulations for the layout.
    Best regards, Sue

  5. From ratenkredit at 6:10 am on November 6, 2003

    Hi, just popped in here through a random link. Cool site, keep this good work up !!! Leo

  6. From Dave at 6:50 am on November 6, 2003

    Nice site

  7. From Canadian Pharmacy at 8:03 pm on November 9, 2003

    Where can i find a site like this? this is a nice site!

  8. From Limousine Service at 4:54 am on November 11, 2003

    Limousine Service Rent a Limo or buy

  9. From Calendars at 8:49 pm on November 13, 2003

    Quid me nutrit me destruit

  10. From sofortkredit at 2:16 pm on November 19, 2003

    I liked very much to visit your Site.
    Congratulations for the layout.
    Best regards, Sue

  11. From ratenkredit at 2:17 pm on November 19, 2003

    Hi! You did a nice job on creating this website! Good stuff! Keep it up! See you! :) Peter

  12. From norm at 4:59 pm on November 29, 2003

    great site

  13. From logos gratuits at 7:02 am on December 9, 2003

    Congratulations to this wonderful effort. I really appreciate you work here, I think it will serve to many for inspiration and as a good information source. Go on.Take care.

    logos couleurs
    logos et sonneries
    logos gratuits
    logos sonneries
    logos portables
    sonneries et logos
    sonneries logos
    logos skate
    logos animes
    logos mobiles
    logos nokia
    creation logos
    logos pour portables
    logos de telephones
    logos couleurs gratuits
    logos gsm
    sonnerie et logos gratuits
    logos sagem
    logos marques
    logos et sonneries gratuits
    logos portables gratuits
    logos et sonneries gratuites
    telechargement de logos
    logos pour mobiles
    logos alcatel
    logos motorola
    logos sms
    logos telecharger
    logos pour telephones portables
    big logos
    logos pour telecharger
    logos sonneries gratuits
    telecharger des logos
    logos design
    telechargez des logos
    creer logos
    logos samsung
    logos couleurs animes
    logos et sonneries portables
    logos sonneries
    logos operateur
    logos psg
    logos telephones portables
    logos et sonneries pour portables
    logos pour nokia
    logos geants
    logos pour sagem
    sonneries et logos de portables
    logos om
    logos renault
    logos couleurs portables
    logos ferrari
    logos sonneries portables
    logos couleurs pour portables
    telechargement logos gratuits
    telechargement logos portables
    sonneries logos portables
    nokia logos
    sonneries et logos pour portables
    logos skateboard
    logos foot
    logos sonneries
    petits logos
    logos sonneries gratuites
    logos pour motorola
    sonneries logos gratuits
    logoss marques skate
    logos gratuis
    logos et soneries
    logos nike
    logos philips
    logos cannabis
    logos voiture
    logos manager
    ogos siemens
    mobiles logos
    logos pour alcatel
    logos motos
    logos nokia gratuits
    logos perso
    logos anniversaire
    logos sport
    logos peugeot
    telecharger logos gratuits
    logos gratuits pour portables
    logos alcatel 311
    1001 logos
    logos matrix
    logos sfr
    logos pour telephones
    logos prenom
    logos hot
    logos pour gsm
    logos et sonneries gratuits

  14. From sonnerie at 7:09 am on December 9, 2003

    Hi, just popped in here through a random link. Cool site, keep this good work .

    sonneries portable -
    sonnerie portable -
    logos portable -
    logo portable -
    sonnerie gsm -
    sonneries gsm -
    sonneries mobile -
    sonnerie mobile -
    sonnerie sagem -
    sonneries sagem -
    sonneries samsung -
    sonnerie nokia -
    sonneries polyphoniques -
    sonnerie polyphonique -
    logos couleurs -
    sonneries logos -
    sonnerie logo -
    sonneries hifi -
    sonnerie hifi -
    repondeur mobile -
    logo couleur -
    SonyEricsson -
    envoi sms -
    sonneries gratuites -
    sonnerie gratuite -
    sms gratuit -
    jeux portable -
    coque pour nokia -
    coque pour sagem -
    coque pour siemens -
    coque pour motorola -
    coque pour alcatel -
    jeu portable -
    big logo -
    sonneries a composer -
    logos couleur anim

  15. From online baccarat at 11:08 pm on December 11, 2003

    Great site, keep up the good work

  16. From Discount on Southwest and American airlines flights. at 8:01 am on December 27, 2003

    Excellent material. Looking forward for some more great stuff in the future.

  17. From Quit Smoking Stop Smoking Smoke Away System at 2:21 am on December 30, 2003

    If you are interested in link exchange with our sites please take a moment and
    submit your web site(s) to our directory. You can submit your link to all the sites
    at Link Exchange Directory

    Deal – Coupon – Hot Deals ! – save everywhere you go!

    Lingerie, Sexy Lingerie, Plus Size Lingerie Sexy Lingerie. Discount Prices. Sizes from S to 4X. Sexy styles for women including leather, silk, costumes, corsets, panties, thongs, bras, bodystockings and more.

    Limousine Service in Los Angeles ! PrimeLimo is the choice for your limousine service in Los Angeles area. Airport transportation, city tours, wedding ceremonies, business meetings, anniversary celebration, prom, graduation or birthday party – we got a limo for you!

    Network Design and Integration, Network Management, Disaster Prevention and Recovery Planning Netwise Group Inc. is a Los Angeles based consulting company that provides business automation, computer network, wireless, internet and security solutions, remote and on-site support, and cost-effective IT outsourcing.

    Ultimate HGH, Ionic Breeze, Lateral Thigh Trainer, Coral Calcium, Straight to The MAXX, Bare Minerals, Cybersonic, Body Dome, Power Juicer, Motor Millions, HGH All products As SEEN on TV !

  18. From klaus at 5:12 am on January 26, 2004

    great site, well done. very nice and informal comments. i enjoy being here.

    Resources: | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | |
    http://www.automobil-marktplatz/ny_pge.html | | | | | | |

  19. From Schlotzhauer Elektronik 24h Online Shop. Car-HiFi, HiFi, das ganze Monacor-Programm zu Tiefstpreisen at 7:50 pm on May 28, 2004

    Ein Preisvergleich lohnt sich immer. G

  20. From Schlotzhauer Elektronik 24h Online Shop. Car-HiFi, HiFi, das ganze Monacor-Programm zu Tiefstpreisen at 7:52 pm on May 28, 2004

    Schlotzhauer Elektronik 24h Online Shop. Car-HiFi, HiFi, das ganze Monacor-Programm zu Tiefstpreisen. Ein Preisvergleich mit uns lohnt sich immer f

  21. From visitator at 2:33 pm on June 21, 2004

    Hi! You did a nice job on creating
    this website!



    HOSTING ADULTIsfondi pc sfondi computer sfondi web sfondi auto elaborate sfondi 3d sfondi animali sfondi power point sfondi fiori sfondi windows xp sfondi paesaggio sfondi mare sfondi fantasysfondi dekstopsfondi animatisfondi sexysfondi naturasfondi xpsfondi deskopsfondi milansfondi sitoimmagini sfondi foto sfondimichelle hunziker foto desktopsfondi cartoni animatisfondi sexisfondi autosfondi mangasfondi gif animatesfondi calcio sfondi gatto sfondi cani - sfondi windows sfondi final fantasy x 2 sfondi donnasfondi diddlsfondi desktop anne geddessfondi marinisfondi pocket pcsfondi itsfondi desktop 1280 x 1024sfondi disney - sfondi auto modificatesfondi acquariosfondi britney spearsdisegni immagini sfondiwinnie the pooh sfondi computersfondi desktop animalisfondi signore anellisfondi desktop paesaggio sfondi desk topsfondi final fantasydesktop sfondi sfondi computer dei puffi 2 fast 2 furious sfondisfondi desktop paesaggioaria giovanni sfondi desktop sfondi immagini sfondi schermosfondi computer paesaggiosfondi cavallisfondi x pc This is a fantastic blog site! Good work!