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Tag: e-mail

Personalize Google and Get a Gmail Invitation

Posted by geeknews at 9:46 PM on May 20, 2005

Today, in direct competition with MSN and Yahoo!, Google, Inc. announced that users may create a personalized Google homepage for news, weather, cultural tidbits, and e-mail.

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Stanford Internet Study Details Most Common Online Activities

Posted by geeknews at 12:09 PM on December 31, 2004

A report of Internet-related activities, published by Stanford University in 2000, asked 4,000 respondents to select among a list of 17 online activities. The results were not surprising. An updated report is forthcoming next week.

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U.S. Navy Develops Reasonable IT Use Policy

Posted by geeknews at 5:27 AM on December 23, 2004

The U.S. Navy is developing a service-wide policy regarding the acceptable use of information technology. The policy will affect approximately 900,000 users, including Navy and Marine Corp service members, civilian employees, and contractors. The policy, which is scheduled to be effective during the first quarter of 2005, is designed to guide users and personnel managers in applying consistent rules of operation. The policy will affect all IT devices, including desktops, notebooks, handhelds, cell phones, and fax machines.

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Zafi Worm Comes with Christmas Greetings

Posted by geeknews at 10:13 PM on December 14, 2004

Watch out for a special present included with your e-mail Christmas greetings. A mass-mailing worm, W32/Zafi.d@MM or Zafi.d, is making the rounds of e-mail users and is transmitted in the form of a Christmas greeting card with the subject line of either “Merry Christmas” or “Happy Holidays.” The e-mail message will appear to come from one of your acquaintances.

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Gmail Scam Used by Phishers to Gather Personal Data

Posted by geeknews at 10:28 AM on September 23, 2004

Internet e-mail scammers are using the popularity and allure of Google’s Gmail service to phish for personal data, including e-mail addresses and passwords. Gmail e-mail accounts are one of the most coveted holdings for hip and techie Internet users. A quick eBay search proves the popularity of invitations to join Google’s upcoming e-mail service that offers 1GB of mail storage.

The current Gmail phish reads “The Gmail Team is proud to announce that we are offering Gmail free invitation packages to the existing Gmail account holders. By now you probably know the key ways in which Gmail differs from traditional webmail services. Searching instead of filing. A free gigabyte of storage. Messages displayed in context as conversations. Just fill in the form below to claim your free invitation package.”

Dave’s Opinion
Phishing, commonly used via e-mail and the web involve conning unwary users into releasing private data. The cons are best known for their attempts to garner AOL, Citibank, and eBay login usernames and passwords; however, there seems to be no end to how the cons can be applied.

Call for Comments
What do you think? Leave your comments below.

References
Gmail
Google

A Decade of Cybercoffee

Posted by geeknews at 8:57 AM on September 8, 2004

It seems like forever ago, and it seems like just yesterday. It’s been a decade since the first Internet cafe opened for business in London’s West End. Cafe Cyberia was designed to support the way women used computers, at the time. Started with $35,500 in seed capital, the store grew to include international locations. The stores are now owned by a South Korean entity and have been rebranded.

Dave’s Opinion
Internet cafes have changed from being the hip place for stylish folk to gather for an evening of surfing and java to a drop-in spot for business professionals and consumers to grab a cup of joe and a check of the inbox.

Call for Comments
What do you think? Leave your comments on below.

The Big Gorilla Project

Posted by geeknews at 11:43 PM on November 21, 2003

Spam is an ever-increasing annoyance for e-mail users. Most people have some form of spam filtering application that reduces the instances of the frequently offensive unsolicited commercial messages. Many of these filters seek to identify spam based on the address from which the message is sent, but spammers are already wise to this trick, and spoofing is now commonplace. By hiding or misdirecting their transmission source, spammers make it exceedingly difficult for most users to determine from where the spam message actually came.

But there’s some hope for spammer identification. An loose alliance formed by large e-mail services (Microsoft, Yahoo, America Online, and Earthlink), the Anti-Spam Research Group (ASRG), and Intelligent Computer Solutions (ICS) is working on an e-mail sender-authentication system that’s been dubbed the Big Gorilla Project.

Using an identification system based on public key encryption, ISPs who have control over outgoing e-mail can include a piece of encrypted code in header of each outgoing message. The code snippet can be used by receiving ISPs to confirm the identity of the outgoing e-mail server and the authenticity of the e-mail message’s return address.

By confirming the identity of the transmission site, it’s a simple matter to blacklist and block known offenders.

Dave’s Opinion
I use a combination of anti-spam filtering applications, both on our incoming mail servers and our client workstations. So far I’ve been able to drop my daily spam tally from over 600 messages to about a dozen, maybe double that on a bad day. But that’s still not good enough. It’s not just receiving junk mail that bothers me, it’s the offensive content.

I’m all for proposals, both legislative and technical, that help kill off spam.

Call for Comments
What do you think? Leave your comments below.

References
Anti-Spam Research Group
Intelligent Computer Solutions

Don’t Spam in California

Posted by geeknews at 7:19 PM on September 24, 2003

California Governor Gray Davis must be bucking for the Geek vote in the October 7th special election in which he could be recalled from office. Today he stood tough and signed an antispam law that prohibits anyone from sending unsolicted commmercial e-mail (UCE, aka spam) to a California e-mail address.

Requiring subscribers have opt-in (yes, opt-in, not opt-out) control over which junk mail they want to receive, the law will help prevent e-mail users from being bombarded with unwanted e-mail messages. Offenders are liable for damages up to $1 thousand for each message sent to an individual and up to a whopping $1 million for each advertisement campaign. The law grants the right to seek damages to the recipient, the state attorney general and the e-mail service provider.

The law has additional provisions that make it illegal to collect e-mail addresses for the purpose of sending spam.

Dave’s Opinion
Hoo-whee! This is the way to write an anti-spam law. Make just about everything about junk e-mail illegal. Way to go, Gray!

Call for Comments
What do you think? Leave your comments below.

References
California SB 186

Craziest Think I’ve Ever Heard: Pay Spammers Not To Spam

Posted by geeknews at 9:28 PM on September 15, 2003

The craziest thing that I’ve ever heard is to pay spammers not to spam, and that’s just what a startup company from San Antonio, Texas, Global Removal (GR), is planning to do. Their theory is that spammers are in business to make money, and that the lowbrows will remove your e-mail address from all of their junk mail lists for a buck.

In addition, subscribers (you and me) are required to pay a fin to be part of this crazy scam.

Dave’s Opinion
My B.S. radar is way overloaded after reading about GR’s plan to pay spammers one dollar for each e-mail address that subscribes to GR’s program (after being spammed in an effort to garner subscribers). Yes, you read that right.

Here’s the scoop as I read it from Global Removal’s website:

1. spammers seek to get people to subscribe to Global Removal’s “do not spam list” by sending the invitation as a spam message.
2. spammers are paid $1.00 for each address that subscribes to the “do not spam list.”
3. uninformed users give Global Removal their e-mail address and $5.00 to be added to the list.
4. spammers are to purge their list of all subscribers.

Am I the only one who sees a problem here?

I’ve got to start giving spammers more credit. They’re smarter than I thought.

Call for Comments
What do you think? Leave your comments on the message center.

References
Global Removal
Message Center

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 john@doe.com responds appropriately to a challenge, then not only will his future messages be delivered but also jane@doe.com, and charlie@doe.com.

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.

ITinfo