Sunday, January 01, 2006

Blue Security: Use a Frog to Fight Spam

Everybody hate spam. I bet even the spammers themselves do. It's one of the highest-rated Internet annoyance. It is generally listed together with spyware and pop-up ads, but to me it's much worse. Avoiding spyware is easy (use Firefox and trust no one); avoiding pop-ups is even easier (use Firefox or one of the many IE toolbars that block them).

But spam... that's a different beast. Right now even the best filters miss some messages, or worse - mistake legitimate messages for spam (false positives). At my work there's a corporate spam filter installed on the mail server, and I still get a few spam messages a day.

Now there's a company that tries to fight back. They are called Blue Security, and they operate the "Do Not Intrude Registry". You should read their solution overview, but if I get it correctly, this is how it works:
  1. You install a small agent called "The Blue Frog" on your PC (there are versions for both Windows and Linux);
  2. You forward spam messages you get to Blue Security;
  3. They (a team of real people) analyze the messages;
  4. Using the Frog on your machine, they send complaints to the offenders.
  5. In addition, they send complaints to government agencies and ISPs (for example: stock-spam is illegal, and so is selling prescription drugs without a doctor note).

One nice thing about this service: if you're willing to run the "frog" on your machine, you get the service itself for free. But if you're a business and don't want to install stuff on your machines, you can pay them instead and get the same protection.

Anyway - I like this idea, and hope this works for the long term. It will work best if many people will join, so I decided to put a permanent link to the company's site on this blog. I want to encourage all my readers to join.

Before you ask: yes, the link to the right includes a "referrer id". But no, they don't pay me anything for that. I really do want more people to join, because I'd like a spam-free mailbox. It's just like my Firefox link.

- Noam.


Sarit said...

Sounds nice, but are there any securit y issues involved?

Noam said...

Sarit: not as far as I know, and I've been using it for quite some time. You may want to ask them on their website.