Re: [Asrg] An Anti-Spam Heuristic

Adam Sobieski <> Thu, 13 December 2012 03:58 UTC

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From: Adam Sobieski <>
To: Anti-Spam Research Group - IRTF <>
Date: Thu, 13 Dec 2012 03:58:20 +0000
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Subject: Re: [Asrg] An Anti-Spam Heuristic
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Steve Atkins,
Thank you, that article, summarizing decades of research, does both pertain to and discuss the concepts that I broached. A technical topic not mentioned in that article specifically is the use of the sender's email address, recipient's email address, and the date and time of the message event to seed or salt a random number generator.
I think that a quote from that article expresses a premise of the idea well: "the theory is that spammers, whose business model relies on their ability to send large numbers of emails with very little cost per message, cannot afford this investment into each individual piece of spam they send. Receivers can verify whether a sender made such an investment and use the results to help filter email."
It appears that your counterpoint is also indicated in that article which describes "botnets or cluster farms with which spammers can increase their processing power enormously."

As you might be aware, earlier this year, in the Journal of Economic Perspectives, in an article titled The Economics of Spam, Justin Rao of Microsoft and David Reiley of Google estimated the cost of spam to society relative to its worldwide revenues. The societal price tag was indicated as $20 billion while the total revenue of all spammers was indicated as $200 million. Various policy proposals designed to solve the spam problem were discussed in that publication (,

There may be more than one criterion for success, simultaneously, with regard to anti-spam discussions: (1) the total elimination of spam, (2) a reduction of spam, and (3) solutions which affect the economics of spam in attempts to reduce spam (2). It could be that your conclusion addresses one criterion (1), while other criteria (2) and (3) could be achieved by increasing the computational costs of sending and receiving emails.

Also, what might you think about discussions about versioning and advancing email protocols, modernizing email-related computer networking protocols?

Kind regards,