Fighting spam with captured botnet hosts

Clever spamfighters are allowing botnets to infect one isolated computer, then analyzing the spams it sends to figure out the template used to generate its messages. This template is then propagated to spam-filters:

"This is an interesting approach which really differs by using the bots themselves as the oracles for producing the filters," says Michael O'Reirdan, chairman of the Messaging Anti-Abuse Working Group, a coalition of technology companies. But he adds that botnets have grown so large that even a 1-minute delay in cracking the template would be "long enough for a very substantial spam campaign".

Funny: this was a sub-plot in True Names, the Hugo-nominated novella that Benjamin Rosenbaum and I published last year.

To beat spam, turn its own weapons against it

(Image: File:Zombie-process.png
, Wikimedia