SpamAssassin, Alan Schwartz. Hardly anyone is immune to the annoyance of e-mail in-boxes crammed with pitches for pornography, moneymaking schemes, and health products. For organizations, lost productivity and burned bandwidth are the costs of spam. System administrators must frequently find in-house solutions to the problem.
SpamAssassin, an open-source spam-fighting tool, has lacked published documentation. This book covers SpamAssassin and how to integrate it into a network. It clarifies the installation, configuration, and use of the SpamAssassin spam-checking system (versions 2.63 and 3.0) for Unix system administrators using the Postfix, Sendmail, Exim, or qmail mail servers. It also explains how to customize SpamAssassin's rules, create new rules, and use SpamAssassin's Bayesian classifier, a statistical engine for detecting spam. Special topics, such as blocking specific addresses, hosts, and domains using third-party blacklists like the one from Spamcop.net, are also part of the discussion. SpamAssassin can work with newer spam-filtering methods such as Hashcash ( http://www.hashcash.org) and Sender Policy Framework, according to the authors.
O'Reilly; ISBN 0-596007-07-8; 207 pp.; $24.95.
18-25 February 2005
Kyoto International Conf. Hall
The mission of the Asia Pacific Regional Internet Conference on Operational Technologies (Apricot) is to provide a forum for those key Internet builders in the region to learn from their peers and others.
Workshop topics include network infrastructure security, which will cover the threat model, examining internal attacks, external attacks, and securing device access. A Border Gateway Protocol multihoming workshop will also take place, as well as workshops on network management tools and practices, Internet Protocol version 6 routing, and multicast.
This Web site provides a collection of antispam links and resources. It accepts new write-ups, images, and icons, and the site's creators solicit suggestions for Web pages, sites, or stories that would interest the antispam community.
Links go to sites about spam reporting and tracing, hiding addresses from spammers, blocking and filtering, resources for parents, and stopping pop-up spam on Windows and blog spam.
The Help for Users section offers the tutorial, "How to Complain to the Spammer's Provider," and the Cookie Jar 101 tool generates fake addresses traceable to the spambot that originally harvested them from your Web page. Another link is to a spam tracking page that tracks Usenet spam, and a link to Visualware provides an e-mail tracking tutorial. The Google Groups link can help determine the distribution level of a Usenet spam.
Cauce (Coalition Against Unsolicited Commercial E-mail) began as a discussion group called Spam-Law, which was an outgrowth of another list called Spam-L, a spam prevention and discussion list. Spam-L participants felt that legislation was necessary to stop spam from choking the life out of the Internet. They created the Spam-Law list to discuss options on how to advance spam prevention legislation.
The core members of Cauce constitute the creators of the Spam-Law list. They drafted the amendment, coded software, and generally worked for this initiative.
With no money and no office, Cauce is a creation of the Internet. It exists on this Web site, in news groups, discussion lists, and in the ideas and dedication of those who oppose the practice of unsolicited commercial e-mail. The group is all-volunteer and does not accept donations. The site's True Tales of Spam section includes stories from various spam victims.
Links on the site's main page include latest news, pending legislation, how to help, FAQs, Cauce in the news, and information on how to contact government representatives. Several links go to sites for spam-fighting and related activities.
The Can-Spam Act of 2003 established the first national standards for the sending of commercial e-mail and requires the US Federal Trade Commission to enforce its provisions. The bill's full name is an acronym: Controlling the Assault of Non-Solicited Pornography and Marketing Act of 2003.
The bill permits e-mail marketers to send unsolicited commercial e-mail as long as it contains all of the following:
• an opt-out mechanism,
• a functioning return e-mail address,
• a valid subject line indicating it is an advertisement, and
• the legitimate physical address of the mailer.
21-22 July 2005
Stanford University, Palo Alto, Calif.
This call includes research papers, industry reports, and law and policy papers on spam, spit (spam over Internet telephony), spim (spam over instant messenger), and phishing.
All the papers from the 2004 conference are now
online, as well as slides for many of the presentations.
The conference will also address identity theft via messaging, viruses, and spyware. A conference goal is to create a dialogue that includes the legal, policy, industrial, and research communities.
The conference takes place in cooperation with the American Association for Artificial Intelligence, the International Association for Cryptologic Research, and the IEEE Technical Committee on Security and Privacy Conference.
Tools for Spam
Anti-Spam Tool Kit, Paul Wolfe, Charlie Scott, and Mike Erwin. Because of unsolicited commercial e-mail, administrators are working to manage spam and keep it off their networks. This book covers Windows-based networks and those based on various forms of Unix. It explains blacklisting, filtering, and sorting strategies for reducing spam while minimizing the effect of antispam tools on legitimate e-mail. Survey data compares alternative antispam solutions. The authors offer policy advice, such as how much old mail to archive, for example. Administrative instructions include how to automatically query databases of open mail relays. Most of the software they discuss appears on the companion CD-ROM, at least in demo form. It is all available online. The filters that this book highlights are mainly Bayesian classifiers (statistical engines for detecting spam). The authors cover the antispam features of various e-mail clients (for Windows, OS X, and Linux) and also cover the SpamAssassin tool.
McGraw-Hill; ISBN 0-072231-67-X; 400 pp.; $32.99.
Slamming Spam: A Guide for System Administrators, Robert Haskins and Dale Nielsen. This book addresses system administrators who need hands-on direction for detecting, managing, and deterring spam in Windows or Unix/Linux environments.
The authors cover open-source tools for reducing spam's impact in the enterprise, especially SpamAssassin. Drawing on their experience in developing and implementing antispam tools, they discuss every leading approach to fighting spam, including Bayesian, distributed checksum, and e-mail client filterings.
• step-by-step junk mail filtering,
• protecting Sendmail, Postfix, qmail, Microsoft Exchange, and Lotus Domino servers from spam,
• McAfee SpamKiller for Lotus Domino and Microsoft Exchange,
• implementing and managing SpamAssassin, and
• antispam solutions for Outlook, Outlook Express, Mozilla Messenger, and Unix mail clients.
Addison-Wesley Professional; ISBN 0-131467-16-6; 432 pp.;$44.99.
The Behavioral Advantage: What the Smartest, Most Successful Companies Do Differently to Win in the B2B Arena, Terry R. Bacon and David G. Pugh. Presenting the practices of real-world business-to-business (B2B) companies, this book broadens the concept of behavioral differentiation (how successful companies connect with customers at every touch point), and applies it to the B2B arena.
The authors believe that the best B2B companies depend on a multifront approach to business interaction. To begin developing a cohesive approach, companies must align all internal values, policies, practices, and behaviors. In the middle, the companies build and strengthen their position. In the end, the companies lay the groundwork for future business.
Just as individual customers do, B2B customers remember those companies with preferable behaviors. These firms create a lasting advantage.
Amacom; ISBN 0-814472-25-7; 320 pp.; $18.45.
Search Engine Strategies
28 February to 3 March 2005
Danny Sullivan, founder of SearchEngineWatch.com, is the chair for this conference, which will cover search engine marketing and trends. Search engine marketing and optimization-related solution providers, as well as potential partners and affiliates, will be among the attendees. Seminars will show how search engines list Web sites for free and through paid placements, how to grow free traffic by building a site that pleases search engines and visitors, and how to purchase listings to rank your company at the top of search engine results. The conference will also cover how to calculate the return on investment of search marketing efforts by tracking visitors from the time they hit the site until they buy. Other topics include building links that generate traffic to Web sites, avoiding the penalties of spamming the search engines, and keeping up with search engine technology changes.
Forums will take place on advanced link building, search engine advertising, and organic listings. The conference will feature a copy and landing pages clinic, as well as seminars on contextual and other nonsearch ads; optimizing Flash and non-HTML content; outsourcing search engine marketing; successful site architecture; and writing for search engines.
This Web site offers resources for growing businesses. Categories of links include starting a business, home office, money and finance, e-commerce/tech, sales and marketing, and business coaches.
Editor's Picks highlights additional articles, including low-cost start-up secrets, how to properly value a start-up, seven habits for business success, finding business partners, and attracting investors.
The E-Biz tab takes you to a section containing links to articles about starting an e-business, designing a site, marketing an e-business, and e-commerce operations. Articles include "Should You Manage Your Website Yourself?" "The Secret to eBay Success," "7 Ways to Turn a Profit Online," "5 Low-Cost Ways to Start an e-Business," and "Three Traits of Successful Websites."
E-Business Research Center
CXO Media Inc. publishes CIO and CIO.com for CIOs (chief information officers) and other information executives. The E-Business Research Center offers links to articles and other resources for e-business. "Time To Change" explores how critical change management can be to a turnaround. The article, "Loans, Sweet Loans," shows how MassHousing expanded its presence in the mortgage market of low-interest loans through exposing its Web services to business partners. "From the Brink to Black Ink" features three dot-com survivors who found new models and new revenue. Another article, "How REI Scaled E-Commerce Mountain," examines how this recreational-products company used its Web site functions as a sales channel for its physical stores.
B2B Marketing Conference
22 February 2005
Richard Rosen, a US business-to-business (B2B) marketer, will make the keynote speech at the Institute of Direct Marketing's (IDM) 2005 B2B Marketing Conference.
Rosen will present his model for business-boosting brand interaction. Information Arts, Royal Mail, Wegener Direct Marketing, Meteorite, Experian, and Dun & Bradstreet are sponsors. IDM's B2B Council supports this conference, which takes place alongside the International Direct Marketing Fair.
Going for Growth is the theme of this year's conference. Speakers from IBM, PC World, Nokia, Google, Oracle, and O2 will provide best-practice examples and case studies.
Profitable E-Commerce Strategies, from Farce to Force, Sarah McCue. The manager of the Information and Communications Technology for Development practice at the United Nations Development Program in New York, McCue also drafted the e-commerce strategy for the US Small Business Administration.
Early misuse and misapplication of business principles can lead to ineffective business practices, as well as perceptions that the Internet is not a viable sales channel. This book, set for publication in September 2005, shows readers how to choose the right e-commerce strategy and build a plan. It has templates and techniques for strategy, as well as examples of e-commerce marketing techniques and additional resources.
South-Western Educational Publishing; ISBN 0-538726-77-6; 304 pp.; $13.57.