Sunday, February 05, 2006

What are the Security Implications of Pay Per Mail

Here is an interesting thought, Pay Per Mail. Yahoo and AOL will now offer a service (where for a fee) businesses can ensure their marketing e-mails bypass Spam filters.

Spam e-mail is often the delivery device of malware (malicious software), which is used for fraudulent activity on the internet. Experts agree that this activity is now being done by highly organized criminal enterprises. Many of these enterprises are probably capable of paying the fee, or using some sort of deception to have their Spam sent.

eBay accounts are now routinely taken over and used as vehicles for fraud. Will some of these Pay Per Mail accounts be taken over, also?

Here is one of the stories from the AP, courtesy of the San Francisco Chronicle:

Yahoo, AOL Plan Fee for Bypassing Filters

It's too early to speculate what the potential for abuse is. BUT I wonder how Yahoo and AOL will verify that the customers agreed to receive the mail (as they state) and that the businesses are legitimate?

Daily, we see major corporations and financial institutions being spoofed on the internet. Add in some Spam and people become victims of phishing, which leads to identities and financial information being stolen. If criminals are able to use this new service to their advantage, who will suffer from this?

The Spamhaus Project already has evidence the ISPs profit from Spam. Here is a recent article they did on this:

Should ISPs Be Profiting From Knowingly Hosting Spam Gangs?

This concept is probably too new to say anything for certain, but at first look, it bothers this writer.

The Spamhaus Project is a leader in the detection of Spam and other cyber-nasties, I like to refer to as scumware. If you would like a more technical perspective, I highly recommend their website, which can be viewed by clicking on the title of this post.


prying1 said...

We're in the wrong business Ted.

How about if we get 'em to make it so every email we recieve WE get a penny each instead of Yahoo or AOL getting it?

Spam could be ended tomorrow except too many people with the ISP's making money from it.

prying1 said...

Forgot to mention - Love the picture. Quite fitting!