Anti-spam group targets Web sites, not messages

I was intrigued to read that a father-son team called Knujon (no junk spelled backwards) which has dedicated its time and energy to fighting spam, claims to have shut down more than 50,000 Web sites in the last two years that use unwanted messages to lure traffic.

According to Garth Bruen, the son in the two-man group, it's the Web sites that gather email addresses that are the real problem, and not the spam messages that result.

"E-mail and the spammers are the least interesting part of the problem. We want to stop the transactions, to take down those platforms," he explained.

As well as harvesting email addresses, the Web sites that many spam messages point to are also a major problem for the industry as, says Bruen, many of them are fraudulent, hoovering up personal information that can be used in identity theft scams.

Bruen's group runs a Web site with 2,000 registered members and around 2,000 unregistered users.

These users report spam to KnujOn by forwarding unwanted messages to e-mail accounts run by the group, which then compiles data about the Web sites that the URL embedded in spam points to.

By collecting and analysing this information, Bruen reckons he and his father can then go after the illicit sites where the crimes are being committed.

Interestingly, Bruen is sceptical about conventional anti-spam software and services which place the emphasis on incoming e-mail, instead of on the Web sites where the transactions are happening.

Spam filtering, he says, is just a high-tech way of ignoring the problem, adding that email security companies should really investigate which Web sites spam is sending recipients to, instead of simply deleting the unwanted messages.

Interesting take - you can read more on KnujOn here...