Google blocks 100m Gmail spam emails with TensorFlow

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Google has become even more efficient at blocking spam email from reaching people's inbox, and it's praising its machine learning capabilities for its success.

It an achievement it calls 'a feat', Google claims it now blocks an additional 100 million spam emails every day. It uses TensorFlow, a Google-developed open-source machine learning framework. According to the company, it is successful at identifying image-based messages, emails with hidden embedded content, and messages from newly created domains that try to hide a low volume of spammy messages within legitimate traffic.

TensorFlow also helps Google personalise spam protection for each user. “What one person considers spam another person might consider an important message (think newsletter subscriptions or regular email notifications from an application),” it says.

Even though it may seem trivial, as Google tries to eliminate the remaining 0. 1 per cent of spam email (as it says), recent figures from security researchers claim spam is still a popular choice for online crime.

“Email spam is once again the most popular choice for sending out malware. Of the spam samples we’ve seen over spring of 2018, 46 per cent are dating scams, 23 per cent are emails with malicious attachments, and 31 per cent contain links to malicious websites,” said threat intelligence researcher at F-Secure, Päivi Tynninen.

“During the past few years, it’s gained more popularity against other vectors, as systems are getting more secure against software exploits and vulnerabilities.”

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