Microsoft's anti-spam plan 'hijacked by zombies'

Microsoft's plan to reduce spam by forcing an email sender's machine to solve a puzzle may be defeated by the Internet's army of zombie PCs, say security experts

One of Microsoft's plans to fight the spam epidemic is unlikely to adversely affect spammers or reduce the quantity of spam, according to security experts. Microsoft's chairman Bill Gates has been calling for the IT industry to work together and eradicate the spam problem. About six months ago he unveiled an initiative called Penny Black, which was a method for reducing a spammer's ability to send large volumes of unsolicited emails using Hotmail and MSN accounts. He suggested making the senders' computer process a complicated mathematical puzzle, which takes approximately 20 seconds, before each message is released. The puzzle's result is attached to the email's header, so that a receiving gateway can recognise emails that have been through the process and allow them to pass.

News source: ZDNet | UK

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