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TCP/IP, spam


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Naval Researchers Pioneer TCP-Based Spam Detection

U.S. Naval Academy researchers have developed a method for analyzing email traffic in real time to identify spam messages as they come across the wire, using the information from the Transmission Control Protocol (TCP) packets that carry the messages. Experts say the technique could be a good spam-fighting method because it does not require the content of the email to be scanned. The research "advanced both the science of spam fighting and ... worked through all the engineering challenges of getting these techniques built into the most popular open source spam filter," says Massachusetts Institute of Technology's (MIT's) Steve Bauer. Naval Academy researchers Robert Beverly, Georgios Kakavelakis, and Joel Young built a plug-in for the SpamAssassin mail filter, called SpamFlow, which incorporates the new analysis techniques. In tests, SpamFlow was able to correctly identify spam more than 95 percent of the time. "Overall, I see it as a generally useful tool in the fight against malicious traffic," says MIT's Bruce Davie.

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Robert Beverly, Georgios Kakavelakis and Joel Young (U.S. Naval Academy)

Institution(s) (that have supported the research):
The U.S. National Science Foundation funded part of this work, under the Software Development for Cyberinfrastructure (SDCI) program.


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