Top spammers named and shamed

By Christelle du Toit, ITWeb senior journalist
Johannesburg, 18 Sept 2008

SA's top spammers have been "named and shamed" by the Internet Service Providers' Association of SA (ISPA) in a bid to "fight the growing deluge of spam across members' networks".

This week, ISPA released its first "Hall of Shame" at its iWeek conference, in Bryanston, Johannesburg, naming five top spammers, as identified by ISPA members.

The list of spammers can be found on the ISPA Web site and will be constantly updated to reflect changes in the spamming landscape.

The five spammers identified in the first report are:

1. Database Development
2. Dynamic Seminars
3. Marketing
4. James Munro
5. The Peer Group

The Web site lists commonly used e-mail addresses, domains, reverse DNSes, hello greetings, and servers.

ISPA defines spam as all unsolicited e-mail, with the exception of mail sent by one party to another where there is already a prior relationship between the two.

"In essence, ISPA believes that consumers should only receive bulk mail that they have requested and/or consented to receive and/or which they would expect to receive as a result of an existing relationship," says its spam report.

Rob Hunter, chairman of ISPA's anti-spam working group, says: "We're hoping to take spam prevention measures another step forward. SA's spammers have had it easy to date and that is set to change.

"Spam is an arms race between end-users, security vendors and service providers on one side, and the spammers on the other. Today's spammer uses tricks such as invisible ink, camouflage and images that can resist optical character recognition to bypass spam filtering," says Hunter.

Apart from the nuisance factor, spam is often associated with fraudulent and criminal activities such as phishing, "419" scams, and malware distribution, he says.

Related stories:
Malware accelerates
Kidnap spam proliferates
Scammers target parents