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25 Feb 2004

Sophos calls for collaboration against spam

"Doing nothing is not an option," says Sophos

Sophos, a world leader in protecting businesses against spam and viruses, is calling on Australian businesses to support the government's efforts to tackle spam through collaboration. NOIE (National Office for the Information Economy) is holding a Spam Law Implementation Forum this Friday in Sydney to drive forward exactly the sort of collaborative activity which Sophos believes will help to reduce the size of the problem. Sophos will present at this forum on the topic of "Technical and Enforcement Measures".

Although there has been much interest in recent days over Microsoft's announcement of its "caller ID" technology for identifying "friendly" email, Sophos warns that technology alone can tackle only part of the problem. "There is no technological silver bullet," explains Paul Ducklin, Head of Technology, Asia Pacific, at Sophos in Sydney. "We need a collaborative multi-layered strategy which includes infrastructure, technology, applications, users, legislators, law enforcement and the judiciary. In short, we need you!"

Worthless emails are sapping our ability to use the internet. Doing nothing about this is not an option. Ducklin lists some of the simple things that IT personnel and businesses can do to help:

  • Don't do business with spammers! Listen to the Internet Industry Association: "don't try, don't buy, don't reply".
  • Don't configure your anti-virus software to reply when it spots an email virus. Most viruses lie about where they came from, so "notify sender" just produces one more unwanted message.
  • Don't be a security bludger. If someone else has to point out that your systems have been compromised, it's probably because you are already peppering them with unwanted network traffic.
  • Don't try to send the grooviest-looking emails in town. Fancy HTML, email scripts and embedded images just make it harder for humans and computers alike to judge whether a message is really what it seems. Keep it simple!
  • Don't put your head in the sand. Keep in touch with the evolving industry codes on good email behaviour and put them to work in your company.

Further reading

About Sophos

More than 100 million users in 150 countries rely on Sophos as the best protection against complex threats and data loss. Sophos is committed to providing complete security solutions that are simple to deploy, manage, and use and that deliver the industry's lowest total cost of ownership. Sophos offers award-winning encryption, endpoint security, web, email, mobile and network security solutions backed by SophosLabs - a global network of threat intelligence centers.

Sophos is headquartered in Boston, US and Oxford, UK. More information is available at