Terry Zink's Cyber Security Blog

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Gmail disappointing me... a lot like Walmart

Gmail disappointing me... a lot like Walmart

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In the past week or so, I have been getting quite a bit of spam in my Gmail account.  It's not image spam, it's stock spam.

I blogged a few months ago that Gmail was allowing lots of spam through (no pun intended) but that may have been because an email account that I never use anymore was set to forward to Gmail.  It's possible that spam from that account was what was getting to my Gmail inbox.  If so, that email spam filtering service totally sucks.  Anyways, I turned it off going to Gmail and things were great for a while.

But this week I've been seeing plenty of stock spam.  In fact, most of the spam getting through to Gmail is of the text spam variety.  I read a couple of weeks ago Gmail's spam filtering is based upon an extensive sender reputation network (more or less).  I guess spammers are starting to figure out ways around them, probably by spreading their botnets a lot wider and a lot thinner, ie, sending fewer messages per bot.  If so, then I guess Gmail is going to have to evolve just like the rest of us anti-spam companies have been forced to do.

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  • PingBack from http://news.architel.com/2007/02/22/google-having-a-hard-time-fighting-spam/

  • I agree - way too much spam with gmail. Yahoo and hotmail seem to be much better.

  • Atleast I'm not the only one getting these spam messages, but I don't get what your post has to do with Wal-Mart?

  • I was wondering how long it would be until somebody asked me about the Walmart reference.

    Back in December, I needed an extra hat for my head that was something like a ski mask, but with the entire face open rather than just eyes, nose and mouth.  I live in a cold country and play outdoor sports, and one hat isn't enough for me.  I thought I could wear this mask and wear another hat on top of it.

    Well, I went to Walmart in search of this mask and they didn't have it.  Since when does Walmart not have something you're looking for?  I was quite surprised.  About two weeks later I went back to a different Walmart looking for the same item, and they didn't have it either.  That's *twice* Walmart didn't have what I wanted.  Ever since then, I have been quite disappointed in Walmart.  In fact, whenever something disappoints me, I often associate it/them with Walmart.

    For example, if my favorite hockey team gets knocked out of the playoffs, I'd say "Geez, those guys must have got their equipment at Walmart."  It's a bit a dumb joke I have.

  • Is there any difference in the spam filtering for the core / free Gmail offering versus the Google Apps for domains?  I had thought Google apps offers fairly strong filtering via Postini licensing but I agree - there is a ton of spam coming through basic Gmail on my account.

  • Good question, Andy.  I don't know if there's any difference but I assume that there is.  Over here at Microsoft, Hotmail's spam filtering is different than what we use do Exchange Hosted Services.  In EHS, we can be more strict about what we do and do not count as spam, but more importantly, what we do and do not count as a legitimate false positive.

    Business email filtering can afford to be stricter because we filter business email.  If somebody is forwarding a dirty joke or getting a daily email from an x-rated blog to their business account, and we filter it, we don't consider it a false positive because it's not business related.  A free service like Hotmail or Gmail wouldn't be able to get away with that so easily.

    That is the way I understand it.

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