Spam (UCE) on the wain?


FTC Study Shows Technology Gaining in the Battle Against Spam

ISP Filters Block as Much as 95% of Unsolicited E-mail; Consumers Can Take Additional Steps to Curb the Amount of Spam They Receive

The piece makes great claims for the efficacy of ISP filtering:

According to a new study released today by the Federal Trade Commission, spammers continue to harvest email addresses from public areas of the Internet, but Internet Service Providers’ anti-spam technologies can block the vast majority of spam sent to these email addresses.

But this bit just doesn't ring true:

Another popular consumer technique, "masking" an e-mail address by replacing characters, seems to work, the FTC found. To mask the address, the researchers spaced out addresses and wrote out the words "at" and "dot," so the address "" would read "johndoe at ftc dot gov." They then placed an unmasked address adjacent to the masked one to compare how much spam each received. At the end of five weeks, the four unmasked unfiltered addresses received 6,416 spam messages while the four masked addresses received only one spam message.

This was, surely, a vain defence even 5 years ago? I just don't think they waited long enough for the harvesting to be organised and propogated.