Why Verizon's Anti-Spam Technology Still Sucks

from the but-they-have-zero-false-positives dept

A few years ago, Verizon's anti-spam filter went a little haywire and started blocking a large percentage of foreign emails. When people complained about it, the company responded by saying effectively that email wasn't reliable anyway, and if you wanted to communicate with someone you should call them (at Verizon's pricey international rates, of course). The company was eventually sued and had to settle and pay customers for their troubles, but that hasn't stopped various spam filtering glitches from popping up from time to time. Now, Broadband Reports points us to a story that takes a closer look at why Verizon's anti-spam technology still sucks. Basically, they're using a really obsolete technology that spammers already know their way around, and which actually opens up additional potential problems. However, based on the way it's set up, Verizon can claim that they have "zero false positives." Of course, anyone without any spam filter in place can claim zero false positives. Clearly, fighting spam is not easy, but putting in place obsolete technologies so you can make claims that aren't really true (I'm sure those who couldn't receive foreign emails felt that there were some false positives) seems like a pretty weak response from a company so many people rely on for internet access.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    identicon
    OkieFromMuskogee, Mar 20th, 2007 @ 5:02pm

    My ISP uses Proofpoint

    About two months ago my ISP started using Proofpoint for anti-spam. I love the way it works. I get one email every morning with a "digest" of all my spam. It only takes a few seconds to look it over. If it contains nothing but junk, I just ignore it or delete it. If there is a false positive, I just click the "release" button next to the item in the digest, and it comes to my inbox.

    No false positives yet. It catches about 95 percent of the junk. It's great. Maybe Verizon should try it.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2.  
    identicon
    Jacob Buck, Mar 20th, 2007 @ 5:17pm

    Re: My ISP uses Proofpoint

    who wants to check an email everyday just to see if there are messages that didn't get to you? sign up for a gmail account, no spam, no false positives.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3.  
    identicon
    Anker Berg-Sonne, Mar 20th, 2007 @ 5:50pm

    Re: Re: My ISP uses Proofpoint

    Gmail most definitely gives false positives. I get roughly one false positive in every 100 filtered spam messages.

    Anker

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4.  
    identicon
    Cawwot, Mar 20th, 2007 @ 6:37pm

    Re: Re: Re: My ISP uses Proofpoint

    But 1 in 100 is not bad...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5.  
    identicon
    bluesman33, Mar 20th, 2007 @ 6:41pm

    Spam

    I get 4 to 10 spams per day on gmail. Am I not set up correctly???

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6.  
    identicon
    Mark, Mar 20th, 2007 @ 7:35pm

    Re: Re: My ISP uses Proofpoint

    My company sends us emails every few hours with the messages that have been filtered out. We can of course, click a link to retrieve the msg, but it does get irritating to sort though 10 SPAMFILTERADMIN mails a day.

    I would rather the potential spam messages go to a special folder for a daily review.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7.  
    identicon
    Mark, Mar 20th, 2007 @ 7:37pm

    Re: Spam

    No, you're fine. I use Gmail for personal email and company hosted email. 7 - 9 get through a day, but I diligently flag and report as spam daily. It may seem like a loosing battle, but take a peek at your spam folder :)

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8.  
    identicon
    Mark, Mar 20th, 2007 @ 7:38pm

    Re: Re: Spam

    As a follow-up, I just checked my spam folder on gmail. I get a spam email every 8 minutes on average.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9.  
    identicon
    From here, Mar 20th, 2007 @ 7:50pm

    Just a Thought

    "who wants to check an email everyday just to see if there are messages that didn't get to you? sign up for a gmail account, no spam, no false positives."

    You say no spam AND no false positives...amazing...if you are getting no SPAM, then you don't need a filter. Plus, owners of companies that you'll do business with love it when you have a free generic email account, it shows you have style, and know how to cut costs.

    1 email a day is better than 100 spams in your inbox. I like the idea of the daily heads up. As it is now, I am so confident in Postini, that I check once a month.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  10.  
    identicon
    haywood, Mar 20th, 2007 @ 8:29pm

    Verizon doesn't want to hear it

    They used to have a system that worked; if you got spam, you could go to web mail and flag it, it would then be filtered. They have deactivated the flag links,so now you are on your own. I use Thunderbird and handle it locally, I also use G-mail, and it rocks. 1 in 100 gets through, but flagging that 1 makes it a one time occurrence, it is like Thunderbird web mail. I have a hard time holding my tongue when people who use outlook complain, but they are sheep, & unlikely to change.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  11.  
    identicon
    claire rand, Mar 21st, 2007 @ 11:13am

    turn the flipping thing off....

    personally I hate ISP spam filters on incoming mail, I'd rather my own filters handled it, why?

    my filters are tuned to what I think of as spam (thunderbird) it does a decent job, as an aside I'm fed up with the idea of spam being filtered by my IS|P, who then sends me an email to tell me they have done so, or a summary at least, something else to read...

    I'd prefer my own filters to handle it, they have managed well so far with ISP spam filtering turned off, at least my ISP has that as an option...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  12.  
    identicon
    Sergio, Mar 21st, 2007 @ 5:47pm

    Is the SPAM a justification for doing facist IT po

    SPAM is EVIL, SPAM is satanic, SPAM is the antichrist, Bin Laden created SPAM hey, I'm tired about reading talking so, but so far I don't read or hear nobody that SPAM is an self-justification to enforce more, more and more control. Worst of all is the same people that say that SPAM is evil, etc, etc, it's the same that call themselves freedom advocay, bla, bla, I'm sick of all this, stop this dishonesty please.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  13.  
    identicon
    laurie, Apr 22nd, 2007 @ 10:39am

    Verizon Spam and Phones

    What is it with Verizon? Within 2 days of installing a new phone line and dsl for a satellite location for my business I was plagued with unbelievable spam on the dsl and telemarketers on the phone. Do they sell your phone number and email address?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  14.  
    identicon
    John, May 21st, 2007 @ 10:14pm

    Junk verizon

    I have verizon for internet access only. I never use the email address that came with it but, I consistently get a full inbox of spam daily!

    I use Yahoo for email and NEVER get any spam - ZERO! And, it's free! Ya think verizon could gleen something from them?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  15.  
    identicon
    Michael, Jul 27th, 2007 @ 9:43am

    Verizon Information for Sale

    Hi,

    Have you ever wondered that your information can be sold to different companies? I am not saying by the companies but by actual employees and staff who are working there.

    HAve anyone come across with this problem?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  16.  
    identicon
    kim08, Oct 17th, 2008 @ 11:14pm

    Email is a critical business application

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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