Yahoo! super-sizes e-mail spam monitoring

If you have a Yahoo!, Gmail, Hotmail - heck, ANY e-mail service for any period of time, then you know your address gets out there in the world of spammers and if you're unlucky, you start receiving more spam than real e-mail in no time.

So any effort on the part of e-mail providers to crack down on spam is always welcome.

Yahoo!'s "anti-spam czar," Mark Risher, outlined what the company's doing to crack down on all the folks who offer you riches or a better sex life if you just send them money on the Yahoo! Mail blog the other day. What might have been the most interesting aspect was that Yahoo!'s "anti-spam team" has been using what they term a "supercomputer" - thousands of PCs that are part of the company's open source Hadoop project. They're working with several "top universities" on spam filter research through the program.

Yahoo! also is working with Return Path on ensuring the mail that needs to get through that the spam filters might find a little, well, spammy. A "Complaint Feedback Loop" sends an e-mail back to the companies sending out the e-mail that appears to be spam. Real spammers generally don't have accurate "reply to" e-mail addresses, but if a real company sending a real e-mail gets the CFL message, it can work to address the problem on its end, to tweak its system to make it less spam-like to the filters.

For example, a company may have used a confusing subject line, or accidentally sent to the wrong mailing list; with the CFL, we can get that information to them so they can quickly correct the problem.

Risher made one more point about spam - if you get some, hit the spam button so they know how to filter such a message next time. And that's advice that works for any e-mail provider.

Tags:  Yahoo, Email, spam, filters