Research to Stem Spammers Accepted by Top Conference

May 3, 2006

ATLANTA (May 4, 2006)--Research by Nick Feamster, College of Computing Assistant Professor within the Computing Sciences and Systems (CSS) division, and Ph.D. student Anirudh Ramachandran was recently accepted to ACM's SIGCOMM 2006. SIGCOMM is the flagship conference of the Special Interest Group on Data Communication (SIGCOMM), a vital part of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM). Feamster and Ramachandran are developing algorithms and systems to stem spam and frustrate phishing attacks.

Their recent work titled "Understanding the Network-Level Behavior of Spammers," is a preliminary study that aims to better understand the techniques and patterns that spammers use to send unwanted and fraudulent email traffic to users. "One of the surprising findings," says Feamster "was that spammers actually exploit the insecurity of the Internet routing infrastructure to send spam untraceably." For instance, the two researchers observed nefarious parties "hijacking" routes to Internet destinations for brief periods of time in an attempt to frustrate auditing and evade blacklisting. They also observed that the vast majority of spam is originating from botnets.

Based on these observations, Feamster and Ramachandran are now working on systems to help Internet Service Providers build better spam filters and detect spamming botnets using passive network monitoring techniques. Their paper was one of approximately 30 out of over 300 submissions accepted for this year's ACM SIGCOMM which is the premier international computing networking conference. While their research will also be presented at the North American Network Operator's Group (NANOG) meeting, Nick Feamster had one other paper accepted to SIGCOMM 2006, quite an accomplishment considering the 10% acceptance rate.
For the preliminary version of "Understanding the Network-Level Behavior of Spammers," click here.

For information about ACM's SIGCOMM 2006, click here.