Towards Proactive Spam Filtering (Extended Abstract)

Jan Göbel, Thorsten Holz, Philipp Trinius

Con­fe­rence on De­tec­tion of In­tru­si­ons and Mal­wa­re & Vul­nerabi­li­ty As­sess­ment (DIMVA), Milan, Italy, July 2009


Abstract

With increasing security measures in network services, remote exploitation is getting harder. As a result, attackers concentrate on more reliable attack vectors like email: victims are infected using either malicious attachments or links leading to malicious websites. Therefore efficient filtering and blocking methods for spam messages are needed. Unfortunately, most spam filtering solutions proposed so far are reactive they require a large amount of both ham and spam messages to efficiently generate rules to differentiate between both. In this paper, we introduce a more proactive approach that allows us to directly collect spam message by interacting with the spam botnet controllers. We are able to observe current spam runs and obtain a copy of latest spam messages in a fast and efficient way. Based on the collected information we are able to generate templates that represent a concise summary of a spam run. The collected data can then be used to improve current spam filtering techniques and develop new venues to efficiently filter mails.

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Tags: spam