A Weblog About Topics and Issues Discussed in the Book Spam Kings by Brian McWilliams

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March 22, 2006

Spamware vendor integrates anti-spam service

ss.jpgSend-Safe, a notorious developer of spamming software, has updated its program to include a remove-list feature from the controversial Blue Security anti-spam service.

The latest build (803) of the Send-Safe Mailer v2.20b includes an option designed to prevent spammers from sending messages to any of the 245,000-plus e-mail addresses registered with the Blue Security "Do Not Intrude" registry.

The feature, which can be accessed from the program's Advanced tab, is turned off by default. When enabled, the feature automatically kicks in each time a spammer fires off a spam run. Send-Safe Mailer appears to check to see that it has the latest copy of the encrypted Blue Security remove list. If necessary, it downloads an updated version and checks it against the spammer's mailing list. (Shown below is a brief snippet of a log file produced when I tested the feature.)

ss-blue.jpg Send-Safe apparently integrated Blue's technology using a software development kit (SDK) offered by Blue Security at its web site.

The integration of Blue Security's remove lists into Send-Safe might not be optimal yet. When I tried sending myself a test spam at an address protected by Blue Security, the Send-Safe program didn't alert me or otherwise notify me that the address was in the remove list. Then again, the email address didn't appear in the program's log of successfully sent message IDs, nor did I ever receive the test message.

So far, Send-Safe hasn't made a lot of noise about integrating the Blue Security remove list. The Send-Safe User's Guide contains only this brief explanation of the new feature: "Use Blue Security Remove List: Use this to avoid sending mails to the antis on Blue Security's Remove List."

But Blue Security is happily crowing about the news. On the company's blog today, CEO Eran Reshef said, "This remarkable and inspiring event we have witnessed displays the power of our community. Many `experts' claimed spammers will never leave our members alone and we know we will prove them wrong."

use-blue.jpgMy take: the integration into Send-Safe could indeed be a big break for users of the free Blue Security service. Many spammers I've talked to seem put off by the complexity of manually downloading and using the service's remove-list tools. Send-Safe now makes that task totally automated. If other big spamware developers (Dark Mailer, Nexus, etc.) figure out a way to integrate the Blue remove lists, life will get even better for Blue members.

Prior to this development, Blue Security was seen by many spammers as purely antagonistic, since the service is designed to post complaints in the order forms of sites advertised in spams received by Blue Security members. Now, Send-Safe has given Blue a stamp of legitimacy from the spam world.

On the other hand, I doubt this integration will do much to improve Blue Security's standing among some leading anti-spammers. The whole notion of remove lists is anathema to ardent supporters of opt-in email. Blue Security, they might argue, is ultimately just providing a free list-washing service to spammers.

Posted by brian at March 22, 2006 2:35 PM


"My take: the integration into Send-Safe could indeed be a big break for users of the free Blue Security service."

I agree. And I am impressed someone is taking Blue as a threat instead of an annoyance (which you would otherwise expect from a cadre of cowboys).

Posted by: michael at March 23, 2006 4:56 PM

So,the lazy-assed spammers don't' want to be bothered with manually verifying their garbage against the Blue Frog do not intrude registry. However, I'm suppose to enjoy sifting through my in box and manually deleting their crap over an dover by the thousnads,,,,,Well...tought S*** spammers.

Posted by: Jay at April 12, 2006 10:08 AM


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